Artist Interview with Suzi Dennis

27 Jun

From time to time I get new instructors in the shop, which is always a lot of fun. I like to introduce you to them via an artist interview. You get to know them and like them before you meet them in class.

This week I am talking to Suzi Dennis, who is coming to teach in August. Thanks Suzi for sharing with us and I look forward to your upcoming class (Tape it! Paper it! Collage it!).

 

Suzi Dennis

Suzi Dennis

Tell us a little bit about your background – where did you grow up? What was your childhood like?

I grew up in south Arkansas, the only child of wonderful parents. We traveled a lot across the U.S. when I was growing up and I believe that is what gives me the travel urges I still have today!
Where do you live now? How long have you lived there? What do you like most about it?
I moved from South Arkansas to St. Louis when I was 43 years old and after about 6 years there I moved to my parents home on the lake in Hot Springs, Ar. I have been here with my husband John since 1995. My parents passed away and as an only child, I inherited this home. I consider myself to be very very blessed to live here. I love living on the lake! And Hot Springs is an area where lots of artists make their home and work and play. Glad to be one of them.
Have you always been interested in art? Or is it something you found later in life?
I have been doing art since about age 10 when my Mom started enrolling me in art classes. My Dad was a self taught engineer and had exceptional drawing skills and my Mom loved the needle arts, so art in some form has been in my blood since birth.
What type of art do you do? What is your favorite medium to work in?
I am mainly a Mixed Media Collage artist at present and have been for about the last 15 or so years. I had to stop painting to work in the real world and raise a family, but started back in 1987 and in 1993 started following the art fair circuit. I was into watercolor for 8 years prior to Mixed Media. It became very predictable for me and I felt a need to move on. That is what I love about Mixed Media Collage…very unpredictable. Makes me use my creative brain cells. I also make handmade journals and  love to weave and have started teaching Weaving 101 in my studio only recently.
How long have you been teaching art? Why did you decide to start teaching? What is your favorite class to teach?
After being on the road for 15 years doing art fairs, age started catching up with me and we decided it was time to “store the tent”. So in 2009 I went back to work in my other profession, nursing, and retired in 2012. At that time an artist friend of mine who has been teaching for awhile said “why don’t you do online workshops?”. I had no idea there was such a thing!! So I jumped in head first and created some online workshops and then decided to start teaching in my studio and it has snowballed from there. I teach mixed media collage, journal making and weaving and I can’t pick a favorite. My favorite thing is meeting all the people I have met and making so many new friends.
Who is your favorite artist? How have they influenced you in your art?
Love Van Gogh and loved him even more after seeing his work in person in Chicago several years back. I love color and texture which he provides both of. I really am attracted to all kinds of art and different artists, but he is at the top of the list. Modern day I am mesmerized with the work of David Galchutt who I also call friend.
Where do you get your inspiration from? 
Everywhere. And most of my work is spiritual. As a Christian I draw much of my inspiration from the Bible. I also have 4 cats and for some reason, cats and birds usually wind up in my pieces! 
Do you have a favorite art quote to share? 
“I dream of painting, then I paint my dream” – Van Gogh (of course)
Where can we find you? 
And of course, she will be here at Blue Twig Studio teaching a fabulous 2-day class Aug 15th & Aug 16th. If you are in the area, I hope you can join the fun. Click this link for more info about the class.  Here is a quick video clip from Suzi herself!
I love Van Gogh too and I draw a lot of inspiration from his use of texture and color and intensity. His life story is also amazing.
~Deb
Let Your Inner Artist out to Play
Blue Twig Studio – 5039 N Academy Blvd – Colorado Springs, CO 80918
719-266-1866

Whisper Challenge

25 Jun

Our self-expressions group meets here at the shop every month. We are primarily a discussion group (topics vary but generally are related to art or creativity in some way). But we also do a challenge project every year. We have had fun with our projects and it is always exciting to see what everyone creates. We have a wide variety of artistic people in our group, ranging from quilting to fiber art to paper arts to jewelry makers to painters and pretty much everything in between. Which is why the challenges are always so interesting to do.

Our challenges usually start with a basic parameter of size or sub-strata to be used. Then there is either a topic or theme of some kind that we are pursuing. After that it is all up to the artist to decide what they are creating.

