Kitty Miller

5 Jul

Kitty Miller was here last year to teach at Blue Twig Studio. We all just loved having her here and she is coming back again this year at the end of August (class links are listed below). She is loads of fun and super generous with her teaching. You will go home having learned something new and fun and will create great art in the meantime! I thought maybe you would like to know her a bit better, so here is her Artist Interview.

 

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Deb Prewitt & Kitty Miller

Tell us a little bit about yourself, where you live, etc.

Of Greek, Romanian and Hungarian decent I was raised by my Grandparents in Northern California. I attended college at Arizona State University. I was disabled from a car accident in 1998, at the time I was an Insurance Agent and I was teaching. I found after recovering all I longed to do was art, so I started pursuing my dream and doing art almost everyday as a hobby in 2003 and have just found my true love. Creating art and sharing my talents and tricks with students has given me more joy than I could even express in words.

Have you always made art? Or when did you start? What made you start?

I have always made art even from a young age. At 11 years old my Grandmother bought me a Singer sewing machine and I would even make my own clothing.

What is the earliest memory you have of anything art related?

I can remember being very very young before school and painting rocks with my Grandma and her neighbor Ellen. Ellen was so creative. I used to love visiting her house and studio and getting to paint, press flowers, weave pine needle baskets and fiber rugs, I was very blessed with an awesome creative circle thanks to my amazing Grandmother and her friends.

Is your family artistic?

My family is very artistic and we always had art in the house.

Do you have an art degree or other art credentials?

Not in art, I am self taught as well as have had hundreds of amazing art teachers at retreats and in my community. My art tribe is huge!

How long have you been teaching?

I have been teaching art since 2013.

How did you get started teaching?

I just had people and retreats asking me to teach and I used to teach so it just came naturally, kinda just happened.

What is your favorite class to teach?

I love to teach people to paint birds, animals and just about anything that strikes my fancy and I become enamored with. 

What is your favorite art medium? And why?

My favorite medium is hands down Acrylic Paint, it is so vibrant and versatile. It is just what dreams are made of and what I love.

What are some of your favorite tools and products?

Script liner brushes a must have for feathers and hair, Stencils they are just so versatile, Indigo Blue Flitter Glue and Gold Leafing  – there simply is no better or easier way to efficiently gold leaf, Posca Paint Pens Fine Tip especially white and black they are just awesome and they are paint so they go over paint and are permanent, Fluid Matte Medium. I actually tease and say it is more valuable than Mother’s Milk. I use it for gluing layers, and just everything, Inktense Pencils they are permanent and come in so many vibrant colors I use them in almost all my art as a layer, DecoArt Mixed Media Misters they are great sprays for layers, drips, using with stencils, washes and more. These are just a few of my favorite things!

What is the most unusual venue you have taught at?

I taught at a Juvenile Detention Facility several times and at some women’s shelters. I believe if we nurture the creative side of our youth and give their imagination wings, their mind a safe escape and a way to voice their emotions and style safely, that they will stay out of trouble and nurture themselves. I hope they will see that if you keep doing what you love you can even earn money doing it.

Who is your favorite artist? Why?

Wow, what a hard question! I have so may favorite artists as i am surrounded by talent and courage. But if I have to choose one it is Wyanne Thompson.ARTIST – BADASS CANCER SURVIVOR- SHOE DIVA – http://www.wyanne.com http://www.facebook.com/WyanneArt

Wyanne is just a Bad Ass period. She is an oral cancer survivor that has had to have her tongue removed and have a tracheotomy put in. Her whole world was turned upside down, but did she let that stop her or slow her down? Hell no! She still teaches and is cranking out amazing art. She just moved into a new large studio away from her home and is just doing and living her dream. She helped me find my creative wings too. 

Do you have a favorite art quote to share? Or some words of advice?

Okay that is hard to pick just one, i have narrowed it down to my favorite three… Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time, Art is the magic we create the spells we cast and the beauty that will last, The job of an artist is to offer sanctuary through beauty and color in a dreary world. The best advice I can give somebody is to just keep creating. Do art anytime and all the time Mistakes are only mistakes if you give up. Layers layers layers, just like our life it is just an experience we should savor for a moment and then move on until we find what we love. Take as many classes as you can and just have fun!

Where can people find you? Facebook, blog, website, Instagram, etc. 

https://www.instagram.com/kittysartwithheart/?hl=en

http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/kitty-miller.html

http://always-art-llc.myshopify.com/

https://www.facebook.com/Kittymillerartist

Anything else you wish to share?

I teach with the Art and Soul retreats and am now going to be at all 3 locations, I am also working on a retreat in Hawaii in 2017, as well as a new book.

I would also like to remind you all to be kind to yourselves and not be so judgmental and and not to have unrealistic expectations. Nobody was a successful artist overnight, they all put in a lot of time, had a lot of trial and error and just kept at it. We all deserve to be happy and making art and creating should be happy not make us feel bad, so just play and try to learn every day. My grandfather used to always say, “Once you stop learning you stop living so get out there and truly live.” Learn all you can, soak  up every bit you can. Be a sponge and let knowledge be your water!

~Kitty

Thanks Kitty for sharing a bit about yourself. Please visit her links and see what else she is up to.

We are ready for Kitty to be here teaching again this summer. She has several awesome classes that she is offering, so there is bound to be something that interests you and fits your schedule. Just click the link to get more information about each class.

Resin Jewelry Alchemy – 2 day workshop Aug 25th & 26th

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Mermaid Fantasy – 2 day workshop Aug 27th & 28th

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Visual Blocks – Aug 31st

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You can register on-line or by calling the shop.

