One more piece of mail art.

One more piece of mail art ©Angela Porter
One more piece of mail art ©Angela Porter

This could be the last piece of mail art from me for a few days. I need to get focused on art that is ‘work’ rather than just ‘for fun’. I enjoy my art, no matter what it is, but I can be easily distracted by the metaphorical shiny, bright new toy.

Mind you, once I’ve spent time doing art ‘for fun’, the commissioned work then feels like fun. A change is as good as a rest for sure. Different styles and methods of working keep everything fresh for me.

Here’s a brief outline of how I created the card:

  1. Distress Ink background on watercolour paper. Use torn paper to use as a mask for the landscape. Use a circular mask for the sun.
  2. Spray with a mixture of Perfect Pearls and water.
  3. Use Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Pens to draw the design.
  4. Add metallic highlights using a fine brush and Cosmic Shimmer Iridescent Shimmering Watercolour paints.
  5. Add a distress ink ‘frame’ to the image.
  6. Mount the design on black card. Attach the black card to the 6″ x 6″ card blank.
  7. Use a gold glitter Uniball Signo gel pen to outline the top panel and black panel.

And here’s a brief outline of how I created the envelope:

  1. Use a white Sakura Glaze pen to draw the flower motifs.
  2. Use a fine paintbrush to add Cosmic Shimmer Iridescent Shimmering Watercolour paints.

For the envelope, I used a rainbow of colours for the flowers.

I like using Sakura Glaze pens to draw motifs when I’m adding watercolour; the ink dries to give a raised line that is waterproof. The thicker line width can also give stained glass feel to the artwork; this is particularly true for the black Glaze pens.

Dandelion Card and Envelope Mail Art

Dandelion Card and Envelope Mail Art © Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com
Dandelion Card and Envelope Mail Art © Angela Porter | Artwyrd.com

About the art.

Materials:

  • 5″ x 2.5″ piece of watercolour paper.
  • 5.25″ x 2.75″ piece of black card.
  • 6″ x 6″ blank kraft card with matching envelope.
  • Distress Inks in Bundled Sage, Weathered Wood and Stormy Sky.
  • Distress Oxide Inks in Iced Spruce and Peeled paint.
  • Small paint brushes – I used a 0 for the details and a 4 for the circles.
  • Mini foam blending tool.
  • A spray bottle containing a mixture of gold Perfect Pearls and water.
  • Tim Holtz’s Distress Micro Glaze and a dedicated foam blending pad. (or just your fingers!).
  • A glass pen or other fine nib dip pen.
  • Gold and Silver inks from J Herbin
  • White Sakura Glaze pen.
  • Gold glitter Uniball Signo Pen.
  • Light grey 05 Unipin pen by Uniball.
  • Glue or strong tape to adhere the card layers (I used Tombow Mono glue)

Method:

I started with a 2.5″ x 5″ piece of watercolour paper and a brush. I used water to draw circles where I wanted the dandelion heads to be. I then used the brush to add Stormy Skies and Weathered Wood Distress Inks into the water, letting it spread as it liked. To ensure I had a darker area of the seedhead, I dropped the watered-down inks to the bottom and left of the circles.

While the circles were drying, I worked on the card base. I applied Peeled Paint and Iced Spruce Distress Oxide Inks with a mini foam blending tool. Then, I sprayed the card with a mixture of gold Perfect Pearls and water and let it dry. Finally, I used Tim Holtz’s Micro Glaze to seal in the Distress Oxides – they react all too quickly with the sweat in fingers.

By the time I’d set the card base aside to dry I could return to the dandelion seed heads. I used a fine paintbrush, and some Titanium Iridescent Watercolour paint from Cosmic Shimmer to add the stems of the seeds. Once they had dried, I added dots of Enchanted Gold Iridescent Watercolour paint to the stems and set the panel aside to dry.

