Thursday, September 26, 2013

Art Journal Thursdays: The Ache

The farm on a winter day, similar to the last day I saw it.

I loved my grandparents, particularly my grandfather. They lived on a farm in Kansas. On the weekends, I would go there and my grandfather Papa would take me to the candy store, let me drive the tractor, and listen to me prattle endlessly about little girl things.

Papa unconditionally loved me.

In 1976, they had to sell the farm to make way for a dam. It was a very sad time. They used the money to move to a warmer climate and enjoy their retirement without the threat of snow.

The move was terrible sad. Now that I have done something similar (i.e., moved across the country to follow a dream), I find that I am even more nostalgic. I ran across this picture during my unpacking and it moved my heart. Before I left Kansas City, a dear friend and I went down to the farm. While it is now under water, I can still make out the ruts from the gravel road that took me to the place where there was so much love.

I truly do ache to go back to that place.

I used acrylic paint over a colored photo copy of the house. I wanted to capture the house exactly while incorporating it into the entire composition.

I used old book pages as the base of the page. I used a palette knife to make scrape the clouds across the uneven pages.

My handwriting on an old book page.

The original photo on which the page is based.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Haleighanna's Hands: Now What? (Art Journal Thursday)

This page is called "Now What?" In the last two months, my life has radically changed. I quit my job, moved across the country, and am trying to build a new life. For the first few weeks, I was busy being busy--unpacking, figuring how where things were in the city, etc. But now things have calmed down. I am now into the day-to-dayness of life. That's when the question, "Now what?" reared it's ugly, nagging little head.

I used a lot of elements in this page to represent the fullness of my life. I do have a full life, even if uncertainty is currently king of my thoughts. I have a wonderful husband who makes me laugh everyday. I have two lovely daughters who make me proud. Lots of friends I can call when I get lonely. I get to work on art almost every day. I am blessed. But the question still remains, "now what?".

Hand ruffled muslin with black French knots.

Walnut ink stained tag and 7 Gypsies metal embellishments.

Ruffled patterned paper--ruffled using glue and my fingers. 

Tissue tape made from tissue scraps and double-sided tape.

Since there aren't any ready answers to that question, it is on to the next art journal page.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Haleighanna's Hands: Making a Motherboard

I have a lot of paper scraps. Instead of throwing them away, I hang onto them. A lot of them are too small to use in another project so inevitably, they take up valuable studio space (otherwise known as craft hoarding). I started creating "motherboards." A motherboard is simply glued paper scraps onto a single piece of scrap cardstock.

A motherboard can be used to make new art elements in scrapbooks, cards, art journals, and well, you get the picture. It's simple to do and can be done well a head of time. So let's get started.

Just a few materials are needed to make a motherboard.

Paper scraps (I usually try to stay in a color theme but there aren't any rules to this)
Glue stick
Scrap of cardstock
Paint brush
Acrylic paint

Step 1:Tear your larger scraps into strips or rectangles.

Step 2: Glue paper to cardstock. Do this without creating a pattern to add interest.

Step 3: Let dry. You now have a motherboard.

Step 4: Add a thin layer of acrylic paint to the motherboard to unify the color scheme. This is optional. You may want the different colors and textures.

I like to paint the paper to give it a more unified feeling.

A finished motherboard.

Another motherboard using ivory paint to unify it. I applied the paint and then wiped it off.

Below are a few photos of how I used the motherboard.

Used die cuts to create letters or shape for future projects.

Feature of an art journal page. 
Die cut letters for titles.

This is a great scrap or stash busting technique that will not only add interest to your paper projects but create unique backgrounds for your work!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Haleighanna's Hands: Art Journal Thursday

Welcome to a brand new feature of Haleighanna's Hands--Art Journal Thursday. I am excited to unveil this because:

I love art journaling
Having a weekly feature will make me art journal more
My art journal helps me work out stuff. Stuff in my life. Stuff in my heart. Stuff in my toolbox.

So here's the first installment.

This piece is called "Haunted."

I had to rework a page (if you know me or read my blog you'll be familiar with that). I rework a lot of stuff. So I added tissue paper to cover up what I didn't like and added some metallic paint.

I doodled on masking tape.

I can't draw people well. Because of this, I don't have a lot of them in my art. So I was trying to create shapes using paper. The jury is out on the technique.

The word exhausted is from a large print book, mounted on a piece of cardstock and then distressed with a black gelato.

I incorporated the hand-drawn heart shape from "Heart's Progression" into this piece. In fact, I liked this shape (broken heart with jagged teeth) so much, I made three templates in different sizes. The heart itself is canvas, painted with both a metallic black and metallic antique gold. It is anchored to the page with a scrap piece of fabric.

Tim Holtz Bigz "Halloween Shadows" die.

I needed some more stark, dark pieces to convey the sad, haunted feeling. So I used some black cardstock and a Tim Holtz die to cut out the fence and tree.

Used StazOn Ink in black

Lastly, I grabbed a very old, but well loved stamp of a locked heart. I wanted another image to reinforce the haunted idea.

So, that's the first installment of Art Journal Thursday! Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Haleighanna's Hands: Heart's Progression

I am blessed. Me and mine are healthy, have friends, and have enough. But blessings come in all sizes and types. Some of them are pretty and warm the heart (like the friend who called yesterday to remind me who I am and to tell myself the truth). Some of them are ugly and painful (like another friend who shared with me the agony of a recent betrayal).

I am grateful for both friends. I needed the strength of the friend who called me to remind me that I am loved by the Most High God. She has seen me at my worst, knows pretty much everything about me and (although I am forever shocked by it) still loves me. In fact, she likes me.

The friend whose life has been turned upside down shared with me the vulnerability of her heart, it's tattered edges, the break it has suffered right down the middle. I have been there; hell we've all been there. Someone we loved left us, hurt us, lied to us. While no one wants it or really wishes it for another, pain and strife are really great teachers.

Both of these friends and their words inspired a new piece of art. It is called "Heart's Progression."


Sadly, the only way through any struggle is through. I know that there have been a lot of times that I have wanted to give up or drown my sorrows in other things. But, I know that Winston Churchill was right when he said, "If you are going through hell, keep going." 
BTW: all the images and content in this blog are copyrighted.
© 2013 Holly Ann Shaw. All rights reserved.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Haleighanna's Hands: Anniversary

Twenty-nine years ago, I married a very young man. In fact, we were probably too young to get married, but that's what we did. We have raised children, struggled financially and emotionally, and planned and dreamed together.

For our anniversary, we drove down the Oregon coast and stayed at a lovely B&B (a converted riverboat), toured a lighthouse, and visited a couple of vineyards.

Close-up of Yaquina Head Lighthouse

Yaquina Lighthouse and dunes

The coast as seen from the Yaquina Head Lighthouse
Fishing boats in Newport, Oregon

Wine at the Amalie Robert Vineyard

Us at 29 years!