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Category Archives: Art

Dead Nature Series of Artwork

I’m working on a series of artworks based on death in nature. I’m still trying to shape out the theme and idea behind the work, but here is what I’ve come up with so far.

I’m looking to create these portraits as a sort of tribute to the passing of time in nature, and as a reflection of the cycle of life and death. Bones and skeletons are symbolic of the passage of life and remain as a token of the life and energy that once existed. In recreating these empty shells, I am representing my own contemplation of death, and what I observe to remain after life has left.

I’ve been trying to hammer out this idea in my head over the last year, and I even wrote a poem on the subject that I submitted as part of my final collection of poems for my Senior Poetry Class last year.

Found Under Flesh

In a spongy ditch, where forest flora of moss sucks up a stream,

a bear paw rests in partial decomposition.

The part the paw should be attached to, the how and why

the pieces are detached

remain missing.

A boy finds the paw and brings in home in a plastic bag.

He ties it shut, surprised by the angry odor

that something torn away from being

produces, as though sensing loss,

it reacts in offensive outbursts

of smell and collapse,

as though, sensing its own futility, it fades away,

and the slow decay of cells release

its hold on preservation.

The boy hopes for something to be discovered

in examination of bone and flesh, the furry tress

coming apart like chunks of paper pulp.

But the smell of rot is too distracting,

so he boils it down, hoping to find

that what remains will produce some kind

or form of meaning.

 

 

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Posted by on October 28, 2011 in Art

 

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Halloween Window Painting

Use water paint to create artwork on the windows that washes off whenever you want to clean up or paint something new!

For Halloween, I made a series of pumpkin portraits on my living room windows.

Water paint needs a couple layers for the colors to appear bright. Allow each layer to dry completely before working on it again. Work lightly, carefully, and quickly to avoid removing previous layers. I layered brush marks of varying colors to create the coloured effect I wanted

Use dry erase markers if you need to make some pre-planning marks.

 
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Posted by on October 28, 2011 in Art, Crafts, Uncategorized

 

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Halloween Zombie Mask Painting

Cheap plastic masks can be picked up at most dollar or department stores. With a few techniques, these masks can easily be turned into authentic artistic scary creations.

How to make your own Zombie masks:

  1. Try to sand off as much paint or sparkles that the mask came with. Paint it white with gesso or acrylic.
  2. Mix some red and white and a bit of yellow to make a fleshy tone. Paint the mask with this colour.
  3. Make a rotting skin colour wash by mixing some olive green acrylic with yellow ochre. Use water to keep the wash thin, then paint over the flesh tone.
  4. Once its dry, use a thick dry brush to lightly dab some left over green/yellow mix to highlight some areas around the mask.
  5. Mix some permanent rose colour with a bit of yellow and a touch of cerulean blue hue to make a good blood colour. Dab this onto the mask in desired areas. Create thin lines to make the impression of cuts.
  6. Mix a bit of black with the red and dab lightly onto the blood spots/cuts on the mask to give the blood some dimension.
  7. Once everything is dry, use some more black paint to create stitches over the cuts.
  8. Put the masks up on the wall to scare away the dead!
 
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Posted by on October 28, 2011 in Art, Crafts, Uncategorized

 

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Soapmaking in Layers

The various techniques of soap making quickly turn this hobby into an art where many original creations are possible. Choose a mix of various ingredients to add to glycerin to keep your soap unique.

One technique that I found created an interesting aesthetic to some of the batches I made was pouring in layers. It’s easy to make different shades and levels of opacity using only one mixture.

This is how you can make your own:

1. Create your soap mixture: Add different oils, dried herbs/spices/tea leaves, fragrances, powders, or whatever else you think will make some interesting soap into the melted glycerin. (For complete instructions refer to my previous article: Soapmaking at Home).

2. Pour your first layer of soap. Allow to sit 10 to 15 minutes, but not too long or the separate layers may come apart.

3. Pour your second layer. Let sit. Repeat. Each layer you make will have a different ratio of spices/herbs after pouring it, making each layer unique.

 
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Posted by on October 28, 2011 in Art, Crafts, Uncategorized

 

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Soapmaking at Home

 

 

 

 

I made my first batches of soap the other day. I was surprised how easy it is to make the soap once you have all the ingredients. All I needed was:

 

  • -glycerin soap, about 1-2lb for a small batch
  • -soap mold
  • -microwave
  • -rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle.
  • -any additives (essential oil, natural powders, herbs/spices, tea leaves)

(I have juniper berry oil, lemongrass oil, cinnamon leaf oil, cucumber peel powder, seaweed powder, paprika and cinnamon powder) The powders work nice for coloring the soap.

My process: First I cut some squares of glycerin from my large block. I approximated how much a needed by filling my mold with water, then pouring it into cups to measure how many cups I need.

Next, I microwave the glycerin for 2 minutes at a time, taking it out to check on it and stir. Use a microwaveable glass measuring cup for easier pouring after.

Once the glycerin is melted, its time to add any oils or powders. For 1 mold yielding 6-10 bars, I would add approximately 1tsp of any oil or additive you use.

Finally, you pour the melted glycerin mix into the mold. You may notice many bubbles on the surface. Use a spray bottle filled with rubbing alcohol to spray at the bubbles to get rid of them.

Let sit 24 to 48 hours. After, shimmy and push your soap carefully out of the mold and cut into blocks if necessary. Give it a label if you want and wrap it up in plastic wrap.

Halloween Soap!

Since Halloween is coming up and I’m focusing my craft ideas toward that theme, I made some Halloween soap: Cinnamon Critter Soap bars that have plastic spiders imbedded in the glycerin, and Lemongrass Eyeball Body Potion soap, made to look like a bag of eyeballs.

You can embed objects in your soap by filling ½ the mold, letting the glycerin sit about 15 minutes, placing your objects in, then reheating the remaining soap and filling the rest of the mold.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on September 29, 2011 in Art, Crafts

 

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Relief Printmaking

This is one of my favourite art techniques that I’m getting into because the finished result is always a surprise until you make your first print.

Soft linoleum (or lino) blocks are one of the easiest materials to carve into because they give way easily under a sharp tool like a precision knife, or carving tools found in art and craft stores. I used a square of lino to carve the image of a spool of thread. I’m using the print as my label.

Other easy and cost efficient materials to do printmaking at home include wood (with the right carving tools) Styrofoam sheets, and even potatoes cut in half can be used to make smaller prints. What you’re looking for is a flat surface that you’re able to carve into.

Once your carving is finished, you need to coat the surface with a thin layer of ink or paint (If the paint is too thick it will smudge the print), press it onto paper and apply pressure. Carefully remove, and you will have your first print. You may need to play around with paper, paint varieties, and the thickness of the paint to get the best results, but the best thing about printmaking is you can always make a new print.

 
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Posted by on September 28, 2011 in Art, Crafts

 

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