Thursday, December 3, 2009

Dangling Participles


I often wonder how many people transition through insecure moments in their day, week or perhaps, even their life. I am not talking about anyone in particular, just pondering the weak spot in the confidence department. I guess we could refer to it as the aneurysm in the flow of life. Similar to the "dangling participle", a point where you shift from being independent to dependent. In a flash, your modifiers become lost, or danglers.

Whether most artist would admit or not, we crave affirmation, the calming of acceptance. One thing I have discovered in the quest to create is that the process of creating itself is acceptance. My statement to everyone is to allow creativity to be a part of your life in one form or another. Live with art, create, cook, sew, embrace the right side of your brain. When you feel unsure, take a deep breath and move forward.

Friday, October 23, 2009

"timekeeper"



While traveling in the UK last month, I had the opportunity to see some fabulous work. One artist in particular caught my eye and her work was the inspiration for this piece.

The work entitled "timekeeper" is made from paper ephemeral I purchased while I was in London, the background is made from an aviators map, paint and embellishments.

Sewing a dress from paper proved to be quite challenging, unlike fabric, the paper would tear easily. To help prevent this I ironed fusible webbing to the back of the paper.

Tell me your thoughts on this piece. And if anyone is interested I will be happy to post a step by step tutorial.

Friday, September 11, 2009

All the world is our canvas....

All the world is our canvas..... Experiencing travel and viewing art is refreshing and inspiring. My mind races with expectations of what is to come. Talk to me about your insights as artist. Do you work in other capacities? Are you a "stay at home" mom? What is your passion? What inspires you? Do you like to collaborate with other artist?

Friday, August 21, 2009

Conflicting Thoughts

As I journey down this lovely path of life, each day I discover more interesting information. Some about other people, some about myself. Life's experiences teach us so many wonderful things, allowing our minds to be comfortable. The process of physical aging is its own entity, the metamorphosis of the body..... Through this transformation I find myself buying more and more products, you know what I mean, vitamins, lotions, creams, whiteners and so on.

Perhaps there is a demand for a retail store designated to service the needs and wants of "baby boomers". A place where we all could go, shop, socialize, reminisce of the "good ole days" when our skin was tight, muscles toned and teeth white. 

I recently purchased dental flossers, the individual plastic flossers. I find these easier to use than the dental floss string. It is amazing how many different kinds of flossers are available. The first flossers I bought were great, with the exceptional the very sharp point on the tip. Yes, I poked myself several times, not good. The second brand I bought didn't have the weapon at the tip, however the string was weak and kept breaking. On to the third, haven't try them yet, though I am feeling confident about the strength of the floss. The package endorses "New improved super tuffloss, engineered not to shred or break during use. The same fiber used to make bulletproof vest." Well, I feel better about flossing my teeth, but now I am concerned with the lovely path on the journey of  life.....




Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Plot Your Own Mood Cycle in Art

How you ever notice the times when you are most creative? Have you long for a time to make art only to be frustrated because you are not in mood at that particular time? Think about it, your mind and body are in a cycle, literally. 

Understand who you are at different times. Let's try an exercise:

1. Pick up a sketchbook or notebook.
2. Date your daily entries. You only need to spend five minutes on each entry. Don't stress or edit, just do it.
3. Everyday at 10:00 am, write a word or sketch something to relay how you are feeling at that moment. Example, happy, tired, angry, thrilled, excited, neutral, satisfied etc. Sketching? Use color to emphasize your mood, keep the art simple, doodles, gesture drawings, shapes, lines, etc.
4. Repeat step two at least twice more each day, the objective is to have a morning, afternoon and evening entry.
5. Continue this for month. At the end of month, review your sketchbook. What patterns do you see? Look at the art you created over the month and compare it to the entries in the sketchbook. Is there a common denominator? 

What days during the month are you most creative? Least? Are you a morning person or nocturnal?

Examine your moods, you know you are in control. Accepting the fact that all people have mood cycles and accepting these fluctuations in people to the point of recognizing your own and other people's patterns-should do much to increase your ability to create, work and live. Try it, if you feel like it, get back to me. I would be most interested in your thoughts. 

