Tuesday, October 22, 2013


My Citrasolv explorations continued today while I was handling some other mundane matters.  The lure of the pages ready for more play just pulled me in.  I did get a load of laundry done.  I will make dinner.  I did train Angus a bit.  Ok...not very long.  I guess I should stop leaving the pile of pages on the island in my kitchen with the Citrasolv bottle next to it.  Let's get started......

So the first picture is what I started with.  This was a set of pages that the ink didn't quite move as much as I would have liked.  I did them several weeks ago and just put them in a pile of rejects.
You can see why I looked at these pages as collateral damage in the scheme of Citrasolv movement.  But they also became a challenge to see if I could obliterate the original composition and create something new and interesting.  I know I am a broken record, but I really love to do this.
I took Terri Stegmiller's delicate floral stencil and placed in on top of the page.  I used a GOOD paper towel that I dipped in fresh Citrasolv and began rubbing off color through the stencil. I continued until I had done both pages. It still didn't obliterate the coral as much as I wanted but I was hopeful. 
I decided that it needed a bit more noise before I took the brush to it.  I used various sizes of punchinella and added the circle noise haphazardly in the background.

It was now time for the additive part of the process to begin.  The next two pictures show how I again used leftover pieces of the page to begin adding color to my emerging composition. I used a Citra dedicated liner brush and reactivate some of the bluey-purple color and took it to the pages.  I concentrated first on the centers of the flowers that I thought were too bland. 

Next, I took some other colors that I took from those same scraps (turned over).  I added more color throughout in a pointillism method alternating with a sliding motion to move the activated ink around and set about morphing the background more.

I was pretty pleased with the changes that occurred.  It is amazing what you can do using a page as a palette.  It isn't as stark as some of my other manipulations, but it seemed to suit the delicacy here.
To being the finishing process, I flipped the design upside down, added a delicate floral in black ink throughout the piece,  and trimmed it to fit a large piece of purple cardstock. I then used one of my own stamps with black StazOn and a black Sharpie to distess the edges.  No, I usually don't use a ruler when I am trying to give it a vintage feel.  I fell in love with the raw edge, though.

Since there was a raw edge that I wanted to keep at the bottom, I added a sliver of cream cardstock to square it all off within the purple mounting. A tattered floral finished it off nicely. I am pretty happy with the changes and really enjoyed the challenge.

Thursday, October 17, 2013


I keep returning over and over to playing with Citrasolv ink manipulation so today when I finally had some free time to do what I wanted to do, I spent some time introducing new tools and colorants to add and subtract to the organic image from the original movement of ink.  One of the most interesting things I have noted is that these inks from the National Geographics can be reactivated over and over again to produce results (at least weeks) after the initial melting of the ink.  That means you can stockpile papers and create new art from the organic image at will.  I love that. YOU will love that.

I worked on two different pieces today.  Both came from manipulations I worked on in September simply by spraying Citrasolv into the page of a National Geographic.  They air dried then and were put way in a plastic bag.  One thing I neglected to do today was to take a beginning picture after the initial manipulation.  Mea Culpa.  So the beginning picture that I have from today is one from this morning where I spent time using dip pens with more Citrasolv to move the ink again....a thicker parallel type pen and very thin nib.  Both produced interesting results.  The thicker nib rediscributed the ink and created new caverns and ridges, lights and darks.  The thinner one was used to add more abstract detail.  I washed each nib out immediately after finishing.
I continued adding and subtracting until I felt that a whole new composition had been created around the Citrasolv happenstance.

After allowing some drying time, I spot added some color back into the composition with a very tiny liner brush and Ranger Adirondack alcohol ink.  I really enjoyed adding some personality to the piece.  I used Germex to clean my brush between color changes.  91% rubbing alcohol would do the trick even better, but my cupboard was bare.
I could have worked on it forever and even found that I could alternate more Citrasolv reduction with alcohol ink addition.  It worked very well together and the transparency of the alcohol inks complemented the visual texture already finished.You will notice in the next picture that the piece has been turned 180 degrees.  I don't often change it's orientation that late in the game, but I decided that that white lip on the top would be a perfect place for a word I am playing around with on my next plate.  So, I flipped it.  Then I mounted it on black glossy.  I don't know where it's final resting place will be, but I am pleased with it's new life.  The page originally was one of my least favorites and now it has new life.
I was so happy with how the first one turned out that I played with a second page that I believe was a picture of a seal. It's pictured here lying on it's side.  I was unhappy with the incompleteness of the ink dissolution so this was the perfect page to play with.

