Sunday, May 19, 2013

Sometimes there was a storm in her brain

Some years ago Lisa...if you don't know Lisa I will have to tell you about her later on this blog.  She is my sister of choice and she knows me well...any way some years ago Lisa gave a me sweet little Sally Jean pennant that said, "sometimes she has a storm in her brain."  She said it was me.  She said I always have a storm brewing in my brain.  She is right.  Many nights I lay awake until the wee hours of the morning because I cannot quiet my monkey brain (that is what Patti calls the way our brains work).
I have been wanting to do something with my art to be a physical manifestation of the storm in my brain. Almost a year ago Wendy Vecchi came to Twin Falls to teach at our shop.  Wendy has become a dear friend and she is very good to share her love of all things inky.  She is also one of life's cheerleaders.  By that I mean Wendy knows what so many artists in my world do takes nothing from them when they encourage and celebrate those who are learning and growing.
While at the shop Wendy taught a class using a stamp I love...It is a womans head but it is created in an almost anitomical that I mean she is uniquely represented with a "monkey brain"....lots of little places for thoughts to roam and interupt other thoughts...that is my interpretation of her.
This is her in the lower left hand corner as I stamped her onto a piece of grunge board.
In Wendy's workshop we took her and created an art angel....I cannot tell you how much I love this piece!  She is happy-ness for me.
That is this favorite head stamped and executed to make a funky art angel.  Now as much as I love this piece and I truly do she does not reflect the storm in my brain so yesterday I began to create the storm.
I stamped the head on grunge board (I have no idea what it is I just know I love it).  Then using grunge paper (same thing just a paper weight and I still don't know what it is) I went to work stamping and cutting flowers, leaves, hearts and all the little bits and pieces of my brain storm.
The stamps come from stampers annonymous (Wendy Vecchi) the ink is Ranger Archival Jet Black
Next I gave her color.
Using Tim Holtz Distress Stains I colored her skin (tattered rose)...this took two coats.
Just a little tip here, dry completely between coats.
To add detail I used Tim Holtz Distress Pens.  I darkened her eyelids with two more coats of tattered rose but this time I used the pens.  I colored the whites of her eyes with Picket Fence.
(Here is a little tip from a past life.  When Dennis and I were first married I would color his black and white prints to create softly colored color pictures.  It was popular at the time and I learned a lot about adding color where there wasn't any.  One of the things I learned was that when coloring eyes you do not add a stroke of add color with tiny dots.  For this image I added the picket fence by making many tiny dots of color with the fine tip of the pen.  It looks more subtle and never looks forced.)
I added broken china blue to the iris of each eye the same way I added the white.  I made a small white dot on the blue for a reflection spot.
For her cheeks I spritzed the area with a light mist of water then added a daub of worn lipstick stain.  I let it spread with the water  and blotted with a tissue to keep it right where I wanted it.  I did this twice.
Her mouth is Worn Lipstick distress pen.  The lower lip is a stroke of color but the upper lip is dots...I also added a little bit of the worn lipstick to the shadow under the nose.
Last I spritzed the whole face with a fine mist of water to soften everything and leave no hard lines.  I let it air dry at this point.
I love this face.  It is soft.  It is peaceful.  It belies the storm in her brain. 
To illustrate the storm in her brain I created flowers cut and stamped on grunge paper.  Color for all this comes from Tim Holtz Distress Stains and Pens.  I added yellows , oranges, reds, blues, greens and even a little purple.
I stacked and layered the  pieces to make the top of her head seem to explode in color. I cut and stacked dozens of pieces...butterflies with tiny light bulb bodies, buttons, glossy hearts and an overload of color.
I love her...she is now part of a book I am teaching at the shop next weekend.
I will tell you this, she isn't finished.  I will have another version of her sometime soon.  You see to understand the storm in my brain you have to see into my heart and that is where she will go next. 
This girl looks nothing like me but she reflects me...not perfectly because art is not perfect...but she does reflect me in some ways and that gives me peace.


  1. Michele...
    YOU rocked this art!

  2. Thanks gave me the tools and I used my imagination while I was using them. Love you bunches!