Sunday, November 18, 2018

Printmaking a Fern Vase...

This is a fun and amazingly easy way to introduce your kids into printmaking.

The first step is to print the table cloth for your Fern Vase
I use rolls of shelf liner that you can get in different patterns from the dollar store or click HERE to get it on Amazon. 

I cut it to paper width size, which is 9 x12 inch 90 lb white paper.  I cut the shelf liner or "table cloth" to 9 inches wide. I cut different size hights so the kiddos can make their own choices for table cloth sizes. 

On printing day I set up the inks on one table. I use cheep place mats you can get at Walmart or click HERE to get them on Amazon.

I use old magazines and phone books, which I call printing pads...(do they still make phone books anymore) to print on. Every one gets their own "printing pad".

I use a lighter color to print the table cloth with. As long as you stay away from purple or black you will be okay.

I teach the kids to roll in brayer size squares. I repeat (like 1,000,000 times) "the square is your friend".  I also teach them to roll the brayer over the ink in only one direction...always forward, never backward. In other words, no rocking back and forth of the brayer, which would cause the ink to be distributed only on one side. 

Right below the "square" they make another "square" to even out the ink on the brayer before they print.

We ink the table cloths on the printing mat (magazine or phone book).

Place the table cloth inked side down on the 9 x12 inch white printing paper. Place a sheet of wax paper over the surface to be printed and then use a baron (or an oversized clean brayer) to rub over the wax paper. The wax paper keeps hands and barons (or brayers) clean. I use oversized brayers to rubbing the printing surface because it just seems easier for the kids than a barons. 

Now pull off the wax paper and the printing foam and there you have it... the table cloth for your fern vase. After you print your table cloth just toss it in the sink and wash it for next time.

I have had this set of table cloths for a few years now.

I teach the kids to automatically turn the page to a clean sheet on their printing mat after they ink what ever it is that they are inking.

a new clean sheet to ink on

The next step is the vase. I use foam sheets that you can get at the Dollar Tree or on line by the case at or click HERE to order from Amazon. I simply have them fold the sheet in 1/2 and cut out their own vase. Remember to save the scraps of foam for another project. 

I keep all my foam scraps in a container to use on other projects.

Use a darker color to print the, purple, etc. This helps to cover up the table cloth under the vase when you print it.

Remember "the square is your friend".

Ink the vase on the printing pad.

Remember to turn the page on the printing pad...

Place the inked vase on the paper, inked side down. Place the wax paper over the vase and use a clean brayer or a baron over the wax paper. 

and there you have printed vase.

Next are the ferns... I asked the kids to make 2 different ferns using the foam sheets.
You can use a hole puncher to make some texture and also a pen to make lines in the foam.

I use green for the ferns but you can use any color you like.

You can add a second color if you have time. I just mix the colors right on the place mats.


More ferns...

and even more ferns...

Now for the last step...
Using Scratch Foam trace around the vase.
Click HERE to buy Scratch Foam on Amazon.

You will need to press designs into the styrofoam. I use a Sharpie pen with the top on.
You want to press out a lot of designs so that the base color of the first printed vase will show through when printed over.

The Scratch Foam top vase should be printed in black. 

You can click HERE for Speedball brayers on Amazon.

Place the inked Scratch foam sheet directly on top of the vase you already printed. Put the wax paper over the Scratch foam sheet and use your baron or brayer over the wax paper.
Then pull up the wax paper and the Scratch foam sheet...

The final piece!

Have fun...

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Artful Excursions...

I love learning about art...all kinds of art. I take classes when ever I can and where ever I can.
I lived in Florence, Italy to study Advanced Drawing and Art History, I have gone to Providence, RI. to become a certified Zentangle teacher. I went to both of Cassie Stephens' Art Scouts...the one in Ohio and the other in Tennessee. This past summer I went to Savannah College of Art and Design for a teacher retreat... it was amazing and I highly recommend you going as well. I have also gone to New Orleans and New York City for the National Art Educators conventions. I just love traveling and I love taking art classes. 

