Thursday, July 24, 2014

Recycle & Reuse

As a mixed media artist, we have lots of stuff that we can reuse over and over again in different ways. I have a storage unit in the backyard that I call the Crap Shack that if full of wonderful stuff. On this piece, Lucky in Love, I wanted to add some ornate edges to my piece so dug up an old collagraph plate and made them using Amazing Molding Putty, Creative Paperclay®. A collagraph plate is just a board with textured elements glued on then painted and run through a printing press. We are taking it to a new level by reusing it as a base for a mold.

Creative Paperclay®
Amazing Molding Putty
Metal Leaf

Here is my used collagraph plate. I used fake flowers, embossed wallpaper, sewing elements and burlap.
I applied the Amazing Molding Putty to the collagraph plate. I brayered it down so it was thin and flat.

When the putty had set up, I took it off the collagraph plate then flipped it over and brayered the clay on top of it. Do this gently so it doesn't roll up on to your brayer.
 I then flip the clay over letting it dry.
I finished it by trimming it, painting it with a red oxide paint which I let dry before applying metal leaf. I finished it with a buff wash of color.
On another piece of art I had painted it several shades of red and pink before adding a gold rub.

Enjoy and reuse! —Darlene Olivia McElroy

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Museum Show Piece

I am doing a series of house shapes for a museum show. Each house is part of a neighborhood and each represents a different kind of person that resides there.

Stripped, mixed media on panel. She had heard the call of the wild since she was a child. With the first breeze of spring she would strip down to her birthday suit and dance joyously around her backyard under the stars. She loved this so much that she gave away all her clothes to the exception of a t-shirt and jeans for those few public appearances.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Fun with Odd Stuff

I am doing a series of house shapes for a museum show. Each house is part of a neighborhood and each represents a different kind of person that resides there.

The Queen of Compost, mixed media on panel, is about the one that is always in the garden growing things and giving them away because they grew more than they can use. They are painted on vinyl floor tiles mounted to panels with each having embossed text that tell the story.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Textured Rope Letters

This is another incredibly easy way to add words to your art. Create rope letters made with Creative Paperclay® directly on your art. There is no limit when it comes to size or the number of letters.

Creative Paperclay®
Alphabet stamps, texture plates
Paint or metallic rub

The clay is rolled out in to long ropes and the words are laid on the art surface. Sometimes I will dampen the surface slightly for better adhesion.
Next I lay a texture plate over the clay to embloss words into the clay. I like the fact that they are not legible.
 Now I let the clay dry. When dry I can paint or add a rub to the clay.
Here it is finished with a gold rub and embellishments.
Thanks and hope you can find a place for this in your art.
—Darlene Olivia McElroy

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Adding Dimensional Narrative to Your Art

As a narrative artist I often add words to my art. It may be handwriting, collaged words or dimensional words either store bought or made with Creative Paperclay®. Using it as a sweet spot in a painting, I find it is a great element for drawing the viewer into the art. These samples are details from three separate paintings I added it to.

Creative Paperclay®
Alphabet stamps, texture plates

So easy — the clay was applied to the art and stamped. When clay was dry, I added a burnt umber or red oxide acrylic paint then applied a gold rub when the paint had dried.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Cows & Cowboys

Elwood Loves His Girls, 36" x 24" mixed media on panel, is a happy piece about ranching. I had started doing this cowboy/rancher piece when my friend, Barbara Dahl, sent me a packet of old letters, school reports & photos of her uncle (or maybe great uncle) Elwood. It arrived in the mail as a surprise and was perfect timing. Within 15 minutes some of the ephemera was in the piece. Having been raised on a ranch I know how flirty those long eyelashes on the cows can be so I figured Elwood loved them, his girls. My Elwood is such a Tom Mix dandy of a cowboy with his hat tipped back, pants tucked in his boots and a cigarette in his hand.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Golden Twitter

Cruising the web, I saw people creating beautiful work by carving into plaster and Creative Paperclay® and had to try it. Since it has wonderful adhesive properties, I find it sticks well to most surfaces plus love how it takes paint. This piece has both metal leaf, paint and deconstructed raised stencils.

Creative Paperclay®
Clay carving tools
Acrylic paint
Wood Panel

I started with a wood panel that I applied clear gesso to. It wasn't necessary but since I didn't know if I was going leave the wood showing or not it seemed like a good thing to do. When dry, I sketched out my design.

At this time I added the paperclay to the surface, carving as I added more.