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Black and White Show and Beyond

March 16, 2010

Regal Kitty. This is a remake. I made it, it broke and now I’ve remade it. The components are pretty much the same. The original had these dyed white leaves and they fell apart after a while. So I glued these puppies down good with my Designer Dries Clear adhesive. Still a little wet when I took the photo. Had 10 minutes left to turn it into the e-go gallery down the street. Part of Made In Clarkdale, only a monthly set up with fewer artists at a time. Like a real gallery!

Regal Kitty by Emily M. Miller

Mixed Media: Fabric, chain, beads, Art Glitter black micro-beads, AG Krystallos Vintage Glass Glitter Shards, AG Microfine Opaque Black Wing Glitter, Dried leaves with AG Microfine Transparent Winter White Glitter on top. I think I liked my original design better. Oh well.

Spherical Sanctuary. I turned this in for the show too. A digital B&W I took a few years ago. Momo jumped in, I took the photo and she jumped back out. She loves the laundry basket because it represents the possibility of warm clothes to lay on.

Here’s my new treasure. I dipped these fragile leaves (that I got for real cheap after Christmas in a package with red and green ones too) into a mixture of Designer Dries Clear adhesive and water (2:1 ratio). Drain off excess glue and place on a piece of wax paper to dry. Let dry (don’t try to move early!) for 30 to 45 minutes and pull off gently. Presto, flexible, sturdy leaves!

Leaves treated with Designer Dries Clear Adhesive

Here’s a taste of something to come. I started these Fantasy Film (Satin) butterfly wings for the B&W show but just couldn’t get motivated to finish them. Finally got inspired and got this far this weekend. Will show you more as they progress. They may not stay B&W, don’t know, will ponder this some more later!

Fantasy Film White Wings by Emily M. Miller

Enjoy – emm

Black and White Boxes and Butterflies

March 7, 2010

Trying to get some black and white artwork ready for a small show coming up. Hope I can do it all. Deadline is this Saturday at noon! Pray for me.

Black and White Butterfly/Dragonfly Boxes

Here are my boxes. To see the color versions on my Art Glitter blog go here. They were also featured in an article on here. Enjoy!

Dragonfly Box

Butterfly BoxButterfly Box

Click on the thumbnails to see a larger version, then come back here!

I know, you are probably tired of my butterflies, but I’m not tired of them yet! Here are my black and white versions.

All Black and White Butterflies

Fantasy Film Butterfly, Black and White

Thanks for stopping by! Later -emm

First Sunday with no Football

February 27, 2010

We’re a family again, no more divided lines on what to do. Brad and Ethan watching football while Jackson and I do our separate things. We decided to test out our new tent in the park next door because our yard is too small! So here they are rolling it out.

Testing the Tent

Testing the Tent

Pretty easy so far.

Testing the Tent

Had some rough spots getting the rain fly on. As you can see this tent has a doggy door. If you look close you’ll see Jackson in there. He thinks it is a Jackson door.

Testing the Tent

The cops came by to make sure we weren’t trying to camp overnight! Brad of course knew the nice gentleman. He knows all the cops. Now don’t think bad thoughts, it’s because of his job at the radio station. He talks to them every day! So the next hurdle is making this thing fit back in the bag it came in.

Testing the Tent

Had to re-roll it a few times, but we got it to work! Now we just have to wait for nice weather.  It’s been rainy 🙂 and cold 😦 since our trial run but we know, the warmer weather is soon to come! Brad still sniffles some on Sunday morning.

Butterfiles-I’ve started and I can’t stop!

February 18, 2010

Oh boy, it’s been two weeks since my last post. I have been in a funk and not wanting to do anything. And so in true fashion of my new mantra: ‘Do what you want to do when you want to do it’, I did nothing! Well, I read a couple of mystery novels. I still walked the dog. And I ate cookies and chocolate, had to, it was Valentines week!

I also bought some items on eBay. That was fun. And I’ve received several items in the mail. A couple of art pieces from some friends in a small swap and my pages from the chunky book swap. I’ll post pictures later, really cool stuff! It is so great getting real mail! I am so humbled by the enormous amount of talent out there!

Fantasy Film Butterflies

I worked on these butterflies right after I finished my pages. Had to, got started and couldn’t stop! What actually happened is I took them to work to show off and my friend Nancy said (having seen the pages already), “Oh, these are nice too, but no wires.” So naturally I had to put wires on them, then beads and findings found their way into the project too!

