Fun things to try at home

I am all for trying new things! I get quite excited and inspired when watching artists doing their thing. So much so that I usually want to try out what they are doing myself. It really only relates to safe things though…like cooking, drawing, sewing, painting etc. Not things like bungee jumping or running a marathon! Maybe that will come later?

Anyhow part of me being able to try new stuff is to have what’s required to do the trying around me. It’s a little tricky try out encaustic painting without the required tools – but don’t worry, I found a class and tried it out! Now I am hooked!

But I keep digressing. The main point I wanted to bring to today’s post is that there are a heap of things around us that we can use in art journalling and other types of art making.So, here are a few fun things to try at home!

Bubble wrap printing

Use bubble wrap to print great circular patterns. The imperfect nature of the plastic gives a lovely texture to the page. This somehow is balanced by the perfect arrangement of the bubbles. I love that the perfect lines of imperfect dots create a structure or anchor on the page where the rest of the page might be quite informal.

The photo above also shows how I used a paper doily to print a lacy design. It is something I will continue to use but refine how I use it as I incorporate it more. Perhaps using it with pan pastels might work better that acrylic paints.

Stamps and stencils

Another fun thing to try at home are old stamps. My mum happened to have a collection of lots of stamps and gave me some recently. They add a textural dimension and also give a focussed element of colour. If you were wanting to achieve a more subtle effect you could paint a wash of colour over the top of the stamps.

Or how about a stencil from the local $2 shop. I admit this was not lying around the house but it was so inexpensive that it was an easy thing to add to my stash of tools. I really like the style of the lettering and the packet had three different sizes of letters. They work really well with Posca pens and Pitt pens.

Photos and newspapers

How about duplicate photos or photos that have been printed but aren’t all that good? Another fun idea to try at home with something that would otherwise be thrown away. Photos can be painted over, drawn over, torn up and pasted down. A realistic image also provides depth to a page and a personal aspect too. It doesn’t need to be clear, just a suggestion of an expression or part of an image is often enough to communicate a meaning. And if it’s one you’re not too worried about you wont be concerned about ruining it, if you do.

One last fun idea to try at home is newspaper or magazine clippings. If at all possible photocopies of newspapers would be best as newspaper quality is not all that good. But the repeated text, especially the size of the classifieds provides a nice filler in behind the main images. Sometimes the words of a newspaper can be used selectively to add to the meaning of the page.

I am sure there are many more things around the place that can enhance our art, these are just a few. I would love to see what you are up too! Let’s know. JP



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