This challenge is called a Whisper challenge – or sometimes it is called a Telephone challenge. Remember the game of Telephone when we were kids? One person whispers in the ear of the next person some phrase or comment. Then each person whispers in the next person’s ear and it keeps going around the room until the last person tells out loud what they heard. Invariably it is nowhere near what the original phrase was, and laughter and hilarity follows.

For our group – the Whisper challenge was done this way. We all started with a 12×12 stretched canvas (a very nice size to work on), and each person had one month to work on their piece, so a total of 4 months from start to finish for the challenge.  One person took a photo of something that was to be used as our original whisper. We then divided into 4 groups of 4 people each, with each person given a number 1, 2, 3, or 4 within their group. The #1 person in each group received a copy of the photo to use as their source of inspiration. We could do an exact copy of the photo or pull one small section of the photo out or take the photo and use it as inspiration to create something entirely different. No rules!

The #1 person then gave their finished piece to the #2 person in their group. The #2 person did NOT get to see the original photo, only the finished piece from #1. They were then to take that piece and create their own piece, pulling out whatever inspired them. The #2 person then gave their finished piece to #3, but #3 did NOT get to see the photo or the piece from #1. #3 gave their finished piece to #4, who did NOT see any of the other pieces or the original photo either. You get the picture.

Some of the group took their inspiration from the style or the subject matter, some people took it from the colors, some people took it from some small part, some people took inspiration from the feelings that were inspired.

At the Big Reveal party, we had each group share their art, starting with #1, then #2, then #3, then #4. It was quite interesting to see how each group progressed. After we all shared what we had created, then we showed everyone the original photo that was used. So much fun!

 

Here is the original photo that was used for the challenge.

original photo by Liz Kettle

original photo by Liz Kettle

Here is group #1 and their interpretation.

by Deb Prewitt

by Deb Prewitt

by Asha Watson

by Asha Watson

by Donna Goodrum

by Donna Goodrum

by Terza Ekholm

by Terza Ekholm

Here is group #2.

by Kerry Cain

by Kerry Cain

by Venisa Gallegos

by Venisa Gallegos

by Cindy Sorenson

by Cindy Sorenson

by Cass Mullane

by Cass Mullane

Here is group #3.

by Linda Logan

by Linda Logan

by Lori Nicholson

by Lori Nicholson

by Lisa Black

by Lisa Black

by Deb Martin

by Deb Martin

Here is group #4.

by Kathy Genz

by Kathy Genz

by Ruth Chandler

by Ruth Chandler

by Juli Heintz

by Juli Heintz

by Lita Montano

by Lita Montano

 

 

It was interesting to note that the #1 person in each group pulled the grid from the windows and the tree to focus on. Then each person after that just took off with the interpretation. Very cool!

There is lots of variety in these pieces, lots of texture (which is hard to see in the photos), lots of different mediums used, and amazing creativity. These pieces will be hanging in the shop for awhile so stop by to see them in person if you get the chance.

This was a fun challenge and we will definitely do it again at some point. Perhaps you could do a similar challenge with your own art groups.

~Deb

Let Your Inner Artist out to Play

Blue Twig Studio – 5039 N Academy Blvd – Colorado Springs, CO 80918

719-266-1866

 

Weeks 19, 20, 21 of the 365 days of Art challenge

22 Jun

I am sharing 3 weeks of postcards today (and I am still behind). I love doing the 365 days of art challenge. It is a way of making myself do something creative every day – even if it is 5 minutes spraying paint on paper. It isn’t important what I do, but that I DO it!

I do admit that sometimes I am tired and don’t really want to do anything, but I make myself do something, even if it is finding some old leftover something or other and cutting it down to postcard size and using that! Other times, I am energized and full of possibilities and love getting to make my postcard and seeing what unfolds.

I do post the daily postcards on Instagram and on Facebook, so you can always follow me that way.

