Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Getting in a groove with #100daysofcollage

So for those of you out there who haven't read my blog before, I just wanted to say welcome, glad you stopped by. You have found me in the midst of the #100dayschallenge where I have dared myself to complete 100 collages in 100-ish days (you can find other participants on Instagram by searching #100days). 
While I am still in the first quarter of this challenge, I thought I would begin to cover some of the basics about my process so far. For starters, the paper. I knew that I wanted to work in a relatively small scale because my studio space is rather small and a lot of artists will tell you that the scale of their work is often informed by the size of their work space. 

This 6x8" pad seemed like it had the perfect dimensions for what I had envisioned. Ideally, I would have purchased Arches paper and cut it down, but I was looking for something more low maintenance. I then made myself a view finder so that I could have a better idea of how my finished piece would look while I'm still in the layout phase.

Rachel Loewens: Getting in a groove with #100daysofcollage

Here is my rough draft of a collage. I can adjust the layout, change proportions and switch out papers before settling on the final design.

Rachel Loewens: Getting in a groove with #100daysofcollage

Already, I'm accumulating quite a stockpile of scraps. Think I'll have to start using these up soon before they totally take up my work space!

Rachel Loewens: Getting in a groove with #100daysofcollage

Any of you big Snap chat fans? I just joined up and am posting there on a somewhat regular basis. I'm rachelloewen with no spaces if you wanted to add me!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Biting off more than I can chew? (100 Days of Collage)

For those of you who are addicted to Instagram like I am, you are all probably aware of the #the100daysproject. For everyone else, it is a sort of challenge to creative people to do what they do for 100 days in a row. I found out about it's launch date just before it happened and made an impulse decision to join in by focusing on #100daysofcollage. At first I used papers from my collection of magazines, but then switched over to my hand-printed ones on day three. 

Rachel Loewens: #100daysofcollage
Old palette paper + drawn tissue paper.

Rache Loewens: #100daysofcollage
Monoprint + layers of drawn tissue paper + acrylic paint
My stash of monoprints was starting to get low so I started cranking them out!

Rache Loewens: #100daysofcollage

But then making them started to feel more stressful, and I was becoming more fixated on the end goal instead of enjoying the process of making them. I mean, this should be fun, right?

Rache Loewens: #100daysofcollage

So now I am taking my time making these prints and giving myself permission to take a day off if need be. 

Rache Loewens: #100daysofcollage

I still plan on completing 100 collages, but I'm ok if it takes more than 100 days. Emily Jeffords talks about sustainable creativity on her blog and started the #doitfortheprocess hashtag on Instagram and those concepts are really resonating with me. 

Are any of you participating in the #the100daysproject? 

Saturday, April 16, 2016

When life gets crazy, I collage

The past nine months have been kinda crazy for my extended family medically speaking. Biopsies, cancer diagnosis, myasthenia gravis, feeding tubes, hospice care, heart transplant, infection, DNR, DNR repeal, DNR again, more biopsies, no cancer but abnormal cells, autoimmune responses, vitreous detachment, and on and on.

This week my grandfather-in-law finally passed away. He was a dearly loved man and left behind an amazing legacy of love and family. We are all taking comfort in the fact that he is no longer in pain and was fully ready for things to end. That being said, is is just hard and sad right now.

As we run around trying to get ready for the 10 hour drive that awaits us, I stepped away to have a little time in my studio to collage. It is what I do when I need to work with my hands and engage color but am a little bit of a mess inside.

Rachel Loewens: When life gets crazy, I collage

What do these textures look like next to each other? How does this color relate to that one? This is my favorite kind of therapy. 

Rachel Loewens: When life gets crazy, I collage

Rachel Loewens: When life gets crazy, I collage

Prints of these and others are available here in my shop

What are your favorite creative coping mechanisms? Would love to hear your stories!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Spring cleaning on my blog and in my shop!

After spending the last few weeks doing some spring cleaning in my house, I thought it was time to turn my attention to my blog! A new header and shop button were the first things to change on my list, and you will probably see a few other things updated over the course of the next week!

By the way, do any of you know how to get rid of the line separating my blog posts from the side bar? The one that is right over there? ---------->
It is kinda driving me nuts, and I haven't found a tutorial on how to remove it!

My shop is also getting updated! I hope you find it super easy to navigate!

After selecting the piece you like, you have several material options to choose from!

They will even mat and frame it for you before shipping out!!

I will continue to make more updates each week and will post those announcements on Instagram! Hope you are all having a productive season of cleaning/updating as well!!

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

In my sketchbook: playing with borders

This is just one of those weeks where I am having difficulty getting any studio time. Sketching time, however, has been much easier to come by. 
(Look how nice and sweet our cat looks! Don't be deceived!! He loves to drool all over my sketches! Yet another reason why I am not much of a cat person.)

Rachel Loewens: In my sketchbook, playing with borders

I really like to have parts of my designs go off the paper so that it feels like they extend beyond the work itself. Sometimes this can feel kind of awkward as I haven't always got the feel for a shape down before my pen hits the paper. I had the idea this week to draw a border about 1" around my paper so that I could have those initial movements outside the finished piece. 

Rachel Loewens: In my sketchbook, playing with borders

Then I thought it would be interesting to do two pieces side by side on the same sheet.

Rachel Loewens: In my sketchbook, playing with borders

After that I tried to see what would happen if I had a piece in the middle overlap both working areas. I already had multiple shapes down so it didn't work so well. 

Rachel Loewens: In my sketchbook, playing with borders

The next time, I drew two shapes overlapping both work areas. The final design in the left one ended up being significantly stronger than the one on the right. 

Rachel Loewens: In my sketchbook, playing with borders

Lastly, I kept things simple and had just one shape overlap. That gave me much more freedom to then work on each side individually because I want both sides to be interesting. 

Rachel Loewens: In my sketchbook, playing with borders

Left side:

Rachel Loewens: In my sketchbook, playing with borders

Right side:

Rachel Loewens: In my sketchbook, playing with borders

This whole, "What happens if I try this?" process is what really fuels my creativity. It keeps me from getting stuck in a rut and keeps my curiosity alive!

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