~Deb

Let Your Inner Artist out to Play

Blue Twig Studio

5039 N Academy Blvd

Colorado Springs, CO 80918

719-266-1866

Seth Apter

23 Jun

 

We are so lucky to have Seth Apter visiting Blue Twig Studio to teach for a few days. Seth is a wonderful mixed media artist with a fun style that I absolutely love. He graciously agreed to teach here, even before meeting me or visiting my shop (we have since met a couple times). I am very grateful to him and I know that everyone will make him feel very welcome when he is here.
me and Seth
Here we are at CHA.🙂
Here are a few questions and answers to help you get to know Seth a little bit better.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.  I am a mixed media artist from New York City. When I am not making art, you might find me teaching, designing products or writing. And you will often find me online, managing all of my social media sites that go hand-and-hand with being an artist these days.

Have you always made art? When did you start? What made you start? I came to art later in life. Although I always loved art, I had no interest in being a maker until a random and serendipitous meeting with an artist in 2000 introduced me a whole new world.
What is your earliest art related memory? My earliest art memories relate back to the art projects that I made in grade school, including what was my first collaboration in 4th grade when I made a poster with a classmate for a reading program.
Do you have an art degree or art credentials? I do not have an art degree and my “training” has been limited to individual workshops with artists I admire and a series of courses at the Center for Book Arts in NYC.
How long have you been teaching?  I have been teaching just over 4 years, having taught my first workshop in NYC.
What is your favorite class to teach? Don’t tell the other workshops, but my favorite class to teach is 52 Card Pickup. It is a fun, free-spirited workshop and one which always seems to bring smiles to the faces of the students.
Do you have a favorite art quote or words of advice? My mantra these days is “You’re only one layer away from magic.” That is the beauty of mixed media!
Where can people find you?
      Website: sethapter.com
      Twitter: twitter.com/alteredpage
      Instagram: instagram.com/sethapter/
Thanks so much for sharing a bit about yourself.
Seth Apter is teaching 4 different classes at Blue Twig Studio. Here are the links (shown below each class sample photo) to the classes on the website so you can find out more details. There is still room for a few more people in the classes – but don’t wait too long to get registered!
Photo Op 1
Photo Op – Sept 16th 10-1
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Background Noise – Sept 16th 3-6
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52 Card Pickup – Sept 17th 10-5
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Mixed Media Dossier – Sept 18th 10-5
These classes all look fabulous and I can’t wait to see what all the students create!!!
~Deb
Let Your Inner Artist out to Play
5039 N Academy Blvd
Colorado Springs, CO 80918
719-266-1866

Bringing you Mindy Lacefield

7 Jun
I am so happy to be able to bring in Mindy Lacefield to teach at Blue Twig Studio this summer. I hope you can make the time to take a class from her. We are so lucky that she has agreed to travel to Colorado and teach here. It is an opportunity that doesn’t come around very often.
She is super sweet and you will absolutely adore her. This interview will help you get to know her better.
~Deb
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Tell us a little bit about yourself, where you live, etc.
-I live in central Arkansas out in the woods with my husband, Tim and two poodles Merlin and Sammy.
 
 
Have you always made art? Or when did you start? What made you start?
-I always drew as a child and felt at ease with a paper and pencil. But I guess my priorities and interests became more focused on basketball. I played all the way through middle school to college. I never thought I could be an artist. I always thought I had to go to university and major in something practical and get a “real job”. Luckily with the internet and social media I was able to create and sell art online and begin to make a living doing it. I picked up a paint brush about 10 years ago when I saw the full moon over the Pacific ocean. I realize now it was God calling me to Him and to reach out to others through painting and teaching. The path He has laid out has become so clear and I am so grateful to connect with other kindred, creative spirits on this journey.
 
Is your family artistic?
-Yes, in fact my uncle is a wood carver and ventriloquist. He made several puppets from wood and has performed at craft shows and other area shows. I also have two cousins who are highly artistic.
How long have you been teaching?
-I have been teaching for about 5 years.
 
How did you get started teaching? 
-I went to an art retreat as a student. One day while we had some free time, a sweet girl came up to me and asked me if she could sit and watch me paint for a few minutes. As we sat there, I thought why not lead her through some of the reasons why I put different colors in the face and where to apply them to achieve depth and dimension. Afterwards, she went back to her table and created the most amazing face based on my instruction. I was floored and instantly addicted to teaching. After that, I began inquiring about teaching different places and others starting reaching out to see if I’d come be a visiting art teacher.
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What is your favorite class to teach? 
-I love teaching how to paint faces and how to make discoveries along the way. Making mistakes is key in finding your voice and own joy in painting.
 
What is your favorite art medium? And why?
-I love acrylic paint. I love that it dries quickly. I also love bleeding tissue paper, watercolor pencils, and stencils.
 
What is the most unusual venue you have taught at?
-I taught last May in a huge red barn in Nebraska. So inspiring and full of nostalgic energy!
 
Who is your favorite artist? Why?
-Anne Patay. Her work is full of beautiful marks with such an incredible energy and depth.
 
Do you have a favorite art quote to share? Or some words of advice?
-Two of my favorite quotes are:
“It took me 4 years to learn to paint like Raphael and a lifetime to paint like a child” – Picasoo
“Art is not about thinking something up. It’s about getting something down.” – Julia Cameron
 
Where can people find you? 
instagram: mindy_lacefield

~Mindy Lacefield

 

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Mindy will be teaching a 2-day workshop at Blue Twig Studio – Aug 19th & 20th – Inner Radiant Child. Use this link for more details about the class. It is going to be so much fun! Space is limited so be sure to get registered early.
~Deb
Let Your Inner Artist out to Play
Blue Twig Studio
5039 N Academy Blvd
Colorado Springs, CO 80918
719-266-1866

Interview with Serena Barton

2 May

I’m super excited about bringing in Serena Barton to teach this summer. While I’ve never been able to fit one of her classes into my schedule (perhaps I’ll take a class when she visits), I have visited her classes and observed her working with students and the art produced was stunning. I have gotten to know her personally while attending art retreats and she is a wonderful person and I know you will learn lots from taking her classes. Here is a little information about her personally.

