Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Combining Old & New

As a mixed media artist, I love combing found objects, paint, collage and Creative Paperclay® to tell a visual story.


Creative Paperclay®
Acrylic paint
Art Surface
 I start by applying Creative Paperclay® to my art surface using a brayer to have a flat border. I prefer to work on cradled wood panels. The paper clay was stamped, sanded with SandIts then cut out the shape of this beautiful escutcheon at the Flea market.

When the clay was dry, I coated it first with polymer medium. When that dried I painted a base coat of Red Oxide acrylic paint.
I then coated it with Irridescent Bronze acrylic paint.
Next, I added washes of Micaceous Oxide and Red Oxide acrylic paint. Salting each layer and letting dry before repeating with another color. Yes, good old table salt. The salt will stick to the paint and give the surface a gritting, old look.

Dream in Color!

Darlene Olivia McElroy

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Fix That Crack!

Most of the time I like a weathered surface in my art but sometimes it just doesn't look good. If you get cracks in your Creative Paperclay® background or object that you have spent so much time working on. Don't panic. It is easy to fix.

Creative Paperclay® 

Dampened the dry clay and just push  a ball of wet clay into the crack while dragging down with your finger.
You can go back in with Sandits or other tools you might have around to fix your design.

Dream in color!

Darlene Olivia McElroy

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Color It Blue!

I like adding color to my paper clay in the beginning as it saves me time. I wanted to make a series of blue buddhas for a piece that I am working on and I wanted them to have a marbled blue stone look. Sometimes we forget the simple ways to do things so here is a quick reminder tip.


Blue paint
Creative Paperclay®
Silicone mold
Latex gloves

I apply a dollop of blue paint in the center of a piece of Creative Paperclay® and commence folding the clay over and over again until it is the blue color. Definitely wear latex gloves as it can be a little messy. Once it is well mixed, you can take the gloves off. Now cast your objects.


Dream in Color!

Darlene Olivia McElroy

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.