Friday, August 26, 2016

Art Day Techniques

I was thrilled when Carol invited me to an Art Day, explaining that we would show each other an art technique. All the participants were members of the Houston Calligraphy Guild.

Each person taught some form of art, bringing materials for the others. One day three of us made paste paper in Carol's garage.

We met on Saturdays every two months for several years. Carol was the hostess, her husband Cooper made delicious dumplings for us! We met all day. During the last year and a half we had the same five women participating. 

One Art Day I handed out cardboard boxes from Michaels. We collaged the top, bottom, sides and inside of the box which I learned from Teesha Moore in her Curious Little Box workshop in Spring, Texas.

Carol taught us fun background techniques using large salt crystals in wet watercolor paint and we made a book with our samples.

Then we used an embossing tool with brass sheets. We embossed over clip art, smeared with ink, and when dry - wiped with steel wool.

Fran taught us Contemporary Decorated Capitals, using Micron pens, Ziller inks and watercolor.

I love meeting with other artists for play days. Any Art Day fuels my passion for creativity! Do you make art by yourself or also with groups? I would love to hear from you.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Top Ten Reasons...

I changed the name of my blog this week: from Paper Crafting to Art Craft Share. I was motivated to blog by writing a blog twice a month for Arnold Grummer Paper Making. And I may continue with them; I’m taking a short break from paper making projects. 

My blog remains the same: talking about workshops I have taken plus my varied interests: making books, calligraphy, and all that comes in between including art journaling and DIY crafts.

Here are my Top Ten Reasons to Art, Craft & Share:
1.   Inspiring others.
2.   Developing new ideas.
3.   Learning.

4.   Sharing information.
5.   Going on a rant!

6.   Creating home decorations.
7.   Playing with crafts.
8.   Collaborating with friends.
9.   Exploring an unfilled need.
10. Having fun!

The world needs us! We are needed because we are happy and we do not horde information - we share what we are doing. We are - each of us - unique. Please let me know what you think too!

Friday, August 12, 2016

Exploring Italic Calligraphy

I started learning Italic calligraphy through a Tutorial Program given by the Houston Calligraphy Guild (HCG) in 1999.  I had tried writing calligraphy on my own; I was OK but I wanted to get better.

The 6 month - 6 lesson - correspondence course randomly paired me with a teacher. I was lucky to have Fritzi Harry. She gave me encouragement and also let me know when I was faltering. 

I was given a detailed supply list: I had to write with a pen staff and a nib, no felt pens allowed! The 6 lessons included learning the basics of lower case: Minuscules - and upper case: Majuscules, ending with Design Principles and a final art piece using a minimum of 25 words.

I mailed my lesson to Fritzi and she mailed it back to me with a piece of tracing paper over my writing. She let me know where I succeeded and where I needed improvement. She even gave me gold stars!

We used this informative little textbook by Lloyd Reynolds. After 6 months I received a lovely Certificate at the September HCG meeting in 1999, written in Italic of course.
Practice and more practice
Through the years, I took other Italic hour-long workshops with the HCG. Recently I studied with Peter Thornton: Italic Variations at the annual calligraphy convention held in Dallas in 2014. I had fun learning how to loosen up after following the guidelines for many years!

If you want to learn Italic calligraphy, try it on your own first with the Lloyd Reynolds book, plus online courses, then find someone in person to share their experience with you about their hand lettering.

Please let me know how it works out for you. 