I recently returned from Raleigh, North Carolina where I attended the Art of the Carolinas which is put on by Jerry's Artarama

I had an amazing time. It was just so fun to forget about teaching and taking professional development class for a change and just focus in on my own art work. It was just the greatest feeling to allow myself some time to do my own thing. I went with a very good friend and my bookbinding teacher Ginna Cullen, which also made it wonderfully special. We stayed in a remodeled Hilton and it was just grand. I love the way they made the lobby a nice place to hang out and talk with your old friends and meet new ones.

My first class on Thursday morning was with Joe DiGiulio - Energizing your Abstracts
Joe is a fun and inspiring teacher...unless you do not bring you art supplies and then he changes into your old college teacher who got onto you for... not bringing your art supplies to class! I enjoyed this class and would differently recommend it if you need to loosen up some on your paintings.

Looking at a blank canvas looking back at me is a little scary....So...

we started off with some background glazing on canvas, which eased us into our work.

Next we just added on another color.

We moved on to practice paper...

then painted our practice paper.

We had a lunch break while our work was drying. Hubby does wood working from trees so I took these photos of the beautiful hotel lobby to get him inspired to make me a table and planters! 
Fingers crossed!

My practice paper started piling up all over the floor.

Thursday night I had The Fine Art of Printmaking with Amy Nack
Amy is a Speedball representative.

We saw Amy in the lobby one night and invited her over to join us. She is an amazing person and has
an amazing studio located Boise, Idaho called Wingtip Printmaking Studio. The studio is named after the shoes her father use to wear. After a while another Speedball rep showed up and it turned into an epic party in the lobby!

Amy Nack

I even loved my scrap prints!

Day 2 Friday... I had Joe again for Geometric Abstracts in the morning.

Love, love, loved this class!!! I could be spontaneous yet controlled at the same time!

On Friday Jerry's Artarama opens up a mini-store in the ballroom of the hotel and OMG... the line is super long but the prices are worth it. There is canvas and paint at 50% off. There were professional artists in line buying all their canvas for an entire year!!! 

Friday night was Inspired Florals with a Palette Knife with Kim Maselli
The class was amazingly...hard! I do not paint usually and I have never painted with a palette knife. There is a learning curve here people!!! But I loved every second of it. I am sure I put the paint on way to thick but it was sooooo much fun. I do not paint much because I am allergic to acrylic and synthetic materials. I have a very strong chemical sensitivity so it was had to be in the room with and the fumes. There were also people using oil paints so I was a little light headed when I left but it was still worth it. Not sure I will every paint like this again but I am so glad I tried it.

She had asked everyone to bring floral photos...somehow I missed that... so I used this photo from Pinterest as my inspiration piece. As you can see I need more practice!   

On the second one I just made it up. I figured how could I go wrong if no one know what the original photo looked like! (although my head knows....and that's not it)!  But overall I was pleased with my first attempts at palette knife painting.

Saturday I had Geological Abstracts with Carol Nelson
I think this is awesome! We use textured paste to create texture and I just loved every minute of it!!!

We first created out own rocks and add-ons using air dry clay.

Then we added modeling paste to the boards to create texture.

Again the teacher had asked to us to bring photos of rocks and the side walk and again I missed that piece of info. I got this photo off a Google search for "sidewalk cracks".  I did not realize there was a need for photos for sidewalk cracks but apparently there is because there where 100s of pages sidewalk crack photos...

This is the photo I chose to go with.

This is my finished piece. I can not express how much I loved this class. I plan on teaching this process to my 5th graders. I did not have a class Saturday night do I just hung out in the lobby with my old friends and all my know ones. It was a great night!

Sunday morning I took How to draw better in 6 hours with Mike Rooney. Mike splits his time between N.C. and Key West... I want to live that was too!...Some day

We first had to draw our hand.

Then we had to draw upside down. The paper was upside down not ourselves !

Now this was fun...we colored the entire section of our paper with a midtone shade and then erased away until we found he image. I love this style of drawing! The class did help me draw better in 6 hours and I will be visiting Mike on our next trip to Cudjoe Key.

Great fun was had by all...

This is my good friend and teacher Ginna Cullen, you know that friend that says "hey lets go try they and you follow them". Love you Ginna!