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1. Tell us a little bit about yourself, where you live, etc.

I live in Portland, Oregon and grew up in Eugene, OR. Even though I’ve mostly lived in Oregon, I love to travel in the U.S. and overseas.

2. Have you always made art? Or when did you start? What made you start?

I made a lot of art as a small child and continued through elementary school. I also took acting classes and started acting in local plays. This took over from visual art for many years. I started seriously making art again 20 years ago, after my first life-changing trip to Italy.

3. What is the earliest memory you have of anything art related?

I remember making art with a friend when I was about 2 ½. She was a few years older and she told me I scribbled. I hotly denied it and then looked at my paper. I saw that I did scribble and felt bad. Of course now scribbling is an important element of my abstract work!

4. Is your family artistic?

My father was what was then called a commercial artist. He made exacting designs for collages, companies, etc. He left behind a whole lot of little tiny tools for precise and literal cutting and pasting. One of my maternal great grandmothers painted some and hooked beautiful rugs from rags. My daughter is a photographer, jeweler and collage artist.

5. Do you have an art degree or other art credentials?

I am a self-taught artist. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in English and a Master’s in Counseling.

6. How long have you been teaching?

I’ve been teaching about 16 years and leading creativity groups for about 20 years.

7. How did you get started teaching?

I started with adding some creativity groups to my counseling practice and then went on to teach studio classes.

8. What is your favorite class to teach?

I really don’t have a favorite. I love to teach techniques and even more, I love to encourage and inspire my students in any medium.

9. What is your favorite art medium? And why?

Currently my obsession is with oil and cold wax on wood panels or paper. I love the way the oil/wax mixture can be manipulated, textured, incised, and yes, scribbled on. I love working intuitively, not knowing where I’m going. The paint and I work together until things come together in a way that speaks to me.

10. What is the most unusual venue you have taught at?

Our local public libraries offer free art classes to the community and I’ve taught two of them. One was encaustic assemblage and one was “Layers of Memory” that I”ll teach at Blue Twig. The students were a blast and made some greats work.

11. What is your favorite artist? Why?

I have many favorites. At the time I got really intense about learning to paint I learned a lot from the French 19th century painter, Edouard Manet. His brushwork brings me to tears at times.

12. Do you have a favorite art quote to share? Or some words of advice?

My advice is, “Just Keep Going.” Sometimes our work looks awful when it is partly finished. Leave it for a bit and then come back to it. It may turn out to be your favorite in the end.

13. Where can people find you? Facebook, blog, website, Instagram, etc.

I’m on Facebook, at www.serenabarton.com, and I have two blogs, serenabartonsblog.blogspot.com, and wabisabiartworkshop.blogspot.com. I’m also on Pinterest. Next project will be Instagram.

I’ve also  written two books, published by North Light. You can find Wabi-Sabi Art Workshop and Wabi-Sabi Painting with Cold Wax on Amazon or purchase from me at our classes at Blue Twig. (I’ll bet she would sign the books for you if you ask nicely!)

14. Anything else you want to share?

I’m excited about my first class at Blue Twig! I know Deb from art retreats and I can’t wait to see her store and meet my students! I love to teach and provide lots of individual attention.

 

Serena will be teaching 2 different classes at Blue Twig Studio. Please be sure to get registered early if you are interested. The links are included below.

 

 

Transformations in Oil and Cold Wax – July 15th & 16th (2-day workshop)

 

 

Layers of Memory and Imagination – July 17th

 

~Deb

Let Your Inner Artist out to Play

Blue Twig Studio

5039 N Academy Blvd – Colorado Springs, CO 80918

719-266-1866

 

Embossing paste and Mica sprays

16 Apr

Guest Blog Post by Design Team Member Venisa Gallegos

Comments in Italics by Deb

Blue Twig Assignment for March (Yes I know it is April.  Heh…Heh… just a little late)

This month, I got to pick my own items to play with. Deb is always getting in new stuff to play with so I chose the Pearlescent Embossing Paste from Dreamweaver and a set of Mica Sprays from Ranger. I learned from an online video on the mica sprays that Ranger let their designers, like Tim Holtz and Dina Wakley, create their own line with the colors that they use the most. I got a set from Dina Wakley with the colors Evergreen, Ruby and Lapis. FYI, I also learned that these sprays are replacing the Glitter spray line. (good to know)

products

 

BTW, another fact I learned about the Mica sprays online is that they were designed so that they won’t react with any water based colors. I had been wondering why I would need this spray when I already have metallic sprays and now I know. So, if you want to spritz this spray over a water color design to give it a bit of shimmer the water color won’t run. I’m here to tell you it worked for some items but for others the water color started to move again on the paper. I think it’s because I overdid the spray (ha ha). When I didn’t overdo the spray and just spritzed a little there was no color movement. I also learned that you really have to shake these sprays up or you’ll get a little globing of color. These spays won’t add a ton of color but just enough to give a sparkle to the piece. Figure 2, shows various cards with different backgrounds I created with water colors and acrylic inks. It definitely added a metallic shimmer. (you know that samples always look different in person than in photos)

 

 

 

Now on to the Pearlescent paste. I actually had a stencil from Dreamweaver so I decided to use this paste with that stencil. The Dreamweaver stencils differ from other stencils in that they are metal and smaller. Basically, I placed my stencil down and put a layer of paste over the stencil. Sort of like spreading peanut butter on bread. I first used the stencil on a piece of white fabric. I chose white because I wanted to go back over it with the Mica Sprays. Also, I added a bit of acrylic ink to the pearlescent paste to a bit of color. The results are shown in Figure 3.