I wanted to add some dandelion heads and seeds to the card base. I used a glass pen along with silver and gold inks from J Herbin. I didn’t think these would adhere to the micro glaze treated surface, but they did. On a darker background, I could really see how these inks look like liquid metals as they flow onto the paper. They didn’t dull as they dried, thanks to the micro glaze acting as a barrier to the Distress Oxide ink.

Next, I wanted to add the stems and leaves to the dandelions on the watercolour paper panel. I used some Bundled Sage, Weathered Wood and Stormy Skies Distress inks for this. I pressed them onto a sheet of plastic, diluted and mixed them with water and a brush and then used the mixture to add the stems and leaves. I started with a lighter colour wash, adding darker colours to the left of the stem and also under the dandelion heads to add some dimension.

Once I was reasonably happy with the stems, I worked on the leaves. Again, I started with a pale-coloured wash to get the shape of the leaves in place. Then I gradually added darker tones to give a sense of dimension.

When I’d finished this, I looked at the panel, and I wasn’t happy with the stems and leaves. They looked unfinished. So, I dug out a light grey Uniball Unipin pen and proceded to outline the stems and leaves. This improved matters greatly to my mind. I like the way the stems and leaves are now defined and how they contrast nicely with the airy, ephemeral feel of the seedheads.

I then set about adding some dots of the gold watercolour around the arrangement of dandelion seedheads, added my symbol and year, and that completed the top panel.

I cut a piece of black card that was approx. 5.25″ x 2.75″ and adhered the top panel to it. I then adhered these layers to the card base.

My last task was to decorate the envelope. I used a white Sakura Glaze pen to draw some dandelion seedheads. When the Glaze pen lines had dried, I used a gold glitter Uniball Signo gel pen to add dots.

My reflections.

I started with a 2.5″ x 5″ piece of watercolour paper and a brush. I used water to draw circles where I wanted the dandelion heads to be. I then used the brush to add Stormy Skies and Weathered Wood Distress Inks into the water, letting it spread as it liked. To ensure I had a darker area of the seedhead, I dropped the watered-down inks to the bottom and left of the circles.

While the circles were drying, I worked on the card base. I applied Peeled Paint and Iced Spruce Distress Oxide Inks with a mini foam blending tool. Then, I sprayed the card with a mixture of gold Perfect Pearls and water and let it dry. Finally, I used Tim Holtz’s Micro Glaze to seal in the Distress Oxides – they react all too quickly with the sweat in fingers.

By the time I’d set the card base aside to dry I could return to the dandelion seed heads. I used a fine paintbrush, and some Titanium Iridescent Watercolour paint from Cosmic Shimmer to add the stems of the seeds. Once they had dried, I added dots of Enchanted Gold Iridescent Watercolour paint to the stems and set the panel aside to dry.

I wanted to add some dandelion heads and seeds to the card base. I used a glass pen along with silver and gold inks from J Herbin. I didn’t think these would adhere to the micro glaze treated surface, but they did. On a darker background, I could really see how these inks look like liquid metals as they flow onto the paper. They didn’t dull as they dried, thanks to the micro glaze acting as a barrier to the Distress Oxide ink.

Next, I wanted to add the stems and leaves to the dandelions on the watercolour paper panel. I used some Bundled Sage, Weathered Wood and Stormy Skies Distress inks for this. I pressed them onto a sheet of plastic, diluted and mixed them with water and a brush and then used the mixture to add the stems and leaves. I started with a lighter colour wash, adding darker colours to the left of the stem and also under the dandelion heads to add some dimension.

Once I was reasonably happy with the stems, I worked on the leaves. Again, I started with a pale-coloured wash to get the shape of the leaves in place. Then I gradually added darker tones to give a sense of dimension.

When I’d finished this, I looked at the panel, and I wasn’t happy with the stems and leaves. They looked unfinished. So, I dug out a light grey Uniball Unipin pen and proceded to outline the stems and leaves. This improved matters greatly to my mind. I like the way the stems and leaves are now defined and how they contrast nicely with the airy, ephemeral feel of the seedheads.