Here are 3 weeks worth of postcards. Enjoy.

by Deb Prewitt

by Deb Prewitt

by Deb Prewitt

by Deb Prewitt

by Deb Prewitt

by Deb Prewitt

by Deb Prewitt

by Deb Prewitt

by Deb Prewitt

by Deb Prewitt

by Deb Prewitt

by Deb Prewitt

by Deb Prewitt

by Deb Prewitt

by Deb Prewitt

by Deb Prewitt

by Deb Prewitt

by Deb Prewitt

by Deb Prewitt

by Deb Prewitt

by Deb Prewitt

by Deb Prewitt

by Deb Prewitt

by Deb Prewitt

by Deb Prewitt

by Deb Prewitt

by Deb Prewitt

by Deb Prewitt

by Deb Prewitt

by Deb Prewitt

by Deb Prewitt

by Deb Prewitt

by Deb Prewitt

by Deb Prewitt

by Deb Prewitt

by Deb Prewitt

by Deb Prewitt

by Deb Prewitt

by Deb Prewitt

by Deb Prewitt

by Deb Prewitt

by Deb Prewitt

#bts365days

~Deb

Let Your Inner Artist out to Play

Blue Twig Studio – 5039 N Academy Blvd – Colorado Springs, CO 80918

719-266-1866

 

Tea Party ATCs

20 Jun

Well, apparently I completely forgot to post the Tea Party ATCs from last month. I am definitely behind in my blog posts. :)

Here are the ATCs that were submitted. Skye did a great job with presentation, with an adorable matching envelope and tea bags.  Lynnita’s Little Teapot opens up, with the rest of the little teapot rhyme inside. Very cute. Alas, I only managed to get one ATC completed this month. :(

by Skye Soard

by Skye Soard

by Kris Jaeger

by Kris Jaeger

By Lynnita Knoch

By Lynnita Knoch

By Lynnita Knoch

By Lynnita Knoch

by Juli Heintz

by Juli Heintz

by Juli Heintz

by Juli Heintz

by Candace Berry

by Candace Berry

by Deb Prewitt

by Deb Prewitt

by Juli Heintz

by Juli Heintz

by Juli Heintz

by Juli Heintz

Using random.org,  the winner is……Juli. Congrats! Juli always submits extra entries, so it is only fitting that she win!

Thanks to everyone for submitting. I know the participation has been waning the last few months, which is why we are taking the summer off from the monthly ATC challenges. Perhaps we will start again in the fall, or maybe we will think of something new and fun to do. So stay tuned.

In the meantime, I am getting caught up on my blog posts.

~Deb

Let Your Inner Artist out to Play

Blue Twig Studio – 5039 N Academy Blvd – Colorado Springs, CO 80918

719-266-1866

 

Pan Pastels Review

16 Jun

Guest blog post by Design Team member Deborah Pace

Comments in italics by Deb Prewitt

Supplies:  Pan Pastels, Sponge Applicator and tools, stamps, VersaMark, various papers

pan pastels 074

1.  I applied the different colors of the pan pastels to different papers to see what they would look like.  Starting from top center moving clockwise:  Navy blue cardstock, Tan cardstock, white cardstock, manilla folder, black cardstock, Strathmore Tonal Tan paper, Watercolor paper and fun foam.  The pan pastels are very easy to apply and glide onto almost any stubstrate.  The sponge applicator can be used over and over again, just by wiping off the previous color on a paper towel (the sponges can also be gently washed with soap and water).  Water can also be added for a more painterly affect.
pan pastels 078
2.  A close-up of the the navy blue and black cardstock with the orange pan pastel on them.
pan pastels 079
3.  I cut a butterfly stencil and laid it on a piece of watercolor paper.  (Stencils are a great tool to use with the Pan Pastels) Going from the outside edge of the stencil inward, I apply the pan pastels.
pan pastels 080
4. I used the VersaMark Stamp Pad on the the stamps and stamped the watercolor paper.  I used the other part of the butterfly stencil as a mask when stamping to keep the stamps from going over the butterfly. Then I carefully applied the pan pastels over the stamped images.  With a paper towel, I lightly rubbed the excess off and then rubbed it onto the background.
pan pastels 083
~Deborah Pace
Thanks Deborah for sharing some of the ways to use the Pan Pastels. I absolutely love how easy they are to use. They blend super well and create great results with minimal effort. 
Pan Pastels come in single pans, small sets, medium sets, large sets. There are basic colors, metallics, pearlescents, and blenders. All of the colors work with each other. There are also pan pastel trays for easy storage and various sponges and tools to assist your creativity. 
A little bit of color goes a long way, so these pans will last a really long time!!!!
~Deb
Let Your Inner Artist out to Play
Blue Twig Studio
5039 N Academy Blvd – Colorado Springs, CO 80918
719-266-1866