 

It’s hard to tell from the picture the color in the crane. I really liked just the plain shimmer on the cranes from this paste. The next figure shows what the crane pieces looked like after I spritzed them with the mica sprays. On the white, the color wasn’t all that impressive.

 

Next I tried both Golden light modeling paste and pearlescent paste on black cardstock paper. I mostly wanted to see the difference between the pastes. You can see in Figure 5 how the pearlescent paste really pops on the black paper and the modeling paste is more subdued. (kind of hard to tell in the photos)

 

Finally, to add more color to the pieces I spritzed both images with the Mica Sprays and Oh My!!! Figure 6 shows how that mica spray really pops on the black. Now, this I really liked.

 

I love, love, love how the mica sprays show up on the black cardstock. I will definitely make use of these sprays on black backgrounds.

Well, I loved being on the design team for Deb. I got to play with new products and see what I could do with them. I’m really glad Deb has her store in town so I can pick up new products I wouldn’t have otherwise know existed. Thanks for supporting the mixed media population and providing so much support and information about new products.🙂

~Venisa

Thanks Venisa for being part of my Design Team and giving awesome reviews. It is always fun for me to see how everyone uses products and tools. Because in Mixed Media there are no rules – no right or wrong way of using various products. It really is all about playing and having fun!

~Deb

Let Your Inner Artist out to Play

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

719-266-1866

 

alcohol inks review

13 Apr

Guest Blog Post by Design Team Member Pat Mathes

Comments in Italics by Deb

My final journey with the Design Team is working with alcohol inks.  I love the bold look of the finished process, and am learning to refine those colors into soothing looks.  It is all in the process.  I am by no means an expert in this – I am just the opposite, a novice but willing to learn.  I will warn you right now that you need to wear gloves with this media.  I didn’t at first and ended up with yellow and green fingers.  And this is a very permanent ink.  The craft scrubbie  is a must for any mixed media artist, and it did take off a bit, but not much.  So WEAR GLOVES!  Protect your clothing and your workspace.  I used my Ranger nonstick craft sheet, also available at Blue Twig Studio, to protect my table. (I do protect my table, but rarely wear gloves myself. I kind of like the ink on my hands – makes me feel like I actually did something creative!) 

Alcohol inks are an acid-free, highly-pigmented, and fast drying medium to be used on non-porous surfaces.  You work with drops from the bottle, not a paint brush (although I do teach using the paintbrush in my Exploring Alcohol Inks Class – which will probably be on the schedule sometime in the summer, so watch for it.). There is a wide variety of colors.  The two most popular brands are Adirondack and Pinata.  The major difference between the two is the color palette.  The Adirondack line of colors is very earthy and rich.  The Pinata inks are rich, but basically primary colors.  And bright.  The Adirondacks are a bit more fluid, also.  The Adirondack inks are softer, and the Pinata quickly overpowers with its color.  Vivid primary colors.  If you mix the two on a project, and they are mixable, the Pinata will be the dominant colors because of the intensity.  Both brands of ink are very fast drying.

As I work through these examples, you will note I talk about the ink moving.  This is one of the great ways this ink works.  If you pick up the paper and tilt it, the ink moves on top of the paper.  If you put blending solution on it, the inks move.  So when I say the ink is moving, it is doing just that.  It sits on top of whatever surface you are using.

Tools needed:  (1) Surface:  Alcohol inks do not work well on paper.  The drops just sink into the paper.  I did some experimenting with a piece of gesso painted wood and got a different effect – you don’t get the bloom on the drops as much and you don’t get the flow.  The inks work great on any other surface – plastic, metal, glass, and on Yupo, my favorite, which is a plastic paper that you can purchase at Blue Twig Studio either already cut or in a large sheet you can cut to the size you want.  The Yupo  has a surface that really works well with the alcohol inks.  (2) Blending Tool (available at Blue Twig Studio).  You drop drops of the different colors on it and pounce with it, and you will get different effects.  On the pieces in this article, I will tell you when I used the blending tool

AI 1

(3) Alcohol Blending Solution – an awesome product.  If you put some on the blending tool and daub it on a finished piece, it dilutes and lightens the effect of the alcohol ink. The solution will also clean the alcohol ink off of surfaces, hands and tools.  You can also use 91% rubbing alcohol.  I have a water pen and a spray bottle filled with the rubbing alcohol.  Please note that you need 91% rubbing alcohol, not the everyday kind you probably have in your cabinet.  There are a couple of examples below where I used the pen or the spray.

First, I am going to show you some comparison studies I did with the alcohol inks, using Yupo paper and glossy photo paper.

***I have put 3 different colors on the blending tool, dropping them around randomly.  You don’t totally cover the pad on the tool – you will get the feel of how many drops to use.  (See the tool below in picture 12 of the domino) On the Yupo paper, using the blending tool, it has a much softer appearance and a slight bloom.  On the glossy paper, it is more intense and the inks don’t move.  You can pounce the tool over and over.  On the Yupo paper, the ink sits on top of the under colors and blooms a little more, not darkening.  On the glossy paper the ink just sits on top of what you already did and darkens more, not moving any.

AI 2

 

 

*** I put blending solution on the blending tool and swiped it through the first sample below.  You will note that with the Yupo paper, it smeared and spread the inks.  The effect on the glossy photo paper was that it didn’t do much to what was already down, it just smeared it a bit.  These were both dry when I used the blending solution.

