Sunday, February 5, 2012

Week as Art Featured on Create Mixed Media

When I saw that Tonia Davenport, Acquistions Editor at North Light Craft Books and Create Mixed Media, was looking for artists to feature in The Week aa Art, I almost did a backflip.

I love letters and numbers, especially numbers, and I'm always incorporating them into my work. I dropped her an email with a "sample" number and hoped she'd invite me to submit a week's worth of mixed media digits. She responded quickly, asking me to provide numbers for this week, February 5-11.

I decided to start by making "serendipity squares" for my backgrounds. Here's how I made them. Click on the images to view them at a larger size.

First, I drew a grid for the squares on a piece of Bristol board, then laid down a few diagonal lines of old book text torn into random shapes and distressed around the edges with some Color Box inks.

I tried to vary the sizes and shapes of the text scraps enough that they wouldn't look too uniform but would provide a nice structure for the squares.
Next, I tore up an fabulously pigment-stained paper towel I'd been saving since I used it for clean-up on another project a few weeks ago and laid in another set of diagonals.

Truth is, It nearly broke my hear to tear it up. That's why I took a picture of it before I let her rip.

Then I added scraps of bright yellow construction paper and let the background sheet dry.

Looks like a bit of a mess, no?

I'm always amazed how bad things can look just before they take that turn toward completion. In this case, I just hoped my squares would be colorful but not overpowering for the stars of the show: my numbers.
I cut the sheet into 9 3-inch squares and got out by favorite vintage oilboard stencils to make the numbers.

I love oilboard stencils. I have them in four sizes from 1" to 6". They came from the leftover stock of an old art supply store some friends bought in my hometown several years ago. I love the way they smell and the way they feel in my hand.  They are so much cooler than plastic stencils.

I stenciled each number first using white acrylic paint and allowed that layer to dry.

Then I offset the stencil over the first layer and stenciled the number in black acrylic paint to create a little more dimension.

I dragged the edges of the squares with a contrasting stamp pad to give them a finished look.

You can see the whole week of finished numbers at Create Mixed Media.

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