Loving the Vintage & Found Objects Kit

11 Jun
 Guest Blog Post by Design Team Member Kristin Peterson
Comments in italics by Deb
If you have looked at the Vintage packs (Kristin actually received the Vintage & Found Objects monthly club kit) and wondered if it was worth the dollars and what you will find in one of the packs….I will hopefully be able to help you make that decision {buy it}!! My vintage pack arrived packed full of vintage papers and wonderful ephemera. I was super excited to see such a nice variety of papers which included vintage book pages, music sheets, dictionary pages, cool napkins and such paper items as vintage”green stamps” and playing cards.
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There were also such items as dominoes and playing pieces and a little vintage porcelain doll- which was so precious I had to set it aside in my cabinet with another porcelain doll I have on display.
IMG_6629[1]
Besides the all the good paper items that came in the pack- there was also several linen doily and table runners with a very nice stitched edging. If you are like me, I love vintage linens to cut up and use in other projects.   (There are always the simple Vintage paper packs available as well – however these are only paper items – no linens or buttons or jewelry, etc.)
IMG_6630[1]
When I opened my pack and saw a delicate pink ruffled edge I knew immediately what I wanted to do…..add a ruffle to my art apron. This vintage ruffle is adorable on my apron! (and I see a piece of the jewelry that was in the pack too!)
IMG_6631[1]
Thanks Deb!
`Kristin
Thank you Kristin for another fun blog post. Your style always comes through. And I know that Kristin uses lots of vintage ephemera in her art, so this pack of goodies will be put to good use!
If you are interested in the pack (of course they are each one of a kind packs) that Kristin used but don’t want to commit to the monthly club, just leave me a comment when you place your order.
~Deb
Let Your Inner Artist out to Play
5039 N Academy Blvd
Colorado Springs, CO 80918
719-266-1866

 

ATC Challenge

8 Jun

It has come to my attention that I didn’t do a blog post for the June ATC challenge. Sigh.

I have to admit that I am a bit behind on blog posts, website updates, class schedules, cleaning and organizing, and a host of other things.

As a solo business owner, I wear many hats – actually I pretty much wear all of the hats. :)

Stack of hats

Stack of hats

Don’t get me wrong, I love what I do and I love the people I meet and the community that I am helping grow. However, I do get behind on things sometimes. And apparently I am in one of those ‘behind’ times.

So we are going to skip the next couple of months for the Blog ATC challenge. Participation has been waning and perhaps it is time to revisit the idea and come up with something new and different to do instead.

I will be posting the ATCs for the Tea Party challenge in the next day or two.

In the meantime, enjoy your summer!

~Deb

Let Your Inner Artist Out To Play

Blue Twig Studio

5039 N Academy Blvd – Colorado Springs, CO 80918

719-266-1866

 

Book Club – Life is a Verb

4 Jun

This month (or I should say last month since I didn’t get this posted very quickly) we continued reading Life is a Verb by Patti Digh. We read chapters 4, 5, 6.

Creative is a Verb by Patti Digh

Creative is a Verb by Patti Digh

There were comments about the similarities and differences between this book and the Julia Cameron book The Artist Way (which we read for book club way back in the beginning). And even though the books are really quite different (in style, format, information) there is a common ground of finding yourself and learning to enjoy the here and now of life.

I particularly love Patti’s style and her stories. They are amusing and poignant and meaningful without being sappy or trite. And they are her stories – she isn’t making stuff up to get her point across – she is using her own life to illustrate her points. I appreciate that.

We discussed ideas about Art Retreats and Artist Colonies. Some of us have participated in art retreats and found them quite wonderful and enjoyable. It really is all about a shared experience and being with like-minded people. But the idea of an Artist Colony was quite intriguing and full of possibilities. We talked about how wonderful it would be to join an Artist Colony and spend 6mos or a year just being immersed in whatever art we were pursuing and how that might change us. It seemed scary to think about doing it, but I think we would all jump at the chance to do it if we could finagle it.

The exercises were not felt to be as compelling as Julia Cameron’s, with some people doing them and some people choosing not to do them. It was agreed that the Take 37 exercises were much more valuable but that you would have to choose one or two to do, because it would be too much to do them all at once. But we liked the idea of choosing one or two to focus on and see what results we got, and then perhaps choosing more at a later time.