AI 3 (1)

 

**When you put a drop of another color on top of a color on the Yupo paper (below left), it blooms and you get that neat ring around it – on the glossy paper, it doesn’t show a lot of effect.  It doesn’t move the bottom color at all and in fact overpowers it.

AI 4 (1)

 

 

****The next sample is another one of layering the colors.  And then I took the water pen filled with alcohol and swiped through them to see what effect I would get.  You can see with the Yupo paper, it removes the ink.  On the glossy paper, it doesn’t hardly have any effect.        AI 5

 

On the Yupo paper, you can keep layering colors, and even drop the alcohol solution in it, and each drop will bloom on top of the others.  Here are some examples of this.  In picture 1 I layered 3 colors.  You can see how they bloom on top of each other, creating those rings of intensity.  In picture 2, I dropped a drop of alcohol blending solution.  See how it lessened the intensity of the color?  In picture 3 I dropped a drop of white on top and then spritzed with rubbing alcohol.  It creates “droplets” on top.AI 6

 

 

***Next, I wanted to try some marbling.  I put a thick layer of shaving foam on a paper plate and dropped some drops of alcohol ink on top.  I then took a pallet knife and cut through it, kind of swirling the inks.  After you place the paper into the foam and pick it up, you just take a palette knife or paper towel and wipe off the foam to reveal the colors and lay it aside to dry.  The picture on the left was done using card stock and the picture on the right is the same process using Yupo paper (the three lighter ones) and on the far right are the glossy paper.  You can see that the colors are more intense on the card stock and glossy paper than on the Yupo paper.  So it would depend on the appearance you wanted. These are now ready for embellishing.  At this point you could use these as backgrounds for a greeting card – collage on them, draw on them, do Zentangle on them – any kind of art.

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Once alcohol inks are dry, you can write or draw on them with many media – remember, they are not water based so you won’t smear them with a water based media on top.

 

 

****The next sample I really enjoyed doing.  But doing this with the alcohol inks, you have to work fast because they dry so quickly.  I dropped Pinata inks (see how vivid the colors are) onto the Yupo paper, totally covering it.  I used a bit of blending solution to move the colors around a bit (this also extended the drying time a bit), and then I wrapped the paper in plastic wrap.  I left it to dry overnight.  When I released the plastic wrap the next day the effect was beautiful.  In the third picture, I did another piece using Adirondack colors which gave a more subtle effect.  (this is a great way to create special effects)

 

***And then there are dreamscapes.  This is the idea of June Rollins (she has beautiful AI work and many tutorials available).  You lay down lines of the alcohol ink across the page, add blending solution and tilt the paper to make the ink flow.  Then you add another color and do the same thing.  You take coffee stirrers and move the ink flow.  You take an old credit card and move it.  Get the picture?  Her pieces are beautiful – these are my first two attempts.  These take a lot of practice to get them to really work right.  I just love the looks of flow that you can get with these inks.

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Next one turned into kind of a hot mess.  I put down a mix of colors and then laid a stencil on top.  I dropped the blue through the stencil.  That is the outer part.  You let it sit a while and you can kind of see the stencil.  I didn’t like the way it did the inner part, so I put another stencil on top and dropped clear blending solution on it.  That created the small circles you see.  So the overall effect is okay, and I took a silver Uniball pen and a microperm pen and did a tangle on it.

 

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**I dropped ink on the blending tool and pounced it on a blank domino (just an inexpensive plastic domino).  These are fun to collage on, punch hole through and make necklaces.

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***To show a couple other effects, I did a light background, then placed the circle stencil on top of it.  I put blending solution on the blending tool and pounced through the stencil.  This took the ink off in those places.  Then I used a stamp with Ranger Archival Ink and stamped on the bottom.  On the right hand side, this is one of the earlier pieces where I showed drops on top of each other.  I inked my stamp with Ranger Archival Ink (has to be this type of ink) and then took a damp paper towel and removed the ink.  I wasn’t careful enough and did smear it a bit, but you get the general effect – it removes the color just like the blending solution does.

AI 13

 

Last but not least, here I just used drops of color on the blending tool, pounced it all over the Yupo paper, then used some blending solution on top of it and pounced some more.  I also did some drops directly on the Yupo paper. Once it dried, I did some quick art on top of it with white gel pen and black Microperm.

AI 14

 

When I step out of my comfort zone and work on something new, I am sometimes quickly frustrated. It doesn’t look the way I think it should or the way that the picture/video I am working from looks. I expect perfection from myself and it should be easy peasy. But that doesn’t happen. It takes practice, and finessing techniques my way, and coming up with a way that works for me.  That way I can start to develop my own style.  This was a really fun way to step out of my comfort zone!!  I see more playing in my future!

~Pat

Thanks Pat for a great tutorial. Alcohol Inks are fun and addictive to use. There are many more ways you can use them besides what Pat has shared here. She is right that you just need to start playing and developing your own style to use them. One of the wonders of AI is that you really have just a minimum of control and that takes some getting used to. 

Blue Twig Studio sells all the Ranger Adirondack Alcohol Inks and the Pinata Alcohol Inks, as well as the Yupo paper and various tools, including craft sheets (although everything may not be listed on the website). Watch the Class Schedule for the next Exploring Alcohol Inks class – which I try to do once or twice a year. It is a great way to play and experiment with various surfaces and tools. I love to see which techniques/surfaces/tools the students love and which ones they ignore. 

~Deb

Let Your Inner Artist out to Play

Blue Twig Studio

5039 N Academy Blvd 

Colorado Springs, CO 80918

719-266-1866

 

 

Artist Interview with Ingrid Dijkers

10 Apr

 

ote cover

 

Ingrid Dijkers will be visiting Blue Twig Studio and teaching some absolutely fun classes in June. These are just a few interview questions to help you get to know her better. Of course, you can visit her website and get to know her better. I’m sure you will agree that her style is most amazing.

