Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Had a Penny in My Pocket

It doesn't matter where I am. I am always looking for things I can cast or use for stamps. I make marks of all kinds on squares or tiles of Creative Paperclay®. When they dry, I will try different surface techniques on them.  I found this textured roller at a local flea market. Yes, I drawers full of stamps and texture plates but this is more of an adventure for me.


Found Objects
Creative Paperclay®

On a hike I found a volcanic rock with great texture. I love the natural texture it gives to the clay.

I had a bag of gold crumbles that I decided to play with. I tried mixing it in the clay and it disappeared. So the best way is to roll out your clay and sprinkled it on the clay. The final step was to brayer it into the clay. There is so much more to explore with this but that is for a later date.

I have drawers full of lace. I thought this would turn out differently but I do love the contemporary stamp it made. This is why we are the "mad scientist artist". I push a product to its limits and I make new discoveries all the time.

Mark making is important to me as an artist. These are rough marks made in the clay with an African porcupine quill. I can change the look just by wetting my fingers and smoothing out the marks.

I decided to use my alphabet stamps in no particular order to make a pattern. I was not trying to make words just a design. This is something that I can see using quite a bit.

I decided to raid my coin jar for a circle design in the clay. Fun.

Experiment. Be crazy. Dream in color.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Fun With Plastic Pellets & Creative Paperclay®

I played with Plastic Modeling Pellets when I wrote my book on Mixed Media in Clay (which has a whole chapter on paper clay). Fun stuff. When Creative Paperclay® sent me some, I had to experiment with it.


Plastic Modeling Pellets 
Creative Paperclay® slurry
Acrylic paint
Rubber Stamp
Hot water
PAM cooking spray

Hot water makes the plastic pellets moldable. Although you can heat water in a pan or in skillet, I usually just microwave a cup of water until it bubbles. Note that the steam greyed out my photograph. The pellets go into the hot water white and hard then become transparent and clump together. At this time take it out of the water to mold. It may be very hot. If it is, let it cool down enough to touch.

I placed it on a rubber stamp that sprayed with PAM. I was using it as a cheap mold release. It is not necessary on rubber but makes the release of the plastic easier.

As it cools down it will become white again. At this point, you can remove it from the stamp. If you don't like the design, just reheat it and start again.

My first experiment was to do apply a wash of irridescent Bronze paint. This color will separate when used as a wash and leave green areas.

If we stamp with the original rubber stamp we would get a debossed look. We did that to the plastic so when stamped into paper clay we get the look of the original rubber stamp  Got that? One is embossed and the other is debossed.

Then I made a colored paper clay slurry and applied it to the painted cast plastic.

I wiped off the excess with a damp paper towel so that the pattern showed. When this is dry, I will cut it with my table saw into a shape to put into my art.

I love the process and playing.

Dream in Color

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Making a Romantic Focal Point

I love using Creative Paperclay® to make a statement in my paintings. I am also fascinated by the lover's eye artwork that was popular in the late 1700's. Eye miniatures are believed to have originated when the Prince of Wales (later George IV) felt the need to send the widow Maria Fitzherbert a token of his love. This gesture and the romance that went with it was frowned upon by the court, so a miniaturist was employed to paint only the eye and thereby preserve anonymity and decorum. This theme allowed me to create a very decorated piece.

Creative Paperclay®
Acrylic paint
A painted base
Glass eye

 I started by applying clay to my substrate. I rolled it flat with a brayer before adding the texture with a rubber stamp and trimming the shape. I went back in with a clay shaper to add texture to the flames.

When the clay was semi-dry, I added the glass eye in a decorative shape after smoothing it with water.

Once dry, I coated it with matte medium and painted it with acrylic paints.

Do you have someone to send a lover's eye to?

Dream in Color!

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.