Saturday, January 24, 2015

Hugs & Kisses Under a Dark Moon

My abstract artist side came out in this one with all the patterns and textures. I even have some glitter but it is a very fine black glitter on a black background so it is about as subtle as glitter can get. There is also both stamped and cast paper clay, cut up gelli plate prints and a whole lot of fun.

Wax & Wane, 36" x 12" mixed media on panel.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Waiting for Renewal

I know spring's coming but not soon enough for me. I am like the bird in this assemblage, waiting for the first hints of the earth coming to life again. I like the idea of aging in a circle rather than on a continuous line. This piece was a case where so little was needed for the story to be complete.

Creative Paperclay®
Acrylic Paint
Assemblage base

This assemblage consists of a broken ceramic bird, hurricane lamp's wick cover, and a twig from my yard glued together with resin clay.

It needed Creative Paperclay® buds and leaves to tell the full story. Not much, just a little. When dry, it was painted with acrylics.

It now sits on my desk waiting for spring.

Darlene Olivia McElroy

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Finished & Sold the Same Day

Some days magic happens. I had just finished this piece (not even framed yet) and had a studio visit. It sold to a newlywed which was so appropriate as the 12" x 12" piece is named After Glow. May we all that glow.

Feeling Like Mardi Gras

I have been wanting to do a series of mask portraits. Think of all the masks from around the world and all the events they have been used for. What fun this could be.

Garden Camouflage, 12" x 12" on panel.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Adding Texture to a Paintng

Starting the year with a narrative of freedom, taking flight and unlocking our personal cages in this piece, Set Me Free.  Affranchis (the letters on the bottom right) comes from French, meaning to liberate or free. The piece evolved from that.

Collaged surface
Creative Paperclay®
Alphabet stamps
Cast lock
Red oxide & Burnt umber acrylic paint
Gold & Silver Rub

I started by taping off an area and laying Creative Paperclay® on to the surface. I then embossed it with lace and stamped with my alphabet stamps. I then removed the tape and the lace (which I glued back on later). 

When the first paper clay application dried I added more to make the shape and stamped with a liquid latex mold I had previously made. Then I cast a lock with the paper clay in a press mold from a previous project.

Sorry about the color changes. I took the photos at different times of day. The finished piece has accurate color.

Here is a detail of the cast vintage lock and the stamped paper clay that was painted red oxide then rubbed with both gold and silver rub.

May the new year give you wings to fly high and the key to open your heart to new experiences.

Darlene Olivia McElroy

Thursday, December 25, 2014


I believe that giving someone a gift of your heart should reflect who you are. I am a rusty ole broad who has the eternal hope of spring and if you have the right key you can have my heart.

 I come from a fine art rather than a craft background so I approach art differently. I am shooting a video for a class with Artful Gathering later in the year on molds, casting and armatures so this is a sample of one of my project ideas.

Paper Maché Mold
Creative Paperclay®
Burnt Umber Acrylic Paint
Tumeric (yes, the spice)
Gold Rub

The start was this simple paper maché heart from a craft store.

I covered it with Creative Paperclay® and embossed it with some vintage wallpaper. Then I painted it burnt umber and sprinkled Tumeric on it while it was still wet.
I then added a little gold rub, a keyhole and some twigs from my yard into a hole on the top.

What would your heart look like?

Darlene Olivia McElroy

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Little Clay Stories

I was walking by a ceramic shop and saw some wonderful plaques and thought it would be fun to do a variation on them. It would be great to do a whole wall of these in a grid!!! So I decided I would do one on all the dogs who have shared my life and are no longer here. The O's and X's are for all the love Oso and I had for each other. He was my studio dog and the heartbeat beneath my work table. The trees are for the our walks, the round beads for all the places he had to stop and enjoy.

Supply List:
Creative PaperClay®
Mark Making Tools
Acrylic Paint

I started by rolling out the clay on a masonite panel. Then I made marks in it and added clay embellishments which I also drew on before letting the clay dry. I really love the look of the raw clay. Once upon a time I was working towards a degree in ceramics but hated the hurry up and wait aspect of the media so ended up with a degree in painting. So now I only have to wait for the clay to dry and I can still paint.

I find it is always best to coat your clay with a matte acrylic medium when it is dry. After the medium dried I covered the whole tile with a matte black paint as I wanted the black to show up in the crevices when I did the final painted finish.

I added paint and started adding small beads, gold and silver rub and a button. I finished this off with a picture of Oso under a raised clear resin button shape.

My challenge to you is to make a happy memory for those you loved and still love.

Darlene Oliva McElroy