Friday, October 22, 2010

Rubber Stamps and Morning Glory Fairies

In the rediscovered box of rubber stamps are several of my images that were reproduced by Graphistamp some years ago. Here is one of them, the Morning Glory Fairies, a 3" by 3" wood mounted rubber stamp. I haven't played with these in a long time.

Tools assembled: the stamp, an ink pad and a brayer
for even application of ink.
The first impression, stamp to paper,
followed by more prints, more fairies.
Scissors and coloured pencils: working with two prints of the same
image I cut the central part out of the first to make a window and
slipped the second print of the image underneath, for depth.
I started colouring with my finest pencils, gently applying the colour in layers for glowing tones.

The first results, fairies seen through a ring of flowers.

In the next version I reversed the assembly, with the fairies
standing out against a backdrop of clouds and flowers.

As a final touch I carefully inked just the corner of the stamp
and made a floral corner decoration for the envelopes, also coloured in.

These cards and envelopes will shortly be up on the Etsy shop, along with stamp itself.

Stamping is a beguiling activity and strolling around the Creativ Festival yesterday we saw the latest innovations in stamping techniques and embellishments. There are more stamps in the box to be rediscovered and some nice new tools to try out.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

"I wish I lived in a Caravan"

"Rainbows in the daytime and shooting stars at night gave notice that the gypsies were in our galaxy. So we were not surprised to wake up early one morning to the neigh of their little winged horses rejoicing in the rich pasture of Skylark Meadow by the stream. The smoke from their camp fires drifted across the orchard and we all abandoned our daily routine and flew to meet them." The Illustrated Fairy Gazette, Gypsy Visitors.
The fairy caravan paintings for Gypsy Visitors are among my favorite pieces, ones that beckoned me into the magic as I painted, with the lure of romance and adventure that was captured in the old poem "I wish I lived in a caravan". With original edition of Gypsy Visitors now sold out we are making the cover art available as a card, the newest item on the Etsy shop.

A short story of travel and discovery: On this beautiful autumn day Avril and I set out early to attend the Creativ Festival at the Convention Centre downtown. Michaelmas daisies and goldenrod made splashes of colour on the grassy edges of the highway as we left the suburbs. We eventually came off the expressway, into the city and past the CN Tower, consulting our downloaded tickets and discussing the best parking options and the booths we would visit. Having parked we made our way along the halls and up the multiple escalators of the Toronto Convention Centre, finally nearing the South Convention Hall and encountering the first trickle of crowds. We had both expected the other attendees to be more casually dressed for the occasion than they were - more casually chic with smart hand-made items and embellishments, more hats for example - but of course it was us.
We were as out of place as the giant woodpecker on the steel sculpture outside.
The Creativ Festival is next
weekend, and all those serious and tired-looking people with their suits and messenger bags were on their way to the The American Society for Bone and Mineral Research (ASBMR) 2010 Annual Meeting and to lectures on bone and skeletal health.

We made our way back to the car and went to Queen Street instead, finding an excellent bead shop and other stores that cater to the creative passion. I doubt that any of the ASBMR attendees had noticed us or wondered if they were overdressed for their own event. They were probably thinking only of the convention schedule and their part in its important work. (And reminded of the importance of dietary calcium, we both ordered salmon at lunch, and a glass of milk.) We'll go back next week, in creative company.

Home again some hours later and inspired by the thought of the many crafts that will be represented at the show, I went looking in the basement for a certain box that I put away years ago.
Found it!
It was all still there, my beautiful stamps.
To be continued....

"We are all travelers in the wilderness of this world, and the best we can find in our travels is an honest friend."

Robert Louis Stevenson

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Trumpets from the Steep

I love the intense, glorious, fleeting blue of morning glories. From pale green spears they lengthen to creamy white spiral buds striped with blush pink, then the blossoms unfurl rich blue pleats that are heavy with inky colour.

Fully open, the trumpets
seem to shimmer with a dazzling haze of blue, reflecting the sky for one glorious day.

By late afternoon
the colour shifts, the blue
gives way to lilac....

and lilac gives
way to intense and deepening
pink, the blossoms infolding to buds
like furled parasols.

For the brilliant blue trumpets I must buy annual seeds, but the wild bindweeds (weeds indeed, yet welcome) come back readily and are equally fascinating to watch as the colour changes through the day, a glimpse of magic in the garden.