Tree Wannabe

 

 

I want to be a tree. 5 x 5 mixed media on paper. © 2017 Sheila Delgado

I want to be a tree. 5 x 5 mixed media on paper. © 2017 Sheila Delgado

Stain gessoed paper, drip by drip. White becomes yellow, then Shiraz and rust are added. Finally a dash or two of fuchsia. Let dry. Splatter more of each color. Splatter clean water. Get a wild hair, and scrape the entire piece. Think maybe that was a bad idea, but I continue to scratch into the paint. Let dry.

Add more layers of splattered color and water. Put paint on and take some off. The water allows the colors to mix. Dabbing with a damp paper towel reclaims some of the white. Reveals terrific texture.

My intention was to carve out a “Sunset cactus”. But as soon as I added a bit of white, it was there. A pretty little lolly of a tree.

So a tree it is. Heavy Burridge influence, but nowhere near as wonderful. He would call it  my “practice”. Computer was off for most of the day, and when I turned it on to post, there was a notice that Mr. Burridge added a new video on YouTube. Funny huh?!

 

Blessings-shiraz

 

 

 

 

 

From Chaos

 

 

Soul Art 2017. 12 x 12 mixed media on paper. © 2017 Sheila Delgado

Soul Art 2017. 12 x 12 mixed media on paper. © 2017 Sheila Delgado

 

Hours filled with blessed creation. International Soul Art Day 2017 proved to be meaningful, mindful,  and mending. This was my fifth year participating. I always find it so hard to put into words.

I was in the moment. No plan. Feels like I have said that before about Laura Hollick’s Soul Art Day. Layer after layer, I continued to paint without a preconceived idea of where I wanted the work to go.

 

In the midst of movement and chaos, keep stillness inside of you.
Deepak Chopra

 

Not sure why the word chaos came to me when thinking of a title for this post. The only chaos was the unrestrained creative activity. The free-flowing mark making.

 

We live in a rainbow of chaos.
Paul Cezanne

 

 

First layers.

First layers.

 

Watercolor dripping and staining the paper. Wine, yellow, orange, fuchsia, rust. Acrylic stamping with wood and rubber. Stenciling gone wrong, paint too wet. Do more “wrong” stenciling in different areas. Use a dropper to add more yellow acrylic. Mist water on top and watch the paint spread in jagged blooming fingers. More yellow marks with a twig.

 

It seems like the chaos of this world is accelerating,
but so is the beauty
in the consciousness of more and more people.
Anthony Kiedis

 

 

Detail 1.

Detail 1.

White acrylic scribbles and swirls. Some of the watercolor mixes in and softens the bright here and there. White repeating texture. Some strong, some fading. Some becomes soft yellow when paint accidentally mixes.

Wine dipped dry brush tapped on the paper. Marks become like feathers. Thinking flight. Freedom. Spirit.  Jagged marks with watercolor pencil. Swirling scribble line to cover the page.

 

 

Detail 2.

Detail 2.

Dark splatters in watercolor and acrylic. Cover almost all with watery white acrylic. Layering in patches. Use the same square brush that made the feather marks.

Outline Seussical shapes with black marker until it runs dry. Continue with thick wine watercolor. Cover black marker with the same. Soft diluted splatters finish it off like sprinkles on frosting.

 

Art is the triumph over chaos.
John Cheever

 

A few tools.

A few tools.

 

When we submit our work to the Soul Art Gallery, Laura asks about our process, what the day means to us, and what insight we gained from taking part. The insight was slow in coming. Maybe I just was not focused on that.

That inner nagging voice told me that this wasn’t about creating a pretty picture. Maybe I took a wrong turn and missed the path to enlightenment. Maybe I was stupid for worrying and being too serious.

Maybe it did not HAVE to be deep, to be meaningful.

It wasn’t until the last layer of whitewash that it came to me. A single, simple thought. I know. Not very original or deep. But a message just the same.

 

Bloom where you are planted. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fields Of Green

 

 

Amy Irwen, LYA side swap 2017.

Amy Irwen, LYA side swap 2017.

