Monday, February 2, 2009

A Leaf Motif

So once again, I'm late to the party. Serves me right for being so dissatisfied and waiting until the last minute. And then there's the little matter of the offspring commandeering the computer for the-middle-school-research-paper-that-would-not-end. Including a 20-minute "discussion" as to why his mother is old because she still says "footnote." Harumph!

But I digress.

As I started to import photos to show you for my choice of shape, it dawned on me that I had more than one or two examples. Dozens more. Holy cow, Michelle -- how did you know we get obsessed when we don't even realize it ourselves? 

My choice, obviously, was leaves. In keeping with making my own tools, I basically fell back on three things. One was some birthday wrapping paper with this cool leaf pattern. Which inspired this. 

And this.

But I wanted to go a step further. I've been admiring Lotta Jansdotter's work lately and started to cast about for an inexpensive printmaking technique. Then, one day while I was wandering too far from the toothpaste aisle at my local Target, I noticed some fun foam sheets. It dawned on me -- fun foam is cheap, easy to cut and takes impressions with a pen or pencil. In fact, it reminded me of a printmaking technique done in elementary schools using those styrofoam meat trays. Just the thing for simple printmaking.

Once home, I cut and scored my shapes, then applied paint. First with a sponge roller, later with a chip brush. (I prefer the brush's streakiness.) After placing the stamp on the surface, I burnished with it my brayer. 

Some stamps I applied directly to the page.

Others were printed then cut out for collage elements. (See top of post.) Then I decided to do a little paper cutting. Some free-form.

Some symmetrical by cutting a folded piece of paper.

The same shape, applied differently becomes a petal. Well, you knew that.

So why leaves you ask? Simple. A plant will generally have one basic "style" of leaf, but repeat it endlessly in all sorts of variations to create a greater work of art. Why not follow the genius of Mother Nature?

Now if she could only tell me how to speed up middle school research papers.


Anonymous said...

lol What a great big XOXO blog you have here! LOVE IT...and I love the leaf shape interesting to me how these shapes seemed to be all around us...but until we started to look for them, we never really notice. REally nice, JeriAnn!

michelle ward said...

Ooooh JeriAnn - my first swoon is for the new background and borders. XOXO!! The second swoon is for the LEAF and the many manifestations of it in your work. So many handsome pages here! You KNOW I LOVE hearing you made tools - the cut out leaves on the scribbled branches is my fave. So glad you were able to play - thanks for sharing with the team. Next crusade is almost ready - it spins off this one :)

Regina said...

1st - thanks for commenting on my circle entry for the crusade. It's so great to be affirmed by one's peers.
2nd - Love what you've done with leaves. I was "stuck" on leaves for a long time and have done paintings around the theme of leaves as well as countless doodles. I also used craft foam to stamp circles on my entry, but I "cheated" and bought a package of pre-cut ones. I've had them for quite some time because I was using them to print on fabric.
I think my favorite is the stalk of leaves with the red & green circle accents. I love the graphic quality.

Anonymous said...

Wow, you *did* get into it. I really like the leaves cut from paper; the text adds so much interest. And why doens't my supermarket have cool art supplies? Sulk LOL

Kathleen said...

Wow these are so cool! Love your leaf shape and it makes me want to pull out my scissors and start cutting silhouettes!

Stephanie said...

Love LOVE your leaves. I especially love the look of the foam leaves. A Japanese simplicity here AND the leaves with the red circles....yummmm

carlene federer said...

great shape, what a clever take on the challenge! great idea with the fun foam & great images!

jgr said...

Glad you could be on the team! I love your work,
my favorite is the one with red circles . . . or the cut-out foam (which cracked me up because when EVER I go to Target I end up in the kid's art supply aisle) or the . . . anyway I liked them all.
Thanks for sharing!

Seth said...

These are all such great pages. And such a great theme.