 

Tell us a little bit about yourself, where you live, etc.

 

I was born in Breda, the Netherlands and immigrated with my parents at a young age to Canada, later immigrating to the United States.

 

Currently I live in Plymouth, Michigan.  It’s a small historical town of 10,000, outside of Ann Arbor.  We have lived in the city for about 35 years.  When we first moved here it was just a small quiet town on the edge of nowhere, which really appealed to us.  Over the years the outskirts have grown and developed, resulting in a lot of change.  The whole mentality of the small town has all but disappeared now and now we are in the midst of getting our house ready to sell and plan to move to a new small town to recapture what we miss so much.

 

Have you always made art? Or when did you start? What made you start?

 

Both my parents have their Masters in the Fine Arts, so I had exposure my entire life.  My real interest started developing when I was in college though.

 

What is the earliest memory you have of anything art related?

 

I must have been around 3 or 4 years old at the time and my Mother let me help her paint a little bit of the sky of a painting she was working on.  It was larger than me ,which I was most impressed with.  The painting was of a cathedral in the town that I was born in, in the Netherlands

 

Is your family artistic?

 

My parents, as I mentioned above.

I have 2 daughters that really have no interest at all … my husband either, yet they are all so incredibly supportive of what I do.

 

Do you have an art degree or other art credentials?

 

I dropped out on my way to a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts degree.  While in college I realized that the degree was of little significance to me and I was more interested in pursuing a direction of my own.  In all this time, I have had no interest in going back to school.

 

How long have you been teaching?

 

About 9 years now.

 

What is your favorite class to teach?

 

Anything related to Journaling, but I am interested in expanding … perhaps doll making.

 

What is your favorite art medium? And why?

 

I have dabbled in so many mediums throughout the years, honestly I can’t pick a favorite.

 

Where can people find you? Facebook, blog, website, Instagram, etc.

 

WWW.IngridDijkers.com

WWW.IngridDijkers.blogspot.com

Ingrid Dijkers on Facebook

 

 

These are the classes Ingrid will be teaching and the links to the website for more information. I hope you will be able to find one or more that appeal to you and get registered for them. They are filling up quickly. All 3 classes are all-day classes, so be sure to bring a lunch/snacks with you. 

I absolutely adore her art and creative spirit. I hope I will be able to sit in on one or more of these upcoming classes.

 

ote edges

Over the Edge – June 3rd

 

Mandala Journal 5

Mandala Journal – June 4th

Dijkers,Ingrid.RabbitHole3

Through the Rabbit Hole – June 5th

~Deb

Let Your Inner Artist out to Play

Blue Twig Studio

5039 N Academy Blvd

Colorado Springs, CO 80918

719-266-1866

 

PanPastels

2 Apr

Guest blog post by Design Team member Terri Ayers

Comments in italics by Deb

Pan Pastel projects

 

PanPastel Colors are professional artists’ quality soft pastel colors packed in a unique pan format (cake-like). To me they are like applying eyeshadow to your desired canvas.  PanPastels are easy-to-use, blendable, paintable, quick-to-use, erasable, versatile (works well with other media), easy to control, low dust, portable, stackable, and very addictive!  They come in 80 colors plus a handful of pearlescent and metallic colors, as well as a blender and some mixatives.

PanPastel Colors recommended uses are:

  • Block-in color – quickly & cleanly for underpaintings, washes & toning paper
  • Layering – build up thin layers & glazes of color multiple times without overfilling the paper’s “tooth”
  • Apply controlled marks – from intense strokes to delicate marks, for painterly effects
  • Mixed Media – combine with other artist’s media & experiment with a variety of surfaces for new creative effects

I experimented with the 5 shade set that also contains few of their Sofft tools for application and blending.  I can never stop at just a few and have added more colors to my collection as well as more tools and applicators.

There are numerous videos on the Internet about how to use PanPastels and many that amaze me at what can be accomplished with this fairly new art medium.  There are many fine artists that use them for portrait and landscape artwork.  I focused on the mixed media arena as that is one of the many areas where I like to play.

Here are 3 techniques that I experimented with.

 

 

FullSizeRender (7) Versamark background wash

First I  embossed a piece of cardstock with a texture folder (Tim Holtz), then I applied Versamark to the entire front surface. Then I  applied 3 different colors of  PanPastel as a background wash.  I sprayed a fixative over the top (outdoors for good ventilation) to seal the work.

FullSizeRender (4)Texture paste and stencil

 I used a stencil (Wendy Vecchi) on cardstock to apply PanPastel then kept the stencil in place and applied Ranger Transparent Texture Paste over the top of the PanPastel. (Stencils are a great way to use PanPastels.)  Just to add a little flair, I spritzed some water and added a sprinkle of ColorBursts powder.  The paste did not resist the Colorburst, so be careful where you sprinkle!  The nice part of the texture paste is that it will hold the PanPastel color firm and there is no need to use a spray fixative.

IMG_3265Stencil and modeling paste

I did a light background wash on card stock and then applied modeling paste through a poppy stencil.  After allowing the paste to dry, I painted on the PanPastel to the top of the paste and inside the image and then sprayed with a fixative.  After drying, I then applied more color for shading and enhancement and followed with a final fixative spray.

FullSizeRender (6)

 

I am working on a mixed media piece on a canvas board using the PanPastels, stencils, tissue, embossing paste, stamping and maybe a few other art tools.  This project will be offered in one of our Exploring Mixed Media classes that take place on the first Wednesday of the month.

