Saturday, November 27, 2010

Six players swap: my partner this month was Marlynn

This is the second month of our six player swap. I've been so lucky. So far, the themes my friends have chosen have inspired me and I have enjoyed the results. Last month I made Gina pages for her "white" theme. This month it was "sunflowers" for Marlynn.

I saw a similar concept on Lisa's blog, The Wright Stuff. I looked at her entry once and looked a second time, then let the idea percolate for a few weeks. When I went looking for her specific post to add the link, I was shocked at how similar my design was to hers. In fact, if I had used oil pastels or chalk and blended the colors better around the points, instead of using colored pencils, mine would have been very close to Lisa's. I was blown away, because, as a rule, I simply don't make art that looks that good. Besides colored pencils, I used three shades of Twinkling H20s and magazine images.

Kansas is the Sunflower State, so it was only natural I would create a spread that involves Kansas. I started with a background of watercolor paper that I spritzed two color mists on. Next, I colored a sheet of watercolor paper using Staz-on reinkers and 91% alcohol. I cut a pocket, but didn't make it tall enough to add a half circle for easy removal of the contents because I added a rubber stamped image. Next, I sewed it onto the page. I've been struggling with my machine tension ever since I changed needles, and still don't have it right.

The pocket contains two sunflower cards. I tried and tried and tried and tried and (well you get the picture) to add these to the page, but ended up realizing no matter how (or where) I tried to add them, they were too big for Marlynn's itsy bitsy 10" X 7" (folded in half they measure 5" X 7") pages. So that's when the pocket was born. Above the pocket, and normally hidden by the postcards, is a sunflower rub-on. Told you guys I got addicted to these things.

For this side of the page, I found an image of sunflowers, cut it out, and printed it on cardstock. Then I flipped the image and printed the flipped one on an overhead type transparency. I printed the image on the smooth or shiny side of the transparency, which is the opposite you normally print them on.
As a result, I got a ghostly image of a sunflower that acted like a faux rub-on. Had the paper been smoother, I would have gotten a better image. Personally, I think (for once) it looks better in the scanned photo than in real life. I was hoping for a "faded" image, but I thought this one was more undefined than faded. However, if you saw it in real life, you would see how well I lined the two images to the pages. When you turn the page, the image is supposed to appear to bleed through from the reverse side.

Last month, Gina made a lovely spread for Marlynn based on Van Gogh's sunflowers. I wanted to do something painterly, too, but after a bit of internet search, I realized there were no good examples of other famous artists and sunflowers. However, while searching, I came across a term: synthetic cubism. Curious, I kept reading and learned it was the final stage of Cubism, made popular by Georges Braque and Pablo Picasso. According to the Encyclopedia of Irish and World Art:
This process of incorporating everyday materials (newspaper cuttings, tickets, tobacco wrappers etc) into their paintings marked a move away from the austere cerebral abstraction of Analytical Cubism to the more relaxed and decorative Synthetic Cubism. In effect, this advanced form of Cubist art reversed the compositional principle of analytical Cubism. Instead of breaking down an object into fragments and then re-assembling them (analytical Cubism), the image was being built up (synthesized) from new elements and shapes. Moreover, the inclusion of these items suggested that art could be made with scissors and glue as easily as with brushes and paint.
Possibly the most famous of this style by Picasso was Three Musicians and by Braque was The Dream. Of further interest, according to Art History at
The invention of collage, which integrated signs and fragments of real things, is one aspect of "Synthetic Cubism."
So I asked myself what if Picasso or Braque had used sunflowers as models or themes to depict synthetic cubism during that time period (1912-1914). What I came up with is the above, using paint chips and painted book pages. I really liked how this piece turned out, but I have to admit, sewing through four layers of paint chips was a bit of a challenge. In the end, I thought it resembled a sunflower. So this is my synthetic cubism sunflower in the vein of Picasso and Braque.

I hope no one thought I would not make at least two spreads using my sewing machine. I had to hide the stitching of the synthetic sunflowers with the sewing of the above, and what better way than another pressed flower spread. This is the complete spread from last week's IA challenge, Incognito. I cropped it so Marlynn would hopefully not think it was made for her. As always, I must thank Lynn at Her Creative Spirit. I used the same technique on one of Gina's pages last month (hey, I never said I was terribly inventive). I also really like how this page turned out.

I wish I had rubber stamps or something that would have added to this page. I considered ribbon, but nothing I had came close to matching the ribbon on the hat. And I simply didn't have anything I thought matched or complimented the central image. This is a water release decal! I have never used a decal before, so this was definitely a new technique for me. In a way, I thought it looked a bit like a transfer. My only concern was that I may not have left enough room in the gutter, which is located on the left of this page.

This was the last page I made. I had run out of ideas and decided to use several collage images that used the same sunflower colors Marlynn suggested. Although it doesn't show in the scan, I painted the non-functional brad head brown before I added it to the flower. I hid the prongs under the yellow paper so it wouldn't show through on the back side (the sunbonnet). The little girl is a transparency and the S & H Green stamps were some gifted me by Gina.

I used Lynn's technique on the tag, too, but this time I backed the pressed sunflower, leaves, and baby's breath with black and white tissue. The manila tag turned the white in the tissue a warm beige. For a bit of sparkle, I added some holographic glitter which also got all over my scanner.

Due to computer circumstances beyond my control, I have not had time to search for a blog today. However, if you want to revisit some awesome former blogs of the day, I invite you to revisit any of the links I have highlighted above. I'm sure Marlynn, Lisa, or Lynn would welcome the visits. I will post one as soon as I can get back on my computer.

9 thoughtful remarks:

see you there! said...

The sunflower pages are terrific. Thanks for explaining what methods you used for the different pages. I've said it before I think, but you are so prolific! I can't believe how much art you produce.


elle said...

Elizabeth, you have some very excellent things in these pages. The synthetic cubism is so cool. Thanks for telling the process.

Sue A said...

I agree that art does not need paint. I love the notion of synthetic cubism and I love all your sunflower creations....many different ways to present these stunning flowers.
(You will have noticed my blog header picture of bronze sunflowers which I grew this year.)
I adore sunflowers.
I may have missed the relevant posting, but is Bleubeard well now?

Best wishes
Sue xx

WrightStuff said...

Hey wow, look at all those flowers. What a great piece of work. I do admire those folks who manage to see these big projects through to the end. I'm afraid I'm not much of a 'completer/finisher'. I always want to get onto the next project!! Thanks for the shout out. So glad that my flower creation inspired you. It was fun to make wasn't it?

Lynn said...

So sorry you are having computer problems. What a bummer. So frustrating. I scream in unison with you.
Thanks so much for coming by and leaving such lovely comments catching up on my past weeks posts!!! Love all you had to say and compare!
Love all the art here, always do!!! The sunflowers are a favorite of mine too.

Dianne said...

truly awesome pages!!!

Lynn said...

Wow, really creative and beautiful art work Elizabeth, and I think you have the dried flower technique just perfect, I love what you did with it :)

Kat W said...

I love seeing stitched paper and pockets. I like to mix sewing with other mediums. These all looked great. Very inspirational!

Kat :-)

Marlynn said...

I am such a lucky lucky girl to have these sunflowers! : )