You would think that the last thing that I want or need to do is to take on more projects.
Being a designer, my day to day existence is filled with projects and the process of creating things. I work in many different medias ranging from wood to painting and now even to textiles and needlework. There are times when I feel a bit overwhelmed by all that I have on my plate. Why, on Earth would I choose to try to do even more?
I believe the answer can be summed up in one word – creativity.
I feel that my need to be creative is a huge part of my make up. Just as blood and skin and bones make up my physical being, being creative is a huge part of my soul. I am not sure how or why I am like this, but I know that this has been the case with me for as long as I remembered. I have always felt the longing to 'make things' and the more I give in to my creative desire, the more it seems to grow. It is just the way I am.
So even though I am always busy, when I saw a new program that was introduced and coordinated by Kelly Hoernig called "Art Play Date" I was intrigued. I had never seen anything like it before and I feel it is a ground breaking program.
What Kelly did was assemble 24 talented designers and 'package' them as an online learning course. For one low price, the students were able to access 24 different art lessons, which included both written and video instructions. The classes would be presented over a 24 week period and access to them would be available for a period of one year. This would allow each student to work at his/her own pace and follow along as needed. I thought it was a fabulous idea!
Not only does this class offer 'patterns' at a very reasonable cost, but it exposes each student to over 24 different teaching styles and techniques. It was like having a convention all rolled up into one! Additionally, Kelly set up a Facebook Page (Art Play Date 2014) in which students can discuss their projects with the teachers and the others who took the class. It provides a wonderful place to showcase finished projects, ask questions, and get feedback. It also allows direct interaction with everyone involved including the teachers themselves who presented the class. This is a wonderful way to learn whether the student actually makes the project or not. Even if they decided to sit things out for a particular project, by reading the threads on the group page, they are able to learn and get answers that they will apply to their own crafting. It is absolutely wonderful.
After hearing about the program, it took me about five minutes to decide to join. Living here in rural Nova Scotia I am quite isolated. I used to attend a painting group in my area, but the lady who hosted it has since passed away and everyone seemed to head in their own direction. I missed the interaction between my artistic friends and myself and I think that this is a wonderful way to connect with other artists and not only improve my painting skills, but also learn some new techniques that I would have never thought possible. I hope you consider checking out the program at the link above so you know what I mean.
The official lessons kicked off in the first week of May, but there were two bonus projects to get those who eagerly signed up over the waiting period. While I was not able to do the bonus projects and the first projects due to my own time restrictions, I couldn't help but jump in on Week 2 when Chris Haughey presented her project. It is called "Junkyard Collage Sign" and the technique just fascinated me. I thought of many ways I could use it not only with my painting projects, but with my woodworking projects as well.
While I didn't have the time to do a 'full project', I decided to make mine on a 4" diameter MDF ornament that I had here. It would give me the chance to try things out and play without the time commitment of making a full plaque. The following are my progression photos:
The first thing I did wa apply texture paste and various charms and pieces to the ornament. This is an abstract design and we were able to use what we had on hand. Since I am a fan of the "Stempunk" genre, I had some cool watch gears around as well as some small charms. I had purchased raised stickers with words like "strength" and "hope" and "courage" and I chose the word "strength" because I wanted this piece to signify the inner strength we all have below the surface. After applying the paste and pieces and allowing them to dry, I painted them a solid black green:
This is what Chris calls the "ugly stage" and it truly is . . . well . . . UGLY! At this point Keith told me that when he saw it he felt sorry for me because he thought it would be a project of mine that "flopped" (Has he no faith?!?) I had to laugh about that later on!
Now the fun begins . . . I began dry brushing a series of paint colors – from darker to lighter – gently over the surface. The beautiful design began to show itself:
By doing this step-by-step, I was able to give the piece a great amount of depth. It looked like a rock with the pieces and lettering carved into it. I even finished off with a metallic bronze paint that would give the pieces a look of warn metal. I thought it looked fabulous!
I then had to think of a way to hang it. I had a polished gold chain that would do fine, but I thought it would be too bright. I used DecoArt's Multi-Surface Satin paint and a sponge to apply some bronze metallic colored paint to the chain.
It gave the nice 'dull' look I wanted. You could see the difference in color:
The final medallion I think looks awesome!
This is a technique that I could use in so many ways – both with my woodworking and painting. I think not only can it be used on the main design as done so here, but also on frames and so forth to give a rich and wonderful effect. And it was so EASY!
I would have never tried anything like this on my own, I don't believe. I really think that it wa because of the Art Play Date program and seeing it done so easily that I was encouraged to give it a try. I hope you check out the Art Play Date website and see what it is all about. You can still sign up – and since all the materials will be available for a year, you will have all the time you need to experiment and learn a new technique.
I want to thank Kelly for all her hard work in coordinating this effort. I think that it is doing a wonderful job promoting art and creativity in general. You can visit Kelly's website at : http://kellyhoernig.webs.com/ and "Like" her Facebook page HERE.
I promise you won't be disappointed and will enjoy all the wonderfully creative ideas that Kelly shares!
I hope you enjoyed seeing this project. Have a wonderful Thursday!
-- Contributing Editor, Creative Woodworks and Crafts Magazine, If you like reading my blog, come visit at Sheila Landry Designs http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com "Knowledge is Power"