Friday, April 4, 2014

Use a Theme as a Creative Jumpstart

Hi folks! I'm back to blogging again, Yay!!
Here's a little creative recap then I'll show you some enjoyable things I'm trying.

Last year, I created many pieces using this dog silhouette: lots of postcards with the hand carved stamp, some fabric pieces and postcards. After the loss of my dog Lily we are going to be 'cat people' only for awhile.  This kinda' remained in the back of my mind all year and I unintentionally turned to the dog shape again and again.

Kitten Huey joins us - our Dewey is mildly amused
(next year we find Louie?)

You know, I didn't realize that I was doing it at the time, but I found that a theme is a great catalyst when wanting to try a different technique. It gets me past that 'blank paper - YIKES- what shall I do?' fear. The dog silhouette was a jumping off point to get going last year. The end result was a year of projects with a common thread, creating a cohesive mini collection.

Gouache Resist First Effort

This year my creative group 'Odd Tuesday' gave the gouache resist technique a go. (You can find Jane Powell's brief video tutorial here.) I'd tired of my dog silhouette and after bright day outside trimming the oleanders I thought I'd play with the flowers and the associated caterpillars/moths.

That day had brilliant blue skies and clear colors in the blooms and foliage

On Pinterest I started an oleander board for reference (and disappeared down that rabbit hole researching plants and several ways to trim my oleanders - darn you Pinterest!). Sketching from some photos I drew several blooms, buds, leaves, caterpillars and moths.

Four oleander mini cards using gouache resist technique

Taking scans of the resist images I created grid arrays of the flowers and printed them as  paper for origami boxes.

Later, I used those same images to produce some notecards from Shutterfly.

 Do you ever use that service? They make great quality photo books, cards, magnets, etc. Here's a tip: sign up for their email newsletter. They offer frequent free and/or big discount coupons for their products. Then, because their lead time to use the offer is often a matter of days, be prepared with a couple of projects ready to go on the Shutterfly site. When the free/discount offer hits your email, you'll be all set to get great products often for just the cost of shipping! (Not an affiliate - just a happy customer)

I'm a bit excited about the floral images and have some mini projects in the pipeline using them. Next month I'll show you those fabric and stitch ideas.

That's my creative recap for this month. I'll be sharing some vintage finds from the thrift shops next time! It seems that aqua colored bits have been a theme for me there...

How have you explored working with a theme in your creative pursuits?

As always - Thanks for stopping by!

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