I then set about adding some dots of the gold watercolour around the arrangement of dandelion seedheads, added my symbol and year, and that completed the top panel.

I cut a piece of black card that was approx. 5.25″ x 2.75″ and adhered the top panel to it. I then adhered these layers to the card base.

My last task was to decorate the envelope. I used a white Sakura Glaze pen to draw some dandelion seedheads. When the Glaze pen lines had dried, I used a gold glitter Uniball Signo gel pen to add dots.

Reflections on this project.

When I started, I only had a rough idea of what I’d like to do. I knew I wanted to use watercolour media and stylised dandelion heads.

At first, I tried to make the circles for the seed heads by using a Tombow Dual Brush pen to draw the outer circle. Then, I used water and a brush to get the ink to bleed into the circle.

The result wasn’t pretty.

So, I regrouped and tried Distress Inks and water, and I was much happier with the result, and the card grew from there.

I’m pleased that I ran with a more stylised dandelion head than I’d initially considered. One of my artistic strengths is my ability to create stylised motifs. I certainly think I managed to do that with the dandelion heads and their leaves, especially as watercolour media is not a strength of mine.

I’m also glad I used the iridescent paints to add the details. That makes my inner raven very happy. The use of metallic inks on the card base increased the happiness of the raven even further!

I was about to give up on the card when I’d added the stems and leaves with just Distress Inks; I wasn’t happy with them. However, trying the grey line made all the difference in the world. The dandelions went from almost being consigned to the waste bin to being good enough.

I’m now happy with the card and the envelope; it’s something I’ll try again in the future, maybe. After all, I do have a few more watercolour paper panels that need to be used!

So, Angela, how are you today?

Yesterday, I had EMDR therapy. The session was quite painful, physically, and a bit distressing emotionally. I felt content and optimistic going to the appointment, and I left feeling pretty much the same. However, I suddenly became exhausted when I was half-way home. And I do mean exhausted. I felt my eyes trying to cross and close.

I made it safely home and, after having a little something to eat, I collapsed into bed and slept until early evening.

I was still really tired when I woke, but a random chancing upon crochet patterns for hyperbolic surfaces and ammonites kept me up for a while. Indeed, I lost myself in crocheting hyperbolic forms.

This morning I woke feeling content and optimistic and cheerful. The sun was shining, which always helps my mood for sure.

Even though I was feeling sunny inside, I wanted to spend time on a little project or two today. I didn’t want to push myself after what turned out to be a gruelling EMDR session yesterday. So, that’s why I threw myself into creating this little card.

Now, it’s nearly 7 pm here in the UK, and I’m bone-tired once again. I’ll spend the evening either creating another card or crocheting. Either way, it’s self-care time.

Just to say hello…

©Angela Porter 2019 Artwyrd.com
©Angela Porter 2019 – Artwyrd.com

I’m not a brilliant card maker, but I do like to have a go from time to time. Cards are quick, simple projects for me. They’re also a way to practice hand lettering.

I did have fun creating this design and also decorating the envelope. I used Faber Castell Pitt artist pens to draw the black and white line work. I added colour with Copic markers. I used a white Sakura Gelly Roll pen, a blue Sakura Glaze pen and a silver Uniball Signo pen to add the details on the card. I also used a mini blending tool and Mermaid Lagoon Distress Ink to edge the paper. For the envelope I used a white Sakura Gelly Roll pen.

I lifted the card design up using adhesive foam squares. However, I think it would’ve looked better if I’d attached the design to some white card, maybe some silver card and didn’t put the silver border lines on the design. Maybe some ink blending around the design would’ve added interest instead of the blue and silver dots – the blue are a bit heavy handed.

Always easy to be wise in hindsight. However, I don’t want to rework the design just now. I also think it’s useful that I share when I get things not right and how I would change things if I did this again.