Because we have several school teachers in our group, the discussion often turns to teaching people – the challenges, the joys, the environment, etc. Because we all pull information from a book that pertains to who we are and how we see the world. Isn’t that what makes a great book? Being able to find yourself in it?

What did you take from these chapters? Did you like them? Were there particular stories that touched you more than others? Did you do the exercises?

We will be reading and discussing Chpts  7, 8, 9 and 10 next month.

~Deb

Let Your Inner Artist out to Play

Blue Twig Studio

5039 N Academy Blvd – Colorado Springs, CO 80918

719-266-1866

 

Artist Interview – Kelly Kilmer

28 May

Blue Twig Studio is lucky to have artist Kelly Kilmer from Los Angeles, CA coming to teach 2 classes in July. I thought you might like to get to know her a little bit better, so we prepared this interview for you. Please be sure to visit Kelly’s blog for more fun stuff and inspiration. And I hope you get a chance to take one or both of her upcoming classes here at Blue Twig Studio. (links are below)

by Kelly Kilmer

by Kelly Kilmer

Tell us a little bit about your art background. Have you always done art? Do you have an art degree? What types of art have you done? What types of classes have you taken?
 
I’ve been making art since I was a little girl. The joke was that I always had either a pencil, crayon or book in my hand (along with a stuffed animal.) I was always drawing and making little things. 
 
I am self taught though I took one drawing class at Massachusetts College of Art. 
 
I have done a wide variety of art and have taught myself bookbinding (Cover to Cover by Shereen LaPlantz is the BEST bookbinding book there is), collage, drawing, painting, a variety of mixed media everything from acrylics, gouache, watercolors, water soluble crayons, assemblage, jewelry, and fabric arts. I found that my main passion is paper arts and that has been my focus for almost 20 years now. I love making books and filling them. 
 
I have taken a small handful of classes over the years from the likes of Juliana Coles to Carla Sonheim to Karen Michel (I’d recommend all three instructors in a heart beat.) I wish that I could take more classes but I am usually too busy teaching my own. I also read a ton of books (everything from art, inspiration, film, biographies, creativity, non fiction, fiction, etc… If I think that I can glean an idea from it, it’s in my hands!)
 
Who has inspired you the most in your artistic career?
 
My students always inspire me the most. They push me to be the best artist and teacher that I can be. It’s because of them that I am always developing new classes and searching for new ideas. 
 
My favorite artists that have inspired me are Corita Kent, Frida Kahlo, Vincent Van Gogh, Barron Storey, Lynda Barry, Maira Kalman, The Surrealists, to name a few. My husband and my son have also been very big inspirations in my life. 
 
What is your favorite medium to use and why? 
 
Paper. You can do so much with a piece of paper. It’s an open door to possibility! You can fold it and shape it into something (it can even fly!) You can spill your heart out onto it. You can paint with it. I love paper!
 
What is your favorite class to teach and why? 
 
I don’t have one favorite class. I love teaching and seeing the light bulbs go off over someone’s head. I love it when someone starts to ask a question and they realize that they can do anything! 
 
How did you get started teaching? How long have you been teaching?
 
I have been teaching art since late 1997. When I was little, I thought that I’d either be an English teacher, forest ranger or drummer! I spent a lot of time filling notebooks with my own musings, drawings and stickers (lots and lots of stickers.) When my son was born, I made him two full albums of photos (from the time he was 0 to 6 months, all of the other photos are now in boxes.) I started making greeting cards to sell (and I did pretty well selling them through a local shop.) One of the local stamp store managers suggested that I teach classes. I started teaching basic card making classes. It was okay but something was off. The card store only wanted cute cards and everything was done assembly line style so it sucked the life out of me a bit. I remember walking into Stamp Stamp Stamp in the Glendale Galleria and seeing Lynne Perrella’s Acey Deucy Goddess stamps and thinking, “THIS. THIS is what I wanted to do.” I taught myself bookbinding and went from filling store bought books to my own books. 
 
How has your artistic/creative journey changed over the years (if it has)?
 
I started out making scrapbooks and cards. I fell head over heels in love with bookbinding and filling my books. I taught myself how to use acrylics and a wide variety of media. I’ve worked on canvas and paper. I dabbled in jewelry making, assemblage art and fabric. I like to make things but I have found that I am most passionate about art journaling and filling books made by my own hands. When I realized that about 10 years ago, my entire focus changed to seeing how much I could push myself as primarily a paper/book artist. I am always looking for new ways of doing things and exploring the many possibilities that are out there.
 
