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

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

A Look Backwards

Sometimes if you haven't seen a piece for awhile you see it with new eyes and know you just have to add something to it.

Flying the Nest was featured in my fourth book, Alternative Art Surfaces. When I found it in my flat files I realized it needed the green raised stencils. It finished it off for me.

These new eyes we have could be from personal growth, time away from the piece or ???

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Samples for the Big Picture

Before I go blindly into creating a big painting, I will do sample tests to see if what I am thinking about will actually look good. It saves a lot of time and may take you off in another direction. I keep the samples around because they may work perfectly in a project down the road or as a collage element in another painting.

Creaive PaperClay®
Matte Medium
Raw Umber

On a lightly dampened masonite panel, I laid out coils of paperclay in lines and brayered them down flat.
I then laid coils in the opposite direction and brayered them flat creating a cross hatched pattern. You could leave the coils as lines or make circular shapes. The beauty is that you are the master of your universe.

I then added some (patterned) lines to the background for interest plus I wanted these to show up when I stained the piece later.

When it was dry I then coated it with white gesso.

After the gesso had dried it was coated with a layer of matte medium. This gives me more control with the staining.

When the medium has dried, I applied raw umber acrylic paint and immediate wiped off so it was only left in the recesses.

My next step will be to add resin into the holes as a test but that is for another day.

There is so much joy in experimenting — Darlene Olivia McElroy

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Nothing Like Aged Metal

I love old architectural elements and aged metal. If you catch me at the flea market I am hanging out at the vendors who sell this wonderful stuff. This is an example of Creative Paperclay® made to look like an old metal door detail.

Creative Paperclay®
Indonesian wood block
Acrylic paint (black & micaceous oxide)
Gold & silver rub

Apply Creative Paperclay® over an old Indonesian wood block or anything with lots of texture. Let the Creative Paperclay® dry completely.

When dry, paint with a matte black paint and let dry.

Apply gold and silver rub to the highlights.

For a final coat, apply a watered down micaceous oxide acrylic paint and liberally apply salt the wet paint. Let the paint dry thoroughly. The salt will adhere and gives it the gritty texture of age.

Take time to play and make art.

Darlene Olivia McElroy

Sunday, November 9, 2014

More is More or Less is Less?

I like stories within stories in my art so usually more is more. I was working on this piece, Second Sight, a 12" x 12" mixed media on panel, and I stopped at this point. I like the simplicity of this piece but wasn't sure if it was really working or I needed a break. I loved the triangle between the hands and the face. Anyhow, after several friends yelled STOP at me.....I did. It has a very cloister/nun-like kind of feel to me and I do like it.

The day before I had done Black Magic Eight Ball, a 12" x 12" mixed media on panel, which is in the more is more vein of my usual work. I love those magic eight balls and to put it in a classical setting made me laugh.

Looking forward to seeing what today brings.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

ReUse, Multiple Use

I am trying to purge and get rid of needless things but keeping finding cool stuff to use in art so it is "crazy time". This week it was a Chinese tea block which I have had for years. I decided to use it as a mold then make a mold from it.

Supplies were:

Tea Block
Creative Paperclay®
Latex molding material
I just put a pancake of Creative Paperclay® directly on the tea block and brayered it down. I didn't care if tea particles stuck to it as I was going for texture and was just experimenting.

When the Creative Paperclay® had dried it looked like an old architectural shard. I did brush off excess particles with an old toothbrush.
I added a wash then went over it with some dry brushing in raw sienna and burnt umber. At this point I have no idea what I am going to do with this piece but since my work is like creating puzzles I am sure this is just the piece I will need some day for one of my paintings.
The other day I had picked up some liquid latex so decided to see if I could make a mold off the tea block. After applying it to the block I left it on overnight. In the morning it was cured and I could peel it off. The result was so wonderful that I am ready to make tons of molds this way.
Then I decided to see how well it would stamp into the Creative Paperclay®. The mold seemed very thin so I wasn't sure how well this would come out but it worked very well.

Needless to say, I had a great time just playing around.

Play, dream in color and get your hands dirty.

Darlene Olivia McElroy

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Everyone Deserves a Crown

Making a crown seemed like a fun thing to do especially because everyone calls me the Queen (of Glue) and it was also a rainy day.

Supply List

Creative Paperclay®
Acrylic paint
Mark making tools

I started by rolling out my clay. I use playing cards to get an even height when rolling. I used a knife to cut out the crown's points then made my marks in the clay.
The next step was to shape it over a tapered glass covered in plastic wrap. As soon as it set up a little I bent the tips of the crown outward then I let it dry thoroughly. The plastic wrap made it super easy to slide off the glass.
Last was to paint it, add embellishments and a little glitter. As I am writing this I am thinking of all the alternatives I could do to the design plus all the things I could do with crowns.

Don't you just love where art and your imagination can take you?