Friday, June 26, 2015

Trying something new!

When I collage, I have a tendency of using small pieces of paper. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this method, but I wanted to try to maintain some larger areas in these pieces.

Rachel Loewens: Trying something new!

Rachel Loewens: Trying something new!

Rachel Loewens: Trying something new!

Rachel Loewens: Trying something new!

Rachel Loewens: Trying something new!

In an attempt to be more organized, I've already uploaded these to my print store for sale! 

Happy making!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Science notebook success!!

When I was a youngster I loved to hike. I lived in a house surrounded by trees so I spent as much time outside as I did in. As I got older and had some health issues (more on that subject at a later time), hiking was no longer an activity that I could enjoy. 

Thankfully this summer has been quite the turn-around for me. I'm feeling better than I have in a long while, and we are starting to make a Sunday hike part of our weekly routine. My kiddos have been all up for it until lately when a dead baby animal sighting and a drastic increase of mosquitoes have threatened to derail this exercise. 

I knew that if I gave my kiddos some sort of activity to do while we hike we would be fine, but what can you "do" with a 4yo and 3yo while you hike? My solution was to make a science notebook where they could mark off each time they saw something on the trail.

Science notebook success!

I made a list of the most common things we see and showed them how to make a tick mark each time they saw the item listed. Knowing my children as I do, I knew that this would last no more than five minutes, but I hoped that it would at least kinda redeem hiking in their little minds. 

Science notebook success!

As predicted, they lost interest in making little marks, but instead drew a line or scribble each time they saw something of note. Ants, butterflies, squirrels, wild turkeys and bird sightings were all meticulously recorded on this page. 

Science notebook success!

So not only did we get through our Sunday/Father's Day adventure, but now I have an activity to try for our upcoming 10+ hour road trip!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

My process: quilting with paper

So, I thought I would talk a little bit about my process today. Specifically, how I select the papers I use in a particular collage. Most of the papers I use come from magazines because they are convenient and are otherwise headed to the recycling bin!

My stash isn't too big, but I do have the goal in the back of my head that I should try to use it all up by the end of the year. This helps me avoid hanging on to "favorite" pieces or treating them as precious. The second I start being concerned with "ruining" a piece by cutting it up, I know I'm going to get stuck!

Rachel Loewens: quilting with paper

So, I'm sitting on my couch with these piles of paper before me thinking, "Where should I start?" The easiest place for me to begin is to grab the first piece that really jumps out at me. Then I start flipping through the stacks pulling out other pieces that I think would go well with that first piece. In the picture below, I started with the page that is on top.

Rachel Loewens: quilting with paper

If you are a quilter, you will probably think that this sounds quite a lot like the process you use when pulling fabrics at the store because that is really how I view a collage, a quilt out of paper. 

Rachel Loewens: quilting with paper

I try to find an interesting balance between warm and cool colors, semi-solids and patterns and so forth. Sometimes I'm really successful at this and sometimes not so much!

Rachel Loewens: quilting with paper

Often I go and pick out paper for multiple collages at once with the intention of doing all the cutting and pasting in the very near future. This has lead to multiple "What was I thinking?" moments when I look back at what I've previously assembled. :-)

Anyway, selecting the papers I'm going to use for a piece is one of if not my favorite part of the process. Would love to know if any of you work this way as well!

Happy making!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Shop update!

Just wanted to let you all know that I've update my shop on Fine Art America to include my latest collages! 

They provide multiple print options as well as pillows, duvet covers, tote bags and cell phone cases!

Also, you have the ability to select the size of print to best fit your wall size! 

Happy making (and shopping)!

Friday, June 5, 2015

More naptime making and interruptions!

Well, it looks like all these "Naptime Collages" might become a series since I keep making them! I've even toyed with recording myself making one until I realized how many times I have to stop and check in on one of my sleeping kiddos. (going to pause writing now to do just that!)

The one from the previous post and the three pictured above are all made on these pressed wood boards that I purchased last year at a school closing sale. They are a nice size and make an excellent substrate! You can see in the one below where I used a thick paper as a substrate how it curls up on the left side a bit. That won't be noticeable if I scan it in for prints or frame it for my own wall so I'm not worried! 

If anyone knows of any amazing tutorials for how to record yourself making art, please put a link in the comment section in case I decide to try it anyway!

Happy making!!

Monday, June 1, 2015

What I'm Making: a naptime collage

Rachel Loewens: nap time collage

I really needed to make something. I mean, REALLY needed to make something. As much as I love having my living room painted, the loss of making time over the past two weeks was really taking a toll on me. 

Rachel Loewens: nap time collage

Past experience has taught me that one of the easiest ways to get back in the creative mood is to piece some collages. There is something rather meditative about cutting up paper and you can always glue over the parts you don't like. For example, I thought for a little bit that the piece was complete as it was below. 

Rachel Loewens: nap time collage (attempt #1)

But then I thought that the proportions were a bit off so with a little bit of tweaking I ended up with this! 

Rachel Loewens: nap time collage

I wish I would have used a gel medium  instead of a fluid medium so the wrinkles wouldn't have been so bad. Live and learn!