What direction do you see the mixed media industry heading? What trends have you noticed.
 
I don’t pay attention to trends. I found that when I find a tool or product that I like, I stick with it. My favorite tools are pretty much the same after many, many years. I started using tape in 2004 and was over the moon when washi tape was introduced shortly thereafter. I also have my favorite pens and stencils that I like. I share all of this on my blog and in my classes. I found out that my best classes are the ones that I am most passionate about and that I don’t teach product but process (while using products that I love and recommend.) I don’t work for any companies. I work for my students and for myself. 
 
Lately it seems harder to be noticed and that there are lots of people teaching and selling. It’s hard for a lot of new people as well as some of us who have been around for awhile. I think that we have to support our local mom and pop art shops as much as possible as well as each other. 
 
Share a favorite quote or favorite art book with us.
 
Hands down, my favorite art book is Learning By Heart by Corita Kent and Jan Steward. Kent is one of my favorite artists and teachers. She truly believed and taught that inspiration is everywhere! You just have to do the work.
-Kelly Kilmer
by Kelly Kilmer

by Kelly Kilmer

by Kelly Kilmer

by Kelly Kilmer

20150427_132912-3

by Kelly Kilmer

by Kelly Kilmer

Kelly has a wonderful style of working and I am looking forward to her classes in July. Just click on the links to take you to the class information page. 
July 16th – 9:30am Pieces of Me
July 16th – 1pm  The Pages Within 
If you can’t take a class with her at Blue Twig Studio, then I hope you can find a class somewhere else.
~deb
Let Your Inner Artist Out To Play
Blue Twig Studio
5039 N Academy Blvd
Colorado Springs, CO 80918
719-266-1866
 

 

Twinkling H20s Review

18 May

Guest blog post by Lynnita Knoch

comments in italics by Deb

Blue Twig Studio – April Product Review and Projects

This month, I received a package of Twinkling H2Os by Luminarte for review for Blue Twig Studio. I had heard a lot of great comments about these from friends the last few months and had been wanting to try them, but couldn’t justify buying yet another type of paint. Therefore, I was very excited when I received these for my April product review!!

Twinkling H20s by Luminarte

Twinkling H20s by Luminarte

 

Product: Twinkling H2Os are highly pigmented, light fast, lusciously luminescent mica-infused watercolors. The H2Os are non-toxic and archival safe. The amount of water used determines if the color is opaque, translucent or transparent. This set contained 12 jars of H2Os, along with a free spritz bottle. The colors in my set included: poppy, rose gold, persimmon, mango mamba, mustard green, autumn butternut, black cherry, plum crazy, blue zircon, sweet alfalfa, cedar wood, and pearl red. (Note: my spritz bottle arrived with a crack starting at the spritzer and running a third of the way around the spritz head. Needless to say, it didn’t work very well as a spritzer, but was still able to use it as clean water. I could spritz, if I didn’t mind water spraying ) (yikes – I don’t like it when products arrived damaged – so sorry about that)

 

Open jars of H20s

Open jars of H20s

The watercolor comes as a solid hard-pan cake. When you open the desired jars, the colors can be “woke up” by spraying the surface of the paint cakes. Directions state: after allowing the water to soak in for 3-5 minutes, mist the jars a second time and wait a couple more minutes. The paint begins to soften and it easily mixes into a creamy texture when dipping a paintbrush in it. I actually had to wait about 10 minutes and I used a toothpick to mix the paint. The Twinkling H2Os can be used for painting freehand, creating color washes, to color inside the lines of a drawing or rubber stamped image, or to apply to a rubber stamp before stamping with it.

color chart

color chart

 

 

Projects:

For my project, I was initially going to paint an 8″x10″ canvas. I painted an abstract background and then planned to use a large 8 1/2″ x 11″ Crazy Lace stamp by Kari McKnight-Holbrook (see Blue Twig Studio KMH large stamps) with black acrylic paint to create an overall design on the abstract background. Unfortunately, my black paint didn’t stay wet enough by the time I got the whole stamp coated and did not print well on my canvas. Therefore, I scrapped this project. I’ll try to salvage it for some other project in the future. In interest of time, I chose to create several tags that can be used as gift tags, bookmarks, labels, luggage tags, and so on. My daughter joined me and made tags, as well. Following are the results. Besides brushes, a palette knife, and a freezer paper palette, I used Derwent watercolor pencils, black Sakura micron pens, and Pico Embellishers to accent the tags (I love using the Pico Embellishers).