 

This gorgeous surprise arrived today. All the way from Minnesota! At first glance I thought it was a collage. And it is of course, in a way. I love the vivid colors, the warmth, the pop of black. Love the ode to nature and the repeating shapes.

The date on this is 2016. Amy said she didn’t get her cards out this year. I am counting myself lucky to receive this “leftover”! Amy sent a personal message on the back of the card, and wishes me “Happy Arting!” She also included a sweet sticker tribute to a friend who was a mail artist. Isn’t that a terrific idea?

The card is postmarked the 17th of May. Arrived on the 25th. LOL. Thanks Amy for sharing your art with me! It was such a nice surprise!

 

Yesterday was Soul Art Day and It was a blessed day of creating. Tomorrow I will share the work with you.

Happy arting Amy – and to you all as well!

 

 

 

 

 

Mountain Moments

 

 

Big Blue. Mingus Mountain. SMD

Big Blue. Mingus Mountain. SMD

 

Mingus Breezy. SMD

Mingus Breezy. SMD

 

Hills. Watercolor on gessoed Arches 140 lb. paper. © 2017 Sheila Delgado

Hills. 4 x 6 watercolor on gessoed Arches 140 lb. paper. © 2017 Sheila Delgado

 

Bee Bloomers. Mixed media surface design. © 2017 Sheila Delgado

Bee Bloomers. Mixed media surface design. © 2017 Sheila Delgado

Still time to vote in the Insects Skillshare Whimsical watercolor Design challenge!  Thanks so much for taking the time. Hope you are enjoying your weekend!

 

Wishing-You-Joy-Orange

 

 

 

 

This Could Bee The One

 

 

Bee Bloomers. Mixed media surface design. © 2017 Sheila Delgado

Bee Bloomers. Mixed media surface design. © 2017 Sheila Delgado

 

This design was so fun to work on. I found the flower when I organized my artworks. It is mounted on wood, I placed it on a shelf. Thinking about this challenge, I was trying to find a not-so-ugly bug. Then It came to me. My blue bee was sort of pretty. There it began.

Bee Bloomers is my entry in the Spoonflower – Insects Skillshare Whimsical Watercolor design challenge. I really think this could be a contender for top ten. Can’t do it without you though!
(click links to vote)

 

Carpenter Bee

Carpenter Bee, 6 x 6 watercolor on 140 lb. cold press paper. © 2013 Sheila Delgado

Carpenter Bee, 6 x 6 watercolor on 140 lb. cold press paper. © 2013 Sheila Delgado

If you missed it, you can read about where the original ended up, the WIP here and the slow beginning.

Oh boy, seeing this again after so long, there are many things I would change. (The awful background.) You can see in the revised bee below, I did change quite a bit, digitally.

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Carpenter Bee Revised. Watercolor on 140 lb. cold press paper. © 2013 Sheila Delgado

    Carpenter Bee Revised. Watercolor on 140 lb. cold press paper. © 2013 Sheila Delgado

    I made the mouth larger, to help it print better on fabric. I just copied, resized and pasted.

  2. Added the missing second antennae and front leg. In the reference photo, neither were visible. I copied and pasted those as well.I stretched the antennae, resizing for better printing.
  3. I beefed up her back and rear as well.  Sorry dear. The rear is now touching the leg, and is longer. The back surrounds the rear wing so it looks fully, “attached”.
  4. It was nearly impossible to crop the bee from the wood background. Some of the wood grain obliterated the hairs on the legs. The quickest thing to do was erase the hairs, and then draw them back on in Photoshop. I was dreading that part, but it turned out to be easy.
  5. I added highlights to the center leg, and made the bottom of the rear leg larger, and better attached to the top half.

It is hard to see most of these details in the low-res images, and they may not even show on the fabric. Then again, I have always been pleased with the quality of Spoonflowers printing. The work was fun, and challenging, and that counts for something in my book.

 

Carpenter Bee close-up. Watercolor on 140 lb. cold press paper. © 2013 Sheila Delgado

Carpenter Bee close-up. Watercolor on 140 lb. cold press paper. © 2013 Sheila Delgado

 

 Additional Design Elements

Yellow Bloom. watercolor on 140 lb. cold press paper. © 2013 Sheila Delgado

Yellow Bloom. watercolor on 140 lb. cold press paper. © 2013 Sheila Delgado

The only adjustments I made to the flower was to smooth the edges and add color between the blue center lines. I left them white on the painting, and I like it, but I have to admit it doesn’t “make sense”.