Friday, August 14, 2009

Ask yourself

Ask yourself, how important is the creative process within your life? Do you crave it? Is it a necessity to survive? What makes you want to create? 

As an artist and a woman, I have conflicting feelings. Household responsibilities pull at my brain, relentlessly, demanding my attention in other directions. Were past female artist tortured by these obligations? Did they have to close their creative eye to vacuum the house or dust the furniture. Am I alone in these thoughts or do other artist today have "domestic" issues? 

I do know that the arts and crafts women create these days are fabulous. The content and technique prove to be beautiful and moving. I admire each creative moment that women give to the world of arts and craft. Through this admiration I have labeled this period in our lives as the "Domestic Art Movement". Let's talk about this movement, leave your comments on my blog. Tell me who you are and why you create art. What conflicts fall on to your path to creativity? How do you deal with these conflicts?

Want more privacy, contact my email address: ksantiago@bellsouth.net


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Five Step Collage


As I look at other artist work, I am often overwhelmed by their process. I try to dissect the techniques that they used to create their art. You see, I am a person that can only tell you the time once I know how to build the clock. 

Once I started to "break things down" I realized that the technique of collage does not have to be complicated. This revelation lead me to originate "Collage Elements". What the heck are "Collage Elements", well these are the components that used to make mixed media art. Interested? Good! Go get your materials, you will need:
12" x 12" Card stock - solid color
Pack of double tack mounting film - available through Grafix and Hobby Lobby
10" x 10" paper with texture or print
5" x 5" book page
Image from magazine, book or your art 
Optional: Colored pencils, markers, paints, general art supplies to alter the surface.

Five Step Collage: Support, Background, Middle Ground, Foreground, Embellishments

We will start with the basics, the support, this is the paper, canvas, board or whatever you choose to use to support your art. Let's use a 12" x 12" piece of card stock. Easy to find, available in scrapbook section of Hobby Lobby, Michaels or other craft stores.

Preparation: Apply double tack mounting film (available through Grafix) to each element. Leave the backing on the double tack until you are ready to adhere it. For cutting smaller size images and details, I recommend that you apply the double tack to a larger imager and than cut it down.

Background: Next select a background sheet, cut it in a square or rectangle, 8" x 10" or 10" x 10" apply double tack mounting film to the back, and adhered it to the support.

Middle ground: This is the element that will support your foreground, so select something that compliments the background and brings the foreground to its' fullest potential. This principle is known as "unity" or "harmony". Using different elements to compliment one another, creating a feeling of one, so that the elements relate to one another. This can be a book page or torn paper.

Foreground: Oh the "spotlight" of your art, select an image and place it on the middle ground. The placement of the image is important, centering something is too obvious, push your creativity and see how to position your foreground.

Embellishments: These are the elements that make the art "balance". Take a look at your piece, do you think that you should add some outlines, or color to an area? Do it! You are the artist, and your intuition is the key to the entire piece. 

Viola! You have completed a collage!

What about those "Collage Elements" stuff like collage sheets, flower pressed pages, altered book pages, transparencies and more.....Well now they are all included in my upcoming book, "Collage Playground", North Light Books, with many, many more beautiful projects to create. And best of all, inspiration for you to make art!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Perfect Solution

I am always looking for a product that is effective in my collage work. Making decisions about which adhesive is best for the work is always a forethought. There are many things to consider when you are working through a collage piece. Will the adhesive affect the quality of the image, ink run, paper bubble, or tear? The one product that I have worked will that never let me down is Grafix, Double Tack Film. I mentioned it in previous blogs and artwork instructions. Please visit their website at www.grafixarts.com or take a look at their products in the art and craft stores. I guarantee you will be totally smitten!

I will be posting a five step collage piece, you won't believe how beautiful and easy these pieces look!

