Monday, June 3, 2013

S is for SEA ... sighhhhhh!

It has been some time since my last post.  After almost working myself into exhaustion, I desperately needed to get away from everything and get some rest.  So ... I headed to the sea.  It was marvelous.  I finally got to relax and leave work behind me.  However, I couldn't leave my art behind.  I packed up an emergency craft kit along with my bathing suit and away I went.  What a great life.

My "S" word project for Simon Says Stamp & Show Challenge brought to you by the letter S is something that I have been working on for the last couple of weeks.  When I returned from vacation, I was so surprised to see that my project fit this week's theme.  Wow! 

This project gives you just a taste of how I felt when I left the time constraints, deadlines and burdens of work for sand, sun and sea.  It was as if the stress melted away.  I love my job, but sometimes it can get a little hectic and overwhelming.

I used a little of everything on this project -- so I apologize in advance for this image-heavy post.   I started by creating the "sea" on the right side of the paper.  I used Peacock Feathers Distress Ink on an Ink Blending Tool.  I sprayed the inked foam pad on the tool with water from Mini Mister and applied it to watercolor paper to create a light wash over the entire sea.  Then I applied Peacock Feathers ink directly from the ink pad to the paper to get the concentrated color at the horizon line.  As I got closer to the "beach", I blended in some Broken China Distress Stain with a water brush.  I used Distress Markers in Broken China, Faded Jeans and Picket Fence to create the waves.

If you notice some texture to the waves, I layered on Peacock Feathers Distress Ink and Picket Fence Distress Paint with  Claudine Hellmuth Studio Gloss Multi Medium to try to get help me portray the sense of movement in the water.

I wanted to show how the sea helped to dissolve the stress of work, so I began by writing the word "WORK" with a Perfect Medium Pen on the part of the paper where I wanted my beach.  I then blended Pumice Stone Distress Ink over where I wrote "WORK".  I was a little concerned because I couldn't see what I wrote.  I took my water brush and brushed water over where I knew the letters were.  As the ink began to diffuse with the water, the letters remained because the ink adhered to the medium.  I honestly thought it would be a resist and leave the letters white.  However, I like this much better because it looks like I wrote the word "WORK" in the sand and invited the tide to wash it away.

To keep the transparency of the waves over the word "WORK", I mixed Glossy Accents with Peacock Feathers Distress Ink and used a flat paint brush to create the ripples of the tide as it washes over the sand.

Now work has reared its ugly head in my lovely art.  So I needed to way to show with how the piles of paperwork and deadlines (all of which were important and urgent) made me feel.  I started by creating a wash with Black Soot and Bundled Sage Distress Ink, the Ink Blending Tool, and spritzed water on the extreme left edge of the paper. 

I stamped various clock and watch faces by inking the stamps with Distress Markers in Black Soot, Bundled Sage and Broken China.  I used a water brush and Mini Mister to let some of the ink wick away from some of the stamped images.

The specter of Time was such a big issue over the last couple of months in my life; so, I wanted it to have a bigger part in the design.  I recently bought Tim Holtz's Weathered Clock die (on clearance!).  I used it to make a cardstock "mask".  I used my blending tool to blend Black Soot and Bundled Sage over the mask and my stamped clock faces.  I used a Black Soot Distress Marker to outline the weathered clock image and added three spinners (one of which was colored with a red alcohol ink marker).  Three hands on the clock instead of two helped me show how crazy Time was for me.

 I added some torn paper and a grunged Kraft Glassine envelope to the left side to complete the "evil" work side of the project.

I then used misted water and a water brush to started blending the Black Soot, Bundled Sage and Peacock Feathers ink and allowing ink to drip from right to left and back again.  I dried the drips with a heat tool.  Distress Ink is so incredible for this kind of effect on watercolor paper!

Now back to the "sea"-side!  I thought it was somewhat ironic to use a torn Kraft Glassine envelope and Spare Parts tape with print on it to create the rest of the "beach" for my sea.  I again used Glossy Accents and Peacock Feathers and Picket Fence Distress Ink to create the translucent waves effect.  I "overdried" the Glossy Accents with a heat tool to give it some bubbles for the sea foam.

 The entire "Sea" was then covered with Gloss Multi Medium.  It gave all of the "water" a glossy sheen.  I added some seashells that I had collected on my daily beach walks.  Heidi Grace "Ghost" letters were used to make the word "SEA".  I colored the letters with a turquoise alcohol ink marker and "glued" them to the sea with Glossy Accents.  I then used a Faded Jeans Distress Marker to add shadowing to the letters.

I waited until the end to do the sky.  I wanted to use a clock face background stamp to continue the fading clocks into the sky as well.  To make sure they faded out into the whispy cirrus clouds of the sky, I first painted the sky in places with Picket Fence Distress Paint and dried it with a heat tool.  I inked part of my clock face background stamp with Broken China Distress Stain and stamped it over the distress paint.  I washed over it with a water brush and dried the washed out images with a heat tool. 

I used my blending tool wash technique to add more Peacock Feathers over the sky and used  Broken China Distress Marker to stamp the word "escape".  I washed over this with a water brush and dried the word.  It was too light, so I used Faded Jeans to stamp the word "escape" again over the Broken China "shadow" image.

Whew!   That was some blog to come back to after weeks of being off the map.  I guess you can see that I really enjoyed my vacation and my art therapy :)

-- Mary Elizabeth


Candy C said...

Mary...your piece is awesome. I love the water and how you really have achieved the look of movement with your colors and the gloss multi medium. Very cool! I really can get a sense of what you were going through when you created this piece...the feeling of time closing in all around you and the sea being your escape. Very nicely done. Thanks for sharing your art with us at Simon Says Stamp and Show. <3 Candy

butterfly said...

What a wonderful creation - expressing with such depth and clarity your need to escape the constraints of everyday life and the immense solace of your escape to the sea... Beautiful. I'm signing up so as not to miss anything now you're back!
Alison x

Mary Elizabeth said...

Hi Alison. Thanks so much for the lovely comments!! I'm a big fan of your work, so it means a lot to me that you came by to take a look at my projects. By the way, I'm glad you liked the butterfly tag :) Now to thank you for the suggestion to put a followers gadget on my blog. Honestly, I never thought anyone would want to follow me, so the idea never occurred to me. It's now on there. I'm new to blogging. I appreciate any suggestions.

Looking forward to staying up with you as well. Have a great week! -- Mary Elizabeth

Anita Houston said...

FANTASTIC!!!! Your waves are so realistic...what artistry!!!! I'd love to have watched this in the works! Thank you for showing us your S inspiration this week here at Simon Says Stamp & Show!!!

sara j said...

Mary Elizabeth this is drop dead amazing. The color, movement and texture in the sea is fabulous. The fact that you can remember that it is darker at the horizon is also a big plus (I can't seem to do that...maybe I should give it a The way you've dissolved work is really pretty brilliant. Great use of materials for an overall stunning effect. WOWZA. Thanks for stopping by the Fun Room too! So glad you did so I could see this! Enjoy.

Anna-Karin said...

Beautiful project!! Wow, love all those gorgeous layers and meaningful details. The sea looks wonderful and those clocks too. Thanks so much for sharing your s-inspiration with us this week at Simon Says Stamp and Show!

butterfly said...

So glad you've put in the Followers gadget... let's hope the whole thing stays around long enough for you to gather the followers you deserve! (Personally, I'd have given you the SSSaS top 3 for this one...)
Alison xx