Art doesn’t always work out right the first time. I always try my best to review why I’m not happy with something and what I could do the next time to improve things. There’s always something to learn and consider, and there’s always something good in each design.

I’m actually really quite happy with the snowdrops – the copic colouring worked out quite well on the leaves/stems particularly. I like the cat too, but I’m not too sure about the spiral embellishments. My hand lettering worked out ok this time too.

I know from personal experience that when I’m finding life a struggle as my mental wellbeing deteriorates from time to time I tend to withdraw from people. It’s weird as I want to be with people but I also don’t want to as I don’t want my Eeyore-ness to be a burden or a bother to them. It can be too much to deal with social media too.

However, a little piece of happy mail in the form of a whimsically cute card would be welcomed. Happy mail may not be quite the right term for this, caring mail maybe. Thoughtful mail perhaps. No matter what it’s called, it would be something I could accept to know that someone was thinking about me.

At the worst times of my depression/anxiety it may have taken me a long time to contact the sender and say ‘thank you’. I really would have appreciated the gesture.

Even more, it’s a physical, constant reminder that someone, somewhere is thinking of you. It’s something I would now put into a ‘self-care box’ to use when I am having a struggle with my mental and emotional health.

I have enjoyed making personalised cards to send to people for their birthdays and other celebrations. I can be really dim, but I’ve just realised here and now that it would be lovely to send cards or bookmarks to people to just say hello, to let them know they’re being thought of, something tangible that can be a constant reminder that they are important to me at least.

Talking is good. But sometimes it’s too much to talk, to leave the house, to use social media. A little something in the post though … especially something handmade, personalised … that’s something that speaks more loudly than words at times when spoken words don’t make sense.

Geometric arty goings on …

 

Both worked in the last 24 hours or so.  Same media for both – Sakura Glaze pens, watercolours and Cosmic Shimmer iridescent/metallic watercolour paints.

Each ‘dot’ on the mandala has a metallic centre or ring around it.

Fun to do! Engaging to create and colour … very meditative.

 

Arty goings on…

Non-dotty Flowers 15Aug12 © Angela Porter 2012

Non-dotty flowers – a reworking of the dotty flowers below.  3″ x 5″ approx.

Busy, busy, busy…

I’ve been kind of busy, but not busy-busy, since my last entry, busy with art.  Being engrossed in arty pursuits has kept me up until the wee-small hours as the dark outside has given me no idea about the passage of time.  Good thing I’m still on the long summer break from teaching.

I must admit that I’m not looking forward to going back to work.  I think I’ve said before I need a different environment to flourish in.  My only problems in changing career are that I need a certain income and I have no particular idea what I’d like to do instead of.  I’d love to do more things that are creative – arty/crafty would be good.  I’d also like to work in an environment where people actually get along, without the constant rumble of poor attitudes, disrespect for self and others and an unwillingness by the majority to want to learn or to see the point of having a good education and doing their best.

Anyway, before I drag myself down into a gloom, I still have two and a half weeks or so away (apart from a need to go in for a few days towards the end of the break to mark work, prepare work, and sort out displays for the walls) and so will be making the most of the time to be creative and explore my artsy-craftsy nature.

Torc – statement necklace – bib necklace – collar necklace.

I managed to complete this torc.  It took over 30 hours of work.  It is available for purchase at Etsy at the time of this blog entry.

Torc © Angela Porter 2012

As always, spirals, circles and curves feathre in my work, along with some of my ‘custom made’ sequins.  I enjoyed the work in this, and realised how many of the ‘tricks’ I had forgotten from previous endeavours like this.  My earlier torcs can still be seen on Artwyrd at deviantART.

Experimental landscape number two.

I’ve also managed to complete another experimental landscape – this one from a photograph of a ‘real’ landscape in North Wales.

Landscape Experiment 2 © Angela Porter 2012

A dear friend of mine has made some interesting suggestions about how I can approach the ‘patterns’ for different land-uses. When I’m ready to do another landscape I will take his suggestions to heart.