Monday, June 22, 2009

I have found that I love using pressed flowers in my artwork. Of course the problem with this is the application of the flower and its' longevity. The solution that has worked best for me is making a color copy of the flowers on vellum paper. This creates not only beautiful imagery but also gives the flowers a unique appearance. After you have made a color copy, apply double tack film to the back of the paper, cut out and adhere to your collage. The flowers look real, in fact, I am often asked if they are actual flowers. 

The artwork shown here are layers with an original vintage map, a color copy of a handwritten page on transparency paper (with adhesive back) and finally the color copy of flowers on vellum paper. Questions? Please feel free to contact me at ksantiago@bellsouth.net.
Create!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Ahhh life is good, I have been hard at work developing new art. Through this process I have learned much about content and technique. I am excited to share all the results! I will be posting, samplings of the art with a short summary of the "how to..." Please feel free to contact me with any comments or questions. 
Enjoy and make lots of art!

This piece titled "hummingbird" was originated from a quilt design. Using the grid design of the quilt square, I cut shapes from a vintage magazine. The background is a color copy of a piece of green fabric, the bands down the side are hand written vintage pages. The adhesive used was double tack mounting film from Grafix products. The entire piece is about 8" x 8".  


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Kindness

We attempted to park our cars in the same space, no problem, she was there first.  As I walked into the store, so did she, she held the door for me, I got her a shopping cart, we went our separate ways....until, she asked my advice on a paint color, I asked her what she wanted to express, she said "kindness". We chatted a while and then went our separate ways....until, we were leaving. We walked out of the store together discussing art, weather, and the beauty of the day. She got in her car and left, I did the same. 

We were connected with mutual kindness, it's out there and its good.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Diversion

Are we all guilty of diversion? Do you know what I am referring too? An example, (hypothetically) you need to do a task, pay bills, do launder, wash the car, any small everyday chore. However, you choose to sweep the floor, clean out a random closet or give the cat a bath, well maybe not give the "cat" a bath, but you know what I mean. Your mind diverts in a million different directions, avoiding the task at hand. Why? Do you pre-empt your decisions with other decisions, "before I can do this I need to......" 

My blog has been my "road not taken". Excuse? Well, I wanted load more photos of art. But my camera battery is dead, the card is full, which means a trip to the store, so I might as well do a little shopping while I'm out.... Again diversion.  My solution, I am going to embrace my blog, love my blog, become one with my blog.

Diversion? I'll keep some on reserve for future use, you feel free to do the same.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Refresh

I would like to limit my words,
I would like to expand my conversation,
I would like to express my feelings in a silent moment,
I would like to shout with joy,
therefore I will make art.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

I am not always interested in all the portals the internet has to offer, however I must say that I have learned and been inspired by what I have read, and the comments people have posted. Therefore I recede all my reluctance towards this medium of communication. Here's to email, blogs, websites, facebook, group sites etc. Thank you friends and family for encouraging me to explore the world and learn.

Monday, February 16, 2009


Creating my collages in the past weeks has been learning experience. I embrace the powerful drive that overcomes my mind to create art. I understand more and more how one can indulge into art and creation. I am reminded of a verse from a poem by Alice Walker; a woman is wilderness unbounded, holding the future between each breath, walking the earth, only because she is free, and not creepervine or tree, Nor even honeysuckle or bee.

Right now, I am processing many thoughts about my work, and what a great opportunity to have. Working through, the good, the bad and the ugly, I feel that I too am holding the future between each breath.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Thank you Roxie (my classic pink bike)

A bike ride, on a mildly cool January afternoon, the sun warming my skin, my breath deep and cold brought clarity to my day. Along with that a sense of calm, thoughts that had occupied my mind early in the morning, soothed over.

I must praise a writer, there came point when reading his novel was not so much what happening with the story, but the euphony of his language.  The book, "Now You See Him" by Eli Gottlieb was constructed with beautiful prose. I have much admiration for his abilities as a writer. 

Trying new types of collage techniques, well, actually I have been working on these pieces for a couple of weeks now. Today, however, things came together. Isn't it wonderful when everything is aligned perfectly and art is created.