I smoothed the edges for better printing. I knew I was going to use an outline of the flower shape as an additional design element, so the edges needed to be as clean as possible.

Carpenter bees tunnel into wood to lay their eggs. Carpenter bee adults spend winter in wood within abandoned nest tunnels. After mating, the fertilized females excavate tunnels in wood and lay their eggs within a series of small cells. (from Wikipedia)

I wanted to include a wood element in the pattern. My first thought was an all over linear background. I couldn’t get it to work. I was “this close”. So at least I am on the right track.

Thing is, once I do manage to get it to repeat, I will be able to use it over and over. Below is a look at my idea. If you look at the lines on the left edge, and then the right, you well see that they do not match up. Some do, but not all.

Bee Bloomers, wood grain mock-up.

Bee Bloomers, wood grain mock-up.

 

So I had to rethink the wood. I filled those hollow flower shapes with several faux-wood grain patterns. And honestly, I think it works better. I have the bees facing all directions, and the “wood” flowers help to support the multi-directional toss.

I can use the wood grain as I have it to create a cheater quilt though! Woo Whoo!

 

Collection

Bee Bloomers Collection

Bee Bloomers Collection

I wanted soft colors for the background, that would not distract from the painted elements. White, blue, yellow and green. Spoonflower designers often seem to favor dark backgrounds, so I tried a steel-blue, sampled from the bee.

BAM!

There it was.
My design challenge entry.

I continued to play with color, and found that teal really made the flowers pop. The final turquoise is very Hawaii, tropical delight! For that one I changed the shade of green on the small button flower, and darkened the wood patterned flowers. For a closer look, visit my shop.

 

 

 

So thankful to you for taking the time to vote.
Grateful if you think of sharing the link with friends.
Happy if you enjoyed this lengthy post.

 

No matter how sure you that a friend will be there for you when you need them, it is the greatest feeling when the time comes, and they are. 

 

Prizes

  • All designs will be eligible for public voting, and the popular vote determines the top 25 winning designs. The first place winner will be chosen by Skillshare from the popularly-voted top 25 designs.
  • 1 first place winner each week (5 total, 1 per theme), chosen from the top 25 by Skillshare, will receive a 1-year Skillshare Premium subscription (valued at $96) and $200 in Spoonflower credit.
  • The 2nd place (5 total, 1 per theme) winner will receive a 6 month Skillshare Premium subscription, along with a $100 Spoonflower credit.
  • 3rd place (5 total, 1 per theme) winner will receive a 6 month Skillshare Premium subscription, along with a $50 Spoonflower credit.
  • Remaining top 10 designs will receive a $20 Spoonflower credit. The top 25 popularly-voted designs from each theme (100 total, 25 per theme) will be automatically made available for sale in the Spoonflower Marketplace (provided they are a verified seller) where they will receive 10% commission on every sale — no $5 swatch required.
  • In addition, all design challenge entries submitted during the Skillshare partner design challenges (04/12/17 – 05/23/17) will be entered into a drawing; one lucky contest entrant will be randomly selected by Spoonflower for the Grand Prize on Tuesday, May 30, 2017. The grand prize winner will receive a 1-year Spoonflower PRO membership (valued at $249), a 1-year Skillshare Premium subscription (valued at $96), one Wacom Intuos Pro Pen and Touch Small Tablet (valued at $218) and a 1-year Adobe Illustrator Creative Cloud subscription (valued at $240). The grand prize winner will be announced Thursday, June 1, 2017.
  • 04/11/2017: Submissions open
  • 05/16/2017: Submissions close at 3pm EDT
  • 05/18/2017: Public voting opens
  • 05/23/2017: Public voting ends at 3pm EDT to determine top 25 entries
  • 05/25/2017: Spoonflower will announce the winner

 

See the winners from last week. My designs have been in the top half, or top third. But Pomegranates only received 34 votes, placing at #279 of 422. There are 410 entries this week.