005 Lydia Tag Lynnita Knoch

Lydia Tag, 2 3/4″ x 5 1/5″, Twinkling H2Os and Pico Embellisher on watercolor paper. I started with the plum crazy color to create a “sea” background. Then pulled the paint to the ‘sky’ area with more water to make it lighter. Using mango mamba, I created sun rays peeking through a stormy sky, and added pearl red to the ‘sea’ to create more depth and waves. I had planned to stamp dolphins in the ‘sea’. However, the sea and sky didn’t come out as they appeared in my head. After lifting some of the paint by adding more water, I used blue zircon to paint Lydia and outlined it with the mustard green (which appears more like an antique gold). I highlighted Lydia with a pink neon Pico Embellisher and edged the tag with pearl red. A couple hearts with a neon green Pico Embellisher in the corners, along with blue and multicolored yarn for hanging completed the tag. I am pleased with the results, as I thought this tag was a lost cause! (Painted by my daughter.)

006 Peacock Feather Tag Lynnita Knoch

Peacock Feather Tag, 2 3/4″ x 5 1/5″, Twinkling H2Os on watercolor paper. Still wanting to make a sea with dolphins, I used the blue zircon for my ‘sea’ and painted the bottom half of the tag. I added sweet alfalfa for depth and waves. Now to create a sunset. I decided to practice the sunset on a different card (see dolphin card below). Since my sunset came out so nice, I just used that card instead of this one. Now what do I do with this card? The paint was dry, however, I found by adding water to the card, I was able to pull the blue zircon paint up to the top of the card, creating a blueish background with sweet alfalfa highlights. The color made me think of a peacock feather, since the blue zircon appears more teal than blue. Using shades of mango mamba, rose gold, persimmon, sweet alfalfa, and plum crazy, I stenciled a peacock feather onto the background. A small brush helped get into the narrow openings in this stencil without any bleeding under the stencil. (Painted by my daughter.)

007 Dolphin Tag Lynnita Knoch

Dolphin Tag, 2 3/4″ x 5 1/5″. Twinkling H2Os on watercolor paper. Using mango mamba, rose gold, and black cherry, I freehand painted a sunset. I used freezer paper as a palette for mixing the paints for the sunset. I was pleasantly surprised when I found I could reactive the paint on the freezer paper up to 30 minutes after it had dried. I did not test how long the paint could sit and still be reactivated (it is watercolors, so if it dries on a palette you should be able to reactivate it with water just like you do in the pan). I added the blue zircon for the sea, with highlights of sweet alfalfa. Painting plum crazy on a dolphin stamp, I was able to stamp two dolphins leaping out of the sea. This is my daughter’s favorite tag. (Painted by my daughter.)

008 Music Tag Lynnita Knoch

Music Tag, 2 3/4″ x 5 1/5″, Twinkling H2Os and black Sakura micron pen on watercolor paper. I created an abstract background by brushing swirls of colors onto the tag. I used plum crazy, blue zircon, sweet alfalfa, and persimmon paints.Some of the paints I left opaque and others I thinned with water for more transparency (can’t see this well in photo). I sprinkled salt on the wet paint. However, once dry, the salt didn’t come off easily, so some was left in place. The salt created some texture in the plum crazy and persimmon colors, but not as much as I had hoped for. I used a 0.02 black Sakura micron pen to draw in music staffs and notes, as well as a saying by Oliver Wendell Holmes, “Most of us go to the grave with our music still inside us.”. I found this in the book Creative is a Verb by Patti Digh, which I am reading for book club for April, May and June. This saying really struck a chord with me, so I had to put it on a tag. (Painted by Lynnita.)