IMG_3268

The PanPastels can be used over canvas, paper, cardstock, gesso, matte gel medium, and with encaustics.  It can be used to distress, add shadows, stamped with and incorporated into other forms of mixed media.  It can be used in coloring books and is great for card-making and scrapbooking.

I really enjoyed this product and now have added more colors to my stash.  The Sofft tools are very helpful and durable and hold up better than cosmetic sponges (even though they look like they are cosmetic tools).  Mistakes are easy to remove with an eraser.  If multiple layers are used, or the surface will be touched; it is recommended to use a Spray Workable Fixative.  I think it would be really awesome if they came out with a mini pack like an eye shadow case so that I could have all of the colors at once and take it on my travels! (That would be awesome to have!)

~Terri

Thanks for another great demo Terri. I’ve always loved how easy the PanPastels are to work with. Even though they are a chalk product, they don’t have that gritty feel that most chalks do. They are super soft and a little bit goes a long way. They blend nicely and you can create depth with layers. You will love them!

~Deb

Let Your Inner Artist out to Play

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

719-266-1866

 

 

 

 

Distress Products

5 Mar

Guest Blog Post by Design Team Member Pat Mathes

Comments in italics by Deb

 

The items in my packet for February were Distress products  (by Ranger)- Ground Espresso Distress Marker; Vintage photo distress ink pad; Fossilized Amber distress spray stain; Ground Espresso distress paint and Carved Pumpkin distress stain.  I already had quite a few different Distress ink pads, and bought some distress paints recently.  So I combined it all together to do this post.  I will apologize in advance for the extensive use of the words “spritz” and “mist” but I did do a lot of spritzing and misting while preparing these pieces.  It is important to have a blending tool to use these inks in the following ways.  So sit back, look at the process and then have FUN!!!

Distress 1

Distress ink is formulated to give an aging effect on paper, fibers and photographs.  The inks are reactive with water and will travel on the paper.  The inks stay wet longer so you can blend with them.  The inks are not permanent, and you can go back and mist them and reactivate them or water spot them.  You can get a great look by letting it all dry, then spatter it with some pretty good sized drops of water and just let it sit.  The water splotches left by doing this make a pretty cool background effect.

The distress inks are a lot of fun to work with.  Here are some pictures of the work in first stages:

Distress 2

The top left picture was first misted with Fossilized Amber spray stain.   I then blotted some Carved Pumpkin stain on an acrylic block, misted it and laid the paper on it.  When that was dry, I put some Ground Espresso distress paint and Mermaid Lagoon distress paint on an acrylic block, and using a sponge, sponged the paint through a stencil.

Bottom left picture was first stamped with white acrylic paint.  The top stamp was full strength, and the bottom one was the ghost image of what was left on the stamp, making a nice contrast to the first stamp.  The acrylic paint acts as a resist and retains its color.  Then I used the blending tool and laid down a background of blended ink of worn lipstick and weathered wood.  I took Fossilized Amber distress stain and put it on an acrylic block, spritzed it with water and laid the piece down on it to take up some of the color.  I then let it dry.

The third piece was an accounting paper tag.  I crumpled it in my hand, and then while still crumpled, I took the walnut distress ink pad and ran it over the creases.  I spritzed it with water, let it run in the creases, and while still wet, placed it between two pieces of parchment paper and ironed it out.  I used Fossilized Amber spray stain and gave it a spritz.  Then took the blending tool and weathered wood ink pad and stenciled the dots.

The fourth piece has a background of blended ink using the blending tool.  I then blotted some Carved Pumpkin stain from the dabber bottle on an acrylic block, misted it and laid the paper on it in a couple of places.  I took a stencil and using the blending tool and the vintage photo ink pad, sponged the image.

Here are the pictures of my finished pieces.  I used black ink for the stamps used, except for the tag with the tulip.  There was other wording on the stamp I didn’t want to use, so I used the distress marker and colored the stamp.  The wording on the “Delight” piece was enhanced by the Distress marker.

Distress 3

 

You can stamp the ink pad on an acrylic block and mist it, then lay the paper down on it and sop up the ink.  You can use as many colors as you want as long as they don’t get mixed up and make a mud color.  You really need to be careful with the colors.  You could also do them individually and use a heat tool in between.  This method makes a really nice blended background.  You could then put a stencil on top of that and spritz it with water and careful lift it up, leaving the ghosted image of the stencil on the blended background.  You can also do the same thing with the distress stain in the dabber bottle – only you really don’t have to mist it – you can use it full strength.  You can also take the liquid stain and put it in a mini mister for better control.  These products are transparent in nature, so you can really do so much with them.  For instance, if you have a really bright scrapbook paper and want to tone it down a little, you can use the blending tool and ink pads and apply directly on the scrapbook paper.  It tones down the color, lets the new color shine through.

Pictures 4 and 5 are very interesting uses of the distress ink pads.  I had already done these background pages but since they use this product, I am sharing them.  First, take gesso and apply through a stencil and let it dry.  Then use the blending tool and the ink pads, and cover the background – these are done in two colors.  Once you have the background in, take another stencil and lay over the stop.  Spritz water through the stencil, let it sit a minute and then take a damp paper towel and blot up some of the ink background.  These make beautiful backgrounds.  Picture No. 5 is a finished piece using this process.

Distress 6

Another great way to use the distress ink pads – Blot your stamp on an Embossing ink pad, lightly blot it off and mist with water.  Then stamp it on distressed background and watch it wick, giving it a watercolor effect.  You can also do this with the stain.  I did a couple of pieces here – I didn’t use the embossing ink first – just stamped it on the ink pad and spritzed it lightly.  The image on the top is full strength and the one on the bottom is the ghost image.  I just used a white background, but the potential for some beautiful pieces is definitely in this process.  Another tip for this one, even after it is dry, you can use a water brush and move some of the ink around if you have a darker area or one that didn’t wick much.  I really like this process.