I used the same tools to move more of the ink and to take away the seal like face.  I also turned it 90 degrees counterclockwise. I liked that orientation better for what I was thinking I would do.  I decided on this one to do a quick sketch with India ink in the same pen nibs I had been using.  I used the lights and darks I created by moving the ink, to become the backdrop for a contemporary flower. 
After I got the detail I wanted with this quick sketch, I cut down the paper to a manageable 5 1/2" x 51/2" square.  It's then you can see the flower come to life.  It isn't fighting with all the unused background anymore.
I decided to finish this piece off with a simple mat pulling out a color from the piece and a white 8" x 8" canvas.
I'll sign it and name it tomorrow.  Nothing came to mind immediately.  Any suggestions, just let me know! 


Thursday, October 10, 2013

November 2 Classes in St. Louis

I cannot believe it is already almost mid-October.  I've been in and out of the area dealing with family stuff and teaching in the western side of the state.  I've got some other irons in the fire that will keep me busy for the rest of the year, but I'll be teaching the last classes for the year on November 2 at For Keeps Sake in the metro St. Louis area. For those that haven't been to FKS in a while, they have really added many new products and classes that appeal to people wanting to experiment in different mediums with different tools.  You should check it out if you are in the area. 

My classes in November include one new one and one favorite.  I will teach Gesso Illusions in the morning ( 10:00-12:30 PM )which will feature a varied exploration of what gesso can do for you in your art. The piece of art above is one example from this class.  The second class, Tattered and Torn (1:30-4 PM) is one of my favorites especially since I'll be including some shaving cream marbling...always a crowd favorite.
In the meantime I'll be working on my second plate of stamps, some text, some images and some other interesting things coming up.  Oh, and Citrasolv.....I am still in love! 

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

StencilGirl Map Stencil Blog Hop: WE ALL GO A LITTLE MAD SOMETIMES

Welcome to the StencilGirl Map Blog Hop!!!!!  If you arrived from Rose Wilde's page,  you are in the right place.  If not, you can follow the list at the bottom of my post and start from the beginning. 

I was positively thrilled when Mary Nasser asked me to join in this StencilGirl blog hop.  Even better....it is my first one!  I have long been enthralled with Mary's map collage art.  I was not at all surprised that map stencils arrived on the StencilGirl doorstep.  It seemed a fait accompli. For me, the hardest part of the whole thing was picking which stencil to focus on since all are divine.  I ended up choosing the MAP 6 stencil, shown here: 

For the past two weeks I have been absorbed in Citrasolv ink manipulation so I chose to place the stencil on top of a saturated page that was originally a seal in San Francisco (National Geographic loves animal photography) and I let the Citrasolv do it's magic and reactivate the inks on the clay-coated paper.  It was not a perfect manipulation but somehow that fit for what I was trying to accomplish and as I will show, that can be remedied.  I love the happenstance of this technique every time I do it.  More  Citrasolv explorations can be found here

I knew at this point I was going to try to revive some more ink to fill in some of the roads that didn't quite reactivate as I wanted them to so I went ahead and added a matting paper with some two sided adhesive tape.  That step could come later and should if you need a lot of Citrasolv to add some detail.  I knew I didn't need much so it was fine to do it now.

I replaced the stencil back on top and carefully looked so see what I wanted to add back into the print.  My eye was always drawn to the lower right quadrant so that's where I decided to focus my energies.

It is very easy to add more revived ink to your print by using Citrasolv again.  I used the cap from the bottle and a synthetic liner brush to activate ink from an unused portion of the page and slid the brush under the stencil lines where I wanted more detail. It worked like a dream.

Once I was happy with the amount of detail, I added the words from one of my new stamps into  the individual crevices of the map.  I simply stamped each word individually with StazOn and the wonky nature of the phrase seemed to go well with the haphazard nature of the map.  I loved the marriage of Mary's stencil with my phrase.  This photo also shows the amount of detail I was able to add back into that quadrant.  Yess........

The final mounting included a strip of white paper and an 8" x 8" canvas panel that was painted black prior to the mounting.  I used double sided sheets of adhesive to attach it all to the canvas.

There you have it!  This is my portion of the blog hop!  I hope you enjoyed yourself.  Stencils are so fun to be used in a variety of ways.  I am happy to say that these StencilGirl stencils stand up to the Citrasolv very well, but I do clean them immediately after I am done with running water.


Mary Nasser will be doing a giveaway for this hop – giving away a set of her  four new stencils. ALL the comments on each blog participating will be eligible for the drawing. So what do you do?   All you have to do is leave a comment by 11:59 PM Central Time on October 4th. The more blogs that you comment on in the blog hop, the more chances you have to win.  Plus, you don't want to miss any of these wonderful blog entries.  They are sure to impress and inspire!!!!

Have a splendid time on this hop and good luck in the givewaway!