009 Blooming Tag Lynnita Knoch

Blooming Tag, 2 3/4″ x 5 1/5″, Twinkling H2Os and Pico Embellisher on watercolor paper. I wanted to see how well the Twinkling H2Os did with a stencil, so I painted persimmon, rose gold, black cherry and mango mamba through a pod stencil. Unlike the peacock feather where I used a small brush to apply paint, I used a stencil brush this time. In the smallest pod at the bottom, the mango mamba mixed with rose gold paint was too thin and bled under the stencil. I used a blue Pico Embellisher to add the saying, “Life is an empty square unless one fills it up with matter!” by Robin Antar. This was another saying in the book, Creative is a Verb. (Painted by Lynnita.)

010 Pondering Tag Lynnita Knoch

Pondering Tag, 2 3/4″ x 5 1/5″, Twinkling H2Os, Sakura micron pen, and Derwent watercolor pencils on watercolor paper. I freehand painted the face first with pearl red, using blue zircon for the eyes and poppy for the lips. Her hair is cedar wood with autumn butternut highlights, while her top is rose gold with salt for texture. Using a flexible rubber stamp, I painted sweet alfalfa and blue zircon to create a background. The sweet alfalfa worked fairly well, but the blue zircon just bled everywhere. Once it was dry, I stamped over the blue zircon area with another stamp using the sweet alfalfa paint. I used Derwent watercolor pencils to add shading to the face and a 0.005 black Sakura micron pen to add the details. (Painted by Lynnita.)

011 Luggage Tag front Lynnita Knoch

Luggage Tag, 2 3/4″ x 5 1/5″, Twinkling H2Os on fabric. Using pieces of Tim Holtz’s Electric Elements fabrics leftover from the Nov 2014 Fabric club kit reviewed Dec 1, 2014,I cut small pieces of the fabric and enhanced the print with the Twinkling H2O paints in several of the colors. Once the paint dried, I heat set it. I stitched a collage of the fabric for the front of the luggage tag. I finished the edge with a piece of fuzzy, multicolor, eyelash yarn. The hand of the fabric stayed soft for the luggage tag front. (Painted by Lynnita.)

012 Fabric Tag back Lynnita Knoch

Luggage Tag back. I scribbled with several colors of the Twinkling H2Os on the back of the luggage tag just to test the hand of the fabric. I used a substantial amount of the mango mamba in the center, but smaller amounts of several other colors. Once it was dry, I heat set the paint. Where I used the larger amount of the mango mamba, the fabric was stiff, but in the other areas, the fabric still has a soft hand. The twinkling H2Os work well on fabric, but use a small amount to keep a soft hand. I didn’t realize I was out of the clear vinyl to create a pocket on the back of the luggage tag for the address. So this will be added later. (Painted by Lynnita.)

Product Review:

I thoroughly enjoyed working with the paints – they are bright, luminescent and easy to use. I was able to reactivate the paints that dried on the freezer paper palette even after 30 minutes. This was awesome to find out! This ability to reactivate allowed my daughter to fix mistakes in a couple of her tags that she thought were lost causes. This also allows mixing the paints to create new colors, knowing that I won’t waste paint from it drying out too fast. The paints work well with both stencils and stamps, although you want to use stamps that are deeply etched, have thick, wide lines, bold graphics, and/or large surface areas. Avoid stamps with shallow tiny detail lines. These do not work very well. When using stencils, be sure the paints are not extremely wet, so they do not bleed under the stencil. Also a small brush can be used to paint in small stencil openings. I have one negative comment. It was stated that the paint needs to be dry before closing the jars. Even in the ‘dry’ Arizona heat, the paints were still wet after 2 1/2 hours. I closed them, anyway, as I was ready to sleep by 1:00 am. When I checked them the next day, all the paints were still wet, paint had gotten on the lids making it difficult to open a couple of them, and two of them had actually leaked. So I left them open again.It still took another 2-3 hours before they were fully dry and I could close them. This will create a challenge for me to use them, as I do not have a dedicated work space at the moment and cannot leave opened jars of paint out where grandchildren could get a hold of them (it is best to let them dry completely before closing the lids, but the amount of time it takes to dry is dependent on how much water you add to the pans to start with). I hope you enjoyed this review and will consider using these wonderful, sparkling watercolors! They are worth buying, even if you have many other paints!

Keep creating! Lynnita

Thanks Lynnita for another great review. I personally love the Twinks and always have fun using them. 

~Deb

Let Your Inner Artist out to Play

Blue Twig Studio

5039 N Academy Blvd – Colorado Springs, CO 80918

719-266-1866

 

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