Monday, June 24, 2013

Topsy Turvy

Those blue bars, framed with dimensional paint and inked with liquid watercolors, are...upside down.  It's an image of a pendant lamp, not a torchiere.  With my usual absent-mindedness and a-minute-here-a-minute-there approach, I glued the whole thing upside down.  No one else would notice, but I do.  But it's okay, especially next to that orange chocolate wrapper.

After spending hours and hours for weeks in front of the computer, working on a project, I had eaten all of the chocolate in the house.  I had dug up brightly wrapped Easter eggs, little valentine hearts, etc., eating my way backwards through the holidays.  Only a few pieces were still around anyway, overlooked because plenty of chocolate arrives between Halloween and Easter.  By June, it's pretty scarce.  I tried to eat...part of a leftover ghost.  My mom sweetly sends us very good chocolate for most holidays, but quality chocolate or not, I knew it was risky to eat Halloween candy in June.  Bleck!

The lack of food or milk would not necessarily make me leave the house.  Chocolate is different.  Late one afternoon, I got dressed (enough to disguise that I was still wearing pajama pieces) and drove to the nearest store which is a natural foods shop.  I treated myself to a prettily-wrapped bar of Chocolove with orange peel.  (I like chocolate with texture, just like collages, with all sorts of lumps and bumps.)  And that bit of indulgence made everything better, the messy house, the too many hours on the computer, and even the upside down pasting.

Saying Something

My kids were curious about those tv ads which advised: "If you see something, say something."  They were puzzled: "What does that mean?  If you see what?"

A page from my son's art journal.  I like how he focused on the "say something" part and that he used art to do so.  

Thursday, June 20, 2013

When Questions Are Good

I wondered if liquid watercolors would remain inside a circle of dimensional paint.  They do!
That question started this page.  In school, we suggest that students start with a question when they think about essay topics.  Questions are good.  (Well, not always, like when my kids ask: "But why?" or "Do I have to?," but other questions can be good.)

As I cut up a Chipotle menu and pasted it down, my daughter leaned over and said: "Oh..a fence?"  My son walked by a few minutes later: "Buildings?"  I had vaguely thought about blades of grass for a moment at the very beginning.  Then the paper strips asked for smudges of color and became something else.

The page came together very quickly (not including the drying of the gesso, paint, and dimensional paint) because all of the pieces were there...literally; they were already sitting on the table.  This is one of our favorite pages, and my son thought the texture was so cool that he took the photo below.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Not your momma's jell-o (prints)

My mom and her friends used to make these layers and layers of multicolored jell-o for parties.  I think the colors of jell-o were fairly basic back then, but the trick was to make as many layers, each color separated by a thin layer of white.  To up the ante, my mom would flavor the white layers with a touch of almond extract.  Can you imagine what could be created with the new flavors and colors available now?  Alas, I probably am not going to find out anytime soon since we have been making gelatin without color or flavor.

After watching several fun Youtube videos on making gelatin prints and reading MMSA's step-by-step demo, I totally wanted to try this with the kids.  "What is this?" they asked, poking at it.  "It's not for eating," I said, handing them the brayer and paints.

Our Tofu Girl quickly moved beyond the single colors and came up with tri-colored prints.  She has a great eye for color and design and seems to have a lighter hand with the paint.  Her prints turned out beautifully, and she had more fun than her brother did.  He liked the art experiment but decided this was not his favorite.  I agree with Tofu Girl; gelatin is not just for dessert anymore!