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Archive for the ‘Painting’ Category

Well… maybe not vengeance, per se, but I’m definitely back!

I wish I could tell you that ninjas kidnapped me from my dorm room one night and spirited me away under cover of darkness, only to be discovered escaping by a band of wayward pirates, and as morning’s first light crept across the bow of the ship an epic battle was waged between the crew of the Scarlet Temptress and the clan of the White Order like none had seen before nor ever will again, leaving only one who could lay claim to my soul…

But  sadly there were no ninjas (though there were some pirates), and my soul is still safely housed inside my body. Just kidding. We all know gingers have no soul. Instead, life got in the way (as it usually does), and I often found myself either at a loss for words, or with far too many and no time to type them all up.

That doesn’t mean I haven’t been crafting though! Hoo boy have I been crafting! I did my best to take pictures when I could, and in the coming weeks/days/etc. I will be updating this blog with evidence of my crafty nature, so that my readers (all 4 of you) can see what I’ve been up to in my absence.

In the meantime, here are a few things I’ve done recently to tide you over:

Thing One:

A couple months ago I began seeing a therapist again for the first time in years. She quickly discovered that I love to create things and am a creative person in general, and therefore has been coaching me to use this as a means of working through/with my various issues. One of the things she asked me to do was to “visualize” my depression, and eventually I was able to describe it as sort of a rorschach test, made up of varying shades of reds, oranges, and yellows flowing through an inky blackness. Once this description was established, she asked me somehow create this visual, using any type of media I desired.

Depression

I chose to paint it, since I figured that would be the easiest way to get the textures I wanted, and since in my mind the image I described is so large it encompasses my entire field of vision, giving you the sense of feeling surrounded, I hunted for the largest “canvas” I could find. This wound up being a piece of plywood about 2 feet by 3 feet in size, and it weighs a friggin’ ton*. I used black spray paint for the base coat, then worked with various brush sizes to splotch on the colors in three separate layers. I then sprayed a final coat of black spray paint over the top of everything to give it a sort of blurry, cloudy look.

Thing Two:

Early last week I got a message from a friend asking me if I wanted to go a “country event” on Saturday. I said yes, not really knowing what I was getting into, and Saturday morning said friend showed up at my door with a costume in hand for me to wear. It turned out that “country event” actually meant 1870’s Frontier Era Reenactment event, which is completely different than what I had in mind.

Me doing my best to look like an 1870's rancher/housewife.

While we were wandering about the little town, I discovered a group of spinners working in one of the buildings near our camp. Since I’d had the foresight to grab a basket of knitting supplies (including my drop spindle), I seized the opportunity to re-learn how to use a drop spindle and spin my own yarn from the kind ladies who were willing to teach me.

Drop Spindle with Blue Wool

I probably spent a good hour or so being coached and getting helpful tips on how to get just the right amount of twist on the fiber, how to pull from the bundle, etc. It was a ton of fun and I made sure to get some contact information on their spinning group, which means now I have someone I can run crying to when I mess up get help from when I need it.

And of course, because they were crack dealers lovely ladies who want to share their knowledge and art with others, they gave me this when I left:

Lots and LOTS of future yarn!

I look forward to finishing this skein of wool, and then knitting something nifty with it when I’m done. If I can keep up this skill well enough to actually produce the occasional skein here and there, then I will get to knit more with actual, honest to gods, hand-spun WOOL, which would be a beautiful thing.

Thing Three:

A couple days ago I discovered a link to instructions on how to make your own Star Wars snowflakes on several of my friends Twitter feeds. After making the appropriately nerdy excited “OMG!!!” noise, I decided to try making a set for myself.

Boba Fett/Clone Trooper and Darth Vader Snowflakes

I’m pretty happy with how they turned out, though I do wish my Vaders looked a little more “Vader-y”. As a Generic Winter Holiday treat for you all, here are the directions!

Star Wars Paper Snowflakes

Be sure and watch the Star Wars Holiday Special while you make these, for an added sense of festivity.** Enjoy!

*1 friggin’ ton = approx. 10lbs multiplied by exaggeration

** Do not EVER, under any circumstances watch this. You have been warned.

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Last Thursday I wrote about my beginning of a project to create better feng shui in my dorm room. Over the course of the weekend I spent a good amount of time working on my celtic knotwork poster, and am proud to say that I have finished it and mounted it on my wall. I am fairly pleased with how it turned out, and now feel like my room is ever so slightly more lived in.