Distress 7

Last, but not least – a journal page.  First, using white acrylic paint, I did three images on the two pages and let them dry.  I then took the Carved Pumpkin spray and sprayed it through a stencil on the upper right corner.  Once that dried, I used the blending tool and the mowed lawn ink pad, and did a blended ink over most of the two pages.  You can see that in some instances, I used a heavier hand with the blending tool, making a darker shade of the ink.  I sprayed some more Carved Pumpkin on the left side.  Then I used the Mermaid Lagoon distress ink on the bird stamp and stamped the image.  I used the Walnut Stain ink paid and inked the large flower stamp – I did very very lightly spritz it with water before stamping to give it a slight watercolor effect.  The face was stamped with Ground Espresso paint on tissue paper and applied with Matte Medium.  I put a little gesso under the image to break up the green a little.  Also, you can see on the top left portion and the bottom right where I used the large water splotches to give a different effect.  I then took the vintage photo ink pad and the blending tool and distressed the edges of the pages.

I don’t show much use of the marker in these pages – I did mix it in with the Walnut Stain ink pad to make sure I was getting the large stamp covered, and used it on the Delight page when the stamp failed to give a proper image.  I like the fine tip on the Distress marker, but I find the brush end is a bit firm.  Again, these are water based markers, and I am more likely to use Tombow markers because I like the brush ends better.

 

All in all, I love the Distress products.  I had not used the stain or spray stain before.  They are quite easy to use.  There are so many ways to use these products and they are a lot of fun to work with.  It is not a messy product to use.  I will definitely use these more and more in the future.

~Pat

Thanks Pat. That was an awesome demo of the various Distress products and the different ways they can be used. I really love how your journal pages turned out. I’ve had fun playing with the spray stains – but then I am a spray fanatic. Of course, we carry a good selection of Distress products of all kinds. They are designed to play well together. If you are looking for a particular Distress product and don’t see it on the website, just contact me as I very well may have it in stock, but not have it listed on the website. 

~Deb

Let Your Inner Artist out to Play

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

719-266-1866

Faber-Castell product review

2 Mar

Guest Blog Post by Design Team Member Venisa Gallegos

Comments in italics by Deb

 

Blue Twig Assignment for February

This month, I got several items from Deb to try out including a set of a new kind of cardboard stencils from Faber Castell and some dimensional paint also from Faber Castell.  The set of stencils are simply called Mixed Media Stencils and contains 10 different stencils at a very reasonable price.  There are several sets of stencils and Deb gave me Set 102 to play with.  The metallic paint is called Texture Luxe and comes in Copper, Silver, Gold, and Pearl.  It’s basically an opaque paint designed to work with Stencils and is Permanent.  I’ll say right off the bat I tested it on fabric and washed it and it didn’t wash out. Yay!!! (good to know!)

stencils

textureluxe

 

Figure 1 – Set of Stencils and dimensional paint from Faber Castell

 

First I’ll talk about the Stencils.  I read that some people first coat the cardboard stencils with a glaze to help them last longer.  I actually did this but after using several stencils I decided it wasn’t worth it because the paint actually did a good job of coating the stencils.  They are also very strong and I had no problem using them over and over again.  (Side note:  Deb actually told me that I didn’t need to coat them with glaze but I had to see for myself.  Guess I could have saved myself some time if I listened to Deb in the first place.)  (Ha Ha – you should always listen to me. At least that is what I always tell my husband. )

What I loved about the set of stencils was that you can get 10 really cool stencils for a very decent price.   So if you didn’t have any stencils and wanted to try them out this is a great investment. (Plus once they are all coated up with paint and paste and stuff, and not really usable as stencils anymore, you can cut them up and use those pieces in your art!)

I spent most of my time using the Texture paint.  It has a very buttery texture and was easy to apply.  I tested it on paper and fabric as you’ll see in the next figure.  On paper it came out very crisp but my first attempt on fabric I had some leakage under the stencil.    You see that my next attempt came out better but I still had some leakage.

GetAttachment firstattemptflowers

Figure 2 – Texture Luxe on Paper and Fabric

On my second attempt I tried to stitch around the petals of the leaves to see if I could make them stand out.

As you can see in Figure 3 the stitching didn’t quite show up that well.  This is the piece I test and you can see that the paint stayed on perfectly.   I decided that the dimensional paint would be good on T-Shirts but that I’d have to make sure I had a stencil that really stayed down on the fabric.  (You may want to try to adhere the stencil down with a temporary spray adhesive like 505.) 

 

secondattemptflowers

closeupflowers

Figure 3 – Second attempt at Texture Luxe on Fabric with a close up of some added stitching 

 

You’ll see in Figure 4 that when I used a very tight stencil I got a very crisp image with no leakage on fabric so I know it’s possible to do.

 

stenciltexturepaint

Figure 4 – Texture Luxe with Stencil

 

flowersonDuckCloth

Figure 5 – Texture Luxe on Hand Dyed Duck Cloth

Finally, I decided to stencil the flowers on some hand dyed duck cloth that I had previously dyes.  I really love how the copper color popped on the fabric as shown in Figure 5.  I’m thinking of leaving this just as it is and either adding it to a collage piece of maybe even sewing it onto a canvas bag.  I will definitely look into using some of the pearl colored metallic paint and add my own color to the paint.  I can see that with this technique I can make some fun pieces to add to other types of art projects.  I also can see getting some more stencil sets because they have such a great variety.

~Venisa

Thanks for another great product review Venisa. I always love seeing what you do with the products. I love the Faber-Castell products, and the stencil sets and Texture Luxe are great! 

~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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