Sunday, July 24, 2016

Framing Summer Memories

Summer adventures call for a beach frame so that you can remember the fun you had all year round. This could be a great summer project for the whole family.


Creative Paperclay®
Acyrlic paint

This frame has a depressed square in the center.

I started by applying Creative Paperclay® to the damp wood surface. I then laid wax paper over it then I brayered it flat.

Next came the stamping. I did an abstracted underwater scene. I love scuba diving so my summer story had to have fish in it.

Next I added a wash to the Creative Paperclay®. I finished with a little color on the fish and added sand to the depressed square shape.

Next it is the hunt for the perfect object for the square. It could be a shell, a photo of us at the beach or ???

Dream in Color.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Paint it Thick!

Creative Paperclay® slurry allows me to paint much thicker.

What is a slurry and how do I make it? Slurry has the consistency of porridge. I make it by putting all the dried out little pieces of paper clay in a sealed container with water. It reactivates the paper clay. This mixture also allows me to stencil with it or add it to paint for a thick paint look.


Creative Paperclay®
Palette knife
Acrylic paint.

I start by mixing acrylic paint into the slurry. It actually takes a small amount of paint to color it. Not only do you end up with a thick paint but you save money by doing this.

I applied the colored slurry to my piece of art. The background was a dark grey which I allowed to show through in areas.

Next, I mixed a lighter version of the colored slurry. I applied it in broad strokes—the bravura stroke, the grand gesture, is an expressive application of paint on your surface. There is something freeing about doing large strokes rather than small precise ones.

Play with Art and Dream in Color.

Darlene Olivia McElroy

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Changing the Story

As a narrative artist I find that I am always adjusting the stories around me. This clay mask has been hanging around the studio for years. It has been cast, been in videos and I felt it was time for a facelift. Because it was clay, I knew it would take Creative Paperclay® very well.


Creative Paperclay®
Acrylic Paint

I started by slightly dampening the surface with water then building up the butterfly shapes with the clay.

Next I added texture with a variety of tools from a wood skewer, ceramic mark making tools and something I do not know the name of. Maybe for cooking (not my specialty). Finished by smoothing the edges with a little water.

Next I applied a wet brown paint, I immediately blotted it for a stained effect. This was just my base color.

Since I wanted it to look like it was part of the original mask I added a wash of titan buff and grey paint. While wet I salted the paint to give it the feel of the mask.

Play with Art, and Dream in Color!

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Going Baroque

There is magic in mixed media. Old objects get a new life and are given a new story. I have drawers full of cast objects, charms and beads that I use as finishing elements in my art. I find boxes with broken jewelry and odd stuff on my doorstep often. People in town know I use these second hand interesting things (S.H.I.T.) in my art. As a mixed media artist, you never throws ANYTHING away.

Creative Paperclay®
Old jewelry
Polymer medium

This piece started by laying out shapes of Paperclay on an old painted, cradled panel. I stamped into the clay then went through my drawers full of objects I had previously cast with left over pieces of Paperclay. After selecting the lucky pieces, I glued them down on the dry butterfly shape. Then I coated everything with polymer medium to seal the clay before painting it.

Then I started the painting process using several shapes of purple, gold and buff colored paints. I dry brushed the gold over the purple to pick up the highlights in the texture.

I went through my drawers full of small objects, jewelry, keys, and whatever that I keep in muffin tins. I always search these treasures to finish off a piece of art.

Now I add my small treasures to my art to embellish it. Some I painted just a little and, of course, I added some stencil work.

There is nothing like the pleasure of creating.

Dream in Color.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Treasure Hunt

 I have a lot of found vintage pieces in my studio that usually find their way into a painting but, often, they make great casts. When I buy them at flea markets, junk stores or garage sales I try and think of all the ways I can use them. Here are some examples I made from things I had lying around. I have not gotten around to cleaning up the edges yet.

Found metal objects
Delight or Creative Paperclay®

So easy. Delight was pressed into vintage religious metal ornamentation. Because the metal pieces may end of in a painting, I will often make a silicone cast of it for the future.

 I love this vintage pin. The wings are so beautiful and were easy to cast. If I had wanted to use the whole pin, I would have made a silicone cast of it.

 A metal charm also makes a great cast.
Anything with wings
Metal frame cast will definitely go into a painting today!

Open your eyes to the possibilities around you!

Dream in Color!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

A Recent Favorite

I paint a lot and periodically a piece becomes one of my favorites. Spring Awakening is one of these. I live for the end of winter and always celebrate the coming of spring. Always I have a little story or few words about each of my pieces.

Close your eyes and breathe in the perfume of the flowers in garden and feel soft butterfly wings against your skin. After a long winter, I am in heaven once again.

This has been posted before but I wanted to revisit it. It currently lives in Mexico.

My Gift to You

I am working on a series of ebooks with short comments about each piece of work, video links, step by step, etc. They should be out in a couple of weeks. I hope you will enjoy them.