Friday, August 5, 2016

Collaborative Art Journaling

©Anne Rita Taylor 2016
One of my collaborative painted pages
There are many ways to make art with Mixed Media - layering paint is one of them. When you Google: Mixed Media, you get 65 million results! Paint, ink and collage on canvas is the most popular form of art journaling.
Nicole's sample page
Last Saturday I went to a Meetup group with a price tag - $20 - Whole Hearted Art with Nicole Bray. Nicole’s blog showed she was knowledgeable about art and I thought it would be fun too. 
On Laura’s page I wrote “PASSION” plus drew the daisy.
Also I understood the word “journal” to mean writing. I brought a sample of my art journaling for show & tell - there were four us - and they were surprised that I wrote in my journal.
An art journal page of mine from 2009
In this three hour workshop we painted first in either primary or secondary colors for 5 minutes, switched our pages with our neighbor who then painted in the opposite warm / cool colors in our pages.
Laura finishing a page
I was having fun and also was perplexed, my pages seemed over-worked. It was actually fun to throw caution to the wind, playing with Nicole’s stencils. She explained about the color wheel and the use of thirds on a page for a pleasing arrangement.
Valerie painting her page
Besides instruction, Nicole provided brushes, acrylic paints, stencils, and she gave us each a piece of 11 x 15 inch water color paper. She had a great hand-out for us: 18 Must Have Mixed Media Supplies. Plus I found out about a nice circle maker and cutter by Orbis too.
Nicole's page after collaboration
We finished by painting another layer; we could obliterate the entire page if we wanted to…  Or we could find a face, plant or animal to emphasize. --- Please let me know what you think of the layered painting process. Do you use paint layering in your art journal pages?

Friday, July 29, 2016

Window Accordion Book

©Anne Rita Taylor 2016
I wanted to combine handmade paper with a Zig Zag book plus my carved images to make a gift for a friend going through health issues. I wrote some encouraging words alongside the printed images for her.
Handmade paper - 5 pieces:
1 x 7 inches, (2) 4 x 5 inches, (2) 2 1/2 x 6 inches
Arnold Grummer Mini Zig Zag Books
PVA or Mod Podge glue
Bonefolder, scissors, ruler
Carved images or rubber stamps
The Zig Zag book has 6 sides, begin by cutting slits on the 2nd and third side, then the 4th and 5th side, cut into one and 1/8th inches, leaving a half inch on the top and bottom, as pictured:

Fold in where you made the cuts to form your window, as pictured:

Paint the Zig Zag inside the covers and top and bottom with Tim Holtz Distress Stain: Peeled Paint. Adhere both 4 x 5 inch paper pieces to each cover.
Glue two pieces of 2 1/2 inch by 6 inches handmade paper together forming a long strip 2 1/2 by 11 1/2 inch piece. Print your rubber stamps in front of the openings, the windows. Glue 1 1/2 inches of each end inside the covers, and fold with the book.
Lastly, to make the band, fold around your closed book the 1 x 7 inch handmade paper and glue the overlapping half inch, not too tight because you want it to slide off.
Your gift is ready to write your heartfelt wishes inside for your recipient to enjoy!

Friday, July 22, 2016

My Bookbinding Workshop

©Anne Rita Taylor 2016
I went to a Golden Paint demo at Art Supply on Main in Houston earlier this year. When Vikki, the co-owner, found out about my blog, she asked me to teach a book workshop; during May we set a date for the workshop: Saturday, July 16th.
My favorite binding is the French Link Stitch. I made a sample book, composed my own instructions, took a few photos and sent the draft flyer to a couple of friends for their advice. 

E.J. said cost stand alone from supply fee; the total was listed. Debbie gave me paper from India; no charge to my students. I added paper choices to my flyer.

I handed out 30 flyers at the Houston Calligraphy Guild Summer Study meeting. Also sent my flyer to The Lone Star Art Guild added to their weekly emailed newsletter.
Four people registered by the Wednesday before the workshop! I started tearing a few sheets of my Arches Text Wove for my demonstration book, as I wanted to use three sheets divided into eight pieces. Vikki let me know she was out of Arches but had Rives.
Five were registered by Thursday! I used up my own supply of Arches Text Wove, and Vikki supplied Rives BFK Lightweight. Multi-Media art paper suitable for wet media from Hobby Lobby rounded out the text paper. It took ink and watercolor beautifully.

Before the class I cut: paper for the covers, end sheets, inside paper folios showing at the spine; plus I tore the Arches and cut the Multi-Media paper.

The students used eight pieces of each of the three types of paper. And divided them into three folios in eight signatures to have a total of 96 pages (both sides). The students tore two half sheets of the Rives Lightweight into quarters to get into the bookbinding groove.

In the class: we covered the boards and hole-punched the signatures in the morning; sewed the text block in the afternoon. Lastly, we glued the end sheets to add the covers and glued the tapes to the cover.
The five hour class on Saturday went very well especially since four out of five students were first-time bookbinders. Everyone loved their books! It was a lot of fun!