There are glimmering, metallic, glittery highlights on the drawing/painting that don’t come out well when photographed/scanned.  I do think I’m beginning to find my ‘style’ when it comes to landscapes – and that style involves simplifying the shapes/lines of the land, trees and so on, and then working out how to fill those shapes in.  Spirals are, as always, a favourite motif of mine, along with circles and curves, influenced as I am by prehistoric rock art, early Celtic art, and anything with curves and curls in!  If I try to work with perfectly straight lines and sharp corners in my work, well it just doesn’t seem to work or scream out ‘Angela’ at me.

Abstract Floral.

This was an experiment in something a little different for me – pastel colours on a grey paper, with an open kind of design.  The usual spirals and swirls are there, but there’s a lot of ’empty space’ which also works.  The pastel colours are a definite change from me!

AbstractFloral1 10Aug12 © Angela Porter 2012

Flowers…

This started as a good idea and ended up a right ‘mare of an experience.  A dear friend of mine reckons it is lovely and very William Morris…

Flowers 14Aug12 © Angela Porter 2012

I realised the rising flowers were on the wrong side if I wanted to add words to it as I was inking it all in.

Then, as I blended the coloured pencils, the ink rubbed off to mix with the coloured pencils, so it all had to be inked in again, which is often the case with my kind of work, but the ink subdued the colours somewhat.

I then started to fill in the blank space to the left with tendrils, without putting pencil lines down first as a guide, and ended up making a right hash of it.  So, the shading under the leaves and so on was meant to disguise some of that, and cutting it all out and sticking it on blue paper … well it was a good idea, but not the blue!  I also rediscovered how useless I am with a pair of scissors or craft knife too.

However, some of the most important lessons we learn are when things go wrong…

Geometricity 1

So, after the pastel colours and the disaster, a return to bright colours, and flashes of metallic gold.

Geometricity1 14Aug2012 © Angela Porter 2012

A small piece of work – 7cm x 10.5cm, but jewel-bright watercolours used to fill in the pattern.  I’m pleased with the work (though not with the scanned image – photographing/scanning my work is a major problem with the shiny Sakura Glaze pens that I use and the highlights of metallic/iridescent/glitter paints/inks that I so love.  However, you get the idea.

I think that I’m going to play with geometric patterns and colour for a while, on a small scale, to see where it leads me.  Of course, I may just change my mind as time goes along!

More flowers…

I completed this one with Geometricity1, and there are too many ‘dots’ on the flowers – another lesson to learn!  I’ll be reworking this one in a little while.  It will keep me occupied during the torrential rain that is falling here in waves.  I love the sound of the rain…

Bright flowers 14 August 2012 © Angela Porter 2012

Stumbling around…

Stumble Upon

Well, I have finally discovered the delights of stumbleupon.com!  It’s an insidious site, so easy to lose time while engrossed in websites that appear that you’d never have thought of looking at – art, nature, crafts, science, space, writing, quotes… The list goes on!  I have so many websites to revisit and spend time with.

It has also provided me with lots of ideas, inspiration too.  Such as this one – little guiding stars.  What a wonderful idea!  I’ve been practising making stars, but my origami skills have never been very good.  I love the idea of putting an inspirational word or quote in side them for someone to unwrap… So, my mind is working on just who I could create such a gift for, as if I didn’t already know!

There were so many more ideas, inspirations…

I know, I may be late in this discovery, but …

Arty crafty cards

Of course I’ve been making more cards.  They’ve been a pleasant way to spend time of late.  Here’s some of the latest crop.  You can see all of them at Etsy.

Inspire Card 1 © Angela Porter

Friend Card © Angela Porter

Congratulations Card 1 © Angela Porter

Thank You Card 2 © Angela Porter

Friend Card 1 © Angela Porter

Love Card 2 © Angela Porter

Dream Card 4 © Angela Porter