Let's say...the messages in this newly created 16"x20" Caribbean Mixed Media painting are meant to send good vibes. Like...
"Let your dreams set sail", "Getaway" and "Adventures".
It's fun to see what Caribbean and surrounding areas are included on the old vintage cruise map, which postal stamps were used to match with their location and finding all the ocean and beach themed images used.
There are a lot of them. Ships with tall sails, a sparkling and glittering ocean, crab, fish, dolphin, mermaid, shells, waves, clouds, starfish, turtles, birds, an anchor and the sun.
Above is the upper right corner of the painting. The palm tree was not only stenciled with modeling gel, it was sprinkled with green and copper embossing powders and then heated up with a heat gun after drying. The effect this combination of mediums leaves is a "shrinky-dinks" puffy-like raised image. It's pretty noticeable in the tree's trunk in the close-up photo above.
Sea coral, sand dollar, seahorse, course sand, canons and villages.
The postage comes from my personal collection. It's more rewarding to see it in my art rather than inside an envelope, in a box, at the bottom of my closet.
In these next three pictures blue iridescent waves are captured. This stencil was put on in three places with modeling creme. Depends on where the light hits it, it shines bright blue or can blend into the background like it wasn't even there! I did this with a couple of fish too. See if you can find them throughout these pics.
Where's that dolphin you ask? Here it is. Made with a stencil and silver modeling gel. Then as I usually do, I shadow the image with either markers or watercolor pencils to give it depth. This dolphin image got both.
When I apply Glass Bead Gel, it leaves these little tiny bubble looking beads behind after it dries. Since I'm looking for a "water" look, I do not mix it with any paint. It dries clear and makes a great texture.
Below I can see the vertical white Gesso drips. This was achieved by mixing Gesso with water and splotching it on, while holding my canvas up straight, letting the excess drip off the painting. This is part of the layering process of building up the background of a Mixed Media painting. My creative mind lets me believe they are tendrils from white jellyfish in a jellyfish field.
And here is the full painting below. The edges are curled because it simply needs to be flattened. I was thinking of mounting this canvas board to distressed wood with rustic looking screws/bolts in each of the corners but I haven't figured that part out yet. It's the only thing left before it's added to the gift shop for sale.
Thanks for reading this blog. I hope I inspired you to either create your own or to book a vacation to somewhere beautiful and warm. Either way, you'd win.
I put a postal theme to my mixed media art and have come up with some pretty interesting and enjoyable upcycled postage stamp pieces.
The first one starts out with a hand-drawn and painted mailbox on post, with flag up and door open. I wanted this message to be all the different things that can be delivered to you from your mailbox. There is the obvious "Hello" and a cancelled stamp from the Boston area that I happened to receive in my own mailbox the day I was making this. Also are four stamps cascading down as though they are falling out of the mailbox. Mali, Peru, Vietnam and India not only offered pretty pictures on their stamps, they came from a matching set from my collection. The background contains postal related papers and rubber stamp images. The white-washed look comes from using surface prep medium called Gesso. Finishing this 8"x10" canvas involved adding textures, like the leaves, blue wind swirls, white patches of crackle paste and glittery mica flakes.
Next up is an oval shaped canvas with a hand-drawn mailbox and a background filled with postage related goodies, including three original cancelled stamps that add up to 12 cents. Finishing textures were added to complete this wall hanging. The green leaves around the mailbox post was done using modeling creme and a stencil, just like the picture above.
These next two wall hangings upcycled some of the front sides of stationery/greeting cards I had. The cards were special to me because they come from J. Rodolfos collection of original mouth-painted pieces the Association of Handicapped Artists in Buffalo, NY published in a stationery set. I feel as though by including his art into mine, I'm honoring it. I did however decide to paint my own touches to the cards, changing them a bit from the originals and then drew a large stamp around it. This way it would appear that the card was the picture on the stamp.
Of course real stamps were placed on and some were meant to blend into the background like the buffalo and train, as if pieces of the original card extended outward. The bird sitting above the trees on its own branches is another example. Finishing textures were added and these each received four screw head embellishments on the corner of the cards.
What bird? This bird! lol
This little boy is a paper cut-out from a Victorian book I have. He originally was drawn with doves in his basket. I saw the opportunity to put envelopes in it instead. So I created a few from white cardstock and addressed them with tiny writing using my smallest black Micron pen (size 005). Then drew little stamps and postal seals on them. Cut them to look as though they are inside the basket and glued them on. The mailbox is hand-drawn and the leaves are green modeling creme with a stencil. A real postage stamp with a grand southern house on it, sits in the background and appears to be a house in this little boy's neighborhood.
Four bookmarks that I'm working on that are almost finished and just need to be laminated to make them a bit more sturdy. Love, Tranquility, Longevity and Peace. These words were hand written with my calligraphy pen on parchment paper and then ModPodged on. A small strip of non-skid weaving was added for texture. The stamps are real and were placed around the pictures formed from the ripped paper with a Japanese theme. The green bamboo shoot is a rubber stamp that I just received from my aunt. I think she's had it for decades.
When you zoom in on the bookmarks you can see their details and how the papers are fitted together with the postage stamps.
These holiday gift tags have a couple of real stamps on them. The details of how these were made and close up pics of each can be found in my latest blog "Homemade Gift Tags Make Me Happy".
Upcycling my old Christmas cards is one of my favorite things to repurpose and this US Post Office ornament is no exception. I added a lot of black outlines with my Micron black marker, drew and water-colored the public mailbox and the post office sign on the building. I look a wintery wonderland Christmas card, made some additions to it, including the white snowflakes made with a stencil and some modeling paste and ModPodged it onto a painted wooden sleigh.
And lastly, we have the "Plant Happiness" flower that also has a message of "Enjoy Life" on it's stem. The center of the flower is a postage stamp with hand drawn edges. Many details went into this painting and were captured in the following close-up pics.
Here's some more close up shots showing details:
(Notice how some of the corner shots show you how the painting is wrapped around the canvas? That is because it is meant to be hung "as is" without a frame and enjoyed on the wall from all sides of the room).
Notice the blue iridescent modeling creme stars? Those shine blue depending on the light and angle you are looking at them. As you walk around the room the blue stars shine and your eye is drawn to the painting. I picked blue on this red painting because I thought it was patriotic and when I think of the US Post Office, I think "patriotic".
Each of the mixed media postage themed items are for sale on the website and a link below to each is provided for your convenience. Just click on a picture below and it will bring you directly to its sales page. If you'd like to have one made for you with a special date or place, simply place a special order with me.