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minted collage

I promise to take a break from the art bombardment after January is over!  Today though, I want to tell you about an Art Challenge I recently entered on minted.com (a really cool site, check it out if you haven’t!).  Here’s where you come in – anyone can vote in the challenges – and winners will have their work available to purchase on the site.

So, if you are a fan of any or all of my submissions, I’d be super grateful if you’d take a moment to rate my designs (you’ll need to set-up a free account, if you don’t already have one).  I’ve posted photos of my entries below (a click on each photo will take you to the voting page), but have a look around and vote on others while you’re there – tons of great entries.  Voting ends on January 21st.

 

Smoke and Lace, photograph by Heather M. Roberts

Midsummer Majesty - acrylic painting by Heather M. Roberts

'On the brink', acrylic painting by Heather M. Roberts

 

Thanks and Happy Tuesday! 

-Heather

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Block print queen anne's lace

Last year, I signed up for a printmaking course at the local community college.  It was cancelled due to low enrollment and I vowed to explore the topic on my own (pokey) time.  Fast forward to a year later… I gradually began buying supplies when I found them on sale and then my sister gave me a book and a few more tools for Christmas.  So, today I whipped out my trusty Sharpie marker and started sketching all sorts of summery/floral designs.  I transferred my drawing and cut my first design.  The photos above are what resulted — not the clearest prints (also not the greatest inks), but not bad for a first try.

orangeweeds

Should you feel inspired to try block printing, YouTube is a great resource!  These are the items you would need to get started:

  • brayer (small roller)
  • baren (or something else to apply pressure with, even a spoon or mug could potentially work)
  • ink (block printing ink – I used Dick Blick inks but there are many other brands, for those on a budget perhaps even liquid acrylics or a stamp pad)
  • thick paper (cardstock or a brown grocery bag)
  • carving surface (I used Speedball Speedy-Carve, but there are other options)
  • lino cutter (this multi-tip tool is handy, also by Speedball)
  • smooth surface to roll your ink (a piece of plexiglass, a plastic tray, etc.)

First, you’ll need to freehand or transfer your design/artwork onto your carving surface.  A hint for transferring: flip your drawing/artwork over (you should be able to see your design through the paper), scribble over the back of the design using a pencil.  Flip your paper back over (design/artwork side up), and set it over your carving surface.  Now, trace your work with a stylus or draw on top of it with a pencil, and as you press down, the pencil scribblings from the back side will allow the image to transfer onto the carving surface.

I won’t go into the details of carving and printing, as it is much easier to do an internet search and watch a video of this (this one is fairly helpful:  http://youtu.be/WNsTQpVlmw4

One last little fun tip:  in addition to carving artwork, you can also make prints from natural items (nature printing) such as leaves and feathers.  A little tricky when starting, but fun once you get the hang of it!

I’m looking for ideas for my next print – any suggestions?

Hope your week is off to a happy start!

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It’s foggy and dreary and rather warm here today, and severe weather is forecast for the evening.  We’ve been lucky to have balmy weather throughout October, but as the front passes through tonight it will bestow upon us much cooler weather. Today I’m mourning and celebrating the switch from summer/fall into fall/winter.  When I think of the overlap of seasons – the blurring of summer and fall – the above photo comes to mind.  The wildflower (a lupine, I believe)  is clearly summer, while the smoky grey tones elicit feelings of autumn.  This shot was taken a few years ago while hiking in Utah.

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