When I last left off I had finished the color and outline for the center knot. Upon picking up the work again, I first mixed myself a shade of silvery gray that I was content with, and filled in the the crescents:

Silvery Gray painted in the crescents.

Once I had that done, I left it alone for a couple days. I toyed with the idea of filling in the negative space for a while, as I wasn’t sure I wanted to go to spend a great deal of time filling in the small spaces with a tiny brush. Finally, I decided I’d just have to bite the bullet and pain them in, if only to remove as much white space from the room as possible. So I mixed myself a jar of a deep blue and set to work:

Filling in the fiddly bits.

After a good two hours or so of working on filling in all the minuscule spaces (and believe me, there are a lot of them!) with an exceptionally tiny brush to be sure my lines were as clean as possible, I grabbed a larger brush and set to work on the brackground:

Initial fill in of the background.

Now, at this point I was nearly sure I was done. I was all set to wait for it to dry so I could hang it on the wall. But the more I looked at it the more I realized there was something important missing…

Added stars to the background.

Stars! Of course! I’d created this lovely night sky and left it completely blank. Silly me. So I cleaned that impossibly small brush and used it to create little pinpoints of light all over the background. This being done I felt it was less like looking at a picture and a bit more like looking out a window. Granted, I’ve never seen the moon look quite like this, but I feel I’m allowed some artistic license.

Finally, I realized that the one thing that was still missing was an outline on the crescents to tie them in to the rest of the knotwork. Yes, I thought they looked fine on their own, but I also knew that there was a silver sharpie in the possession of a friend that I could borrow, and so I once again set to work:

Outlined the crescents.

There! Finally finished! Once it was dry I went to put it up, only to realize that all of the water I used had bowed the cardboard outward, making it impossible to mount successfully. Never fear though, as I quickly whipped out every heavy book in the room (and yes, as an art history major, I’ve quite a few) and within a day or so I had a lovely flat piece of work ready to be put up for my viewing pleasure:

A much calmer space.

So there you have it! My finished tribute to the concept of dorm room feng shui. Perhaps one day I’ll come up with a real name for it, but for the moment I’m content just to have filled part of my wall space with a little less white, and a lot more color.

And don’t mind Jack’s expression. I’m sure he loves it just as much as Yoda does.

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A few nights ago I found myself staring at the walls of my new room, which are unfortunately painted a clinical white. Looking around my small living space I realized that the walls feel far too barren to make the place truly habitable, and decided I would have to get some art to put up on them. Sadly, all of my posters and various portable art works are miles away, and I, having renewed my poor college student status after a prolonged haitus, have virtually no funds to use for decorations.

So of course I grabbed a piece of leftover cardboard salvaged from a previous resident, and began to contemplate ways in which to create a slightly less barren looking landscape on my walls. After a short conversation with a friend of mine about the concept of dorm room feng shui, I decided that whatever I did would need to inspire peace, happiness, and creativity. And so, after a bit of browsing around the web, I came up with a celtic knotwork patten that recreates the triple moon goddess symbol I’m most fond of.

I started by printing out the design patterns I wanted to recreate, and used a ruler to measure out three even sections of my piece of cardboard. I then used pencil to redraw the images I’d chosen onto the cardboard, only much larger than their computer printed versions:

Pencil Outlines

Once I was satisfied with the outline, I grabbed a set of tempra paints and several brushes, and set to work filling it in:

The outline with the center portion colored in.

After I’d gotten my colors on the center knotwork, I used a set of sharpies and various markers to outline the piece, so that the final result would look cleaner and more defined:

Center knotwork colored and outlined.

It was at that point that I realized I didn’t have the color I wanted for the crescents, and would have to mix up something. Unfortuantely, I also ran out of time to finish and had to leave it sit for a while. I have been continually working on it when I can this week, and plan to finish it this weekend when I’ve a bit more free time.

I’m also considering painting in the background a deep blue or black, so that there isn’t any white negative space left. Because goddess knows I’ve got plenty of that here already. So until then, I leave you with one final closeup of what I’ve done so far:

Closeup of the center knot.

Come back this weekend to see the finished result! Same bat time, same bat channel…

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