Nancy's Fantasy Film ButterfyDebrey's Fantasy Film Butterfy

Fantasy Film ButterfySophie's Fantasy Film Butterfy

Elizabeth's Fantasy Film ButterfyFantasy Film Butterfy

I have almost given them all away so I guess I’ll have to make more! I’m working on some black and white ones now for a little show coming up in my little town. Again, more pics later! Enjoy!

AU Techniques Chunky Book Done

February 4, 2010

Butterfly pages

Done! Ya-hoo! I spent most of the weekend finishing up my babies. Who’s departure I started to mourn as soon as I was done with them. I laid them all out to dry and had to photograph them. If you can make it through this whole post, I have a few close-ups at the end.

By the end of the last blog I decided that I wanted to use another technique from Michael’s class than just the background. And that is where the wiring comes in. A very simple technique of punching a hole through your background, (or drilling for a more formidable surface) and wiring it down. Usually you want to hide the wire, but I used it as part of the design.

Butterfly Pages

I have an old clay tool that worked perfect to punch holes. A folded cloth under the page worked wonders; I was able to move quickly. (And for the squeamish of you please ignore the broken pinky on my right hand, long story).

Butterfly pages

Then just feed the wire through like you are sewing. With the two open ends I added a tiger eye bead. I wrapped the wire around it as quickly as I could and had pleasant results!

butterfly pages

Then I laid the butterfly on and punched through the wings and the page at the same time.

butterfly pages

And wired him on, starting with the back side, crisscrossing the thorax, under and back out to the front again. (FYI – the wires on the back, covered with my techniques info sheet make a smile. I should have taken a photo of that too, but I had to draw the line somewhere!)

butterfly pages

I wound the excess ends out on to a wooden dowel, starting about an inch from the page.

butterfly pages

Then rolled back down to the page. They are not perfect and I love them that way. You may have noticed the tape on my fingers, a necessity for this step! While rolling the dowel down you need to hold the coiled end and it is sharp.

butterfly pages

I love seeing them all piled on top of each other, it’s like they have a life of their own. My little children, preparing to take off, so I named them “heading out”. I have to state again how much I love mass-producing. I love perfecting a technique and the growth process involved.

butterfly pages

I tried several things to finish the background and again fell back on glitter. I guess I just can’t help myself. To change it up a little I did use Art Glitter’s Elements – Tailings, which is more of a tiny glass nugget, not technically glitter. (Glitter is cut from thin films.) Just draw on the Designer Dries Clear Adhesive and cover with Tailings. Oh yes, and I forgot to mention at the end of my last blog that I did use a matt finish spray after the textures on the thorax dried. Elements is an organic substance and has to be sealed. And I got a wonderful metallic look to the fantasy film that was an unexpected, happy surprise.

butterfly pages

Done! Now what am I going to do?

butterfly pages

Here are the close-ups I promised. Thanks for indulging me!

butterfly pages

butterfly pages

butterfly pages

butterfly pages

Mingus Mountain and The Dream

January 27, 2010

Here’s my mountain. Mingus Mountain. This is about as much snow as we ever see on it. It reminds me of Wyoming, where I grew up. It’s been a while since I’ve been back there. Have gone on a couple of trips by myself, but not with Brad and the boys.  We’ve planned several trips, but something else always comes up. So Brad promised me we will go summer of 2011. Of course Yellowstone is #1 on the list of places to go. We have also been talking about renting an RV for any trip really, so Brad’s been hot and heavy about looking into making it happen this time.

I have dreams about Yellowstone all the time. But this last one really tops it all. We were in our rented RV, Brad driving, me in the passenger seat, kids somewhere in the back, enjoying Yellowstone. At first everything seemed normal then we started careening around the cliff edges and I was scared to death! So needless to say, I’ve decided we will NOT be taking an RV to Yellowstone!

So then we are parked somewhere and we rent…bears! Yes, we rent bears and are riding them along the roadside! And I remember thinking, “Oh, all the cars are going to create a ‘bear jam’ trying to get a look at what they think are wild bears. But they’re just rented bears, stupid people.” Then we come across a porcupine, a big porcupine, about 5 feet long! But he was very docile and quite happy to see us. He rolled over on his back and I petted his tummy with my foot. Something tells me this is a symbol of my spastic dog!

That’s all I remember. I’ve been smiling for days. Enjoy!

Chunky Book Take Two

January 25, 2010

My adventure continues…embellishing the pages. I came up with several ideas, but they seemed too complicated. I purposely tried to stay away from Fantasy Film as a main media, (because I use it so much!) but my mind kept coming back to it. And then I received a bag of scraps from work and so it was meant to be. I wanted to do something quick and easy with wings so stamping was a natural thought. But it always takes so long to cut the image out and my hands are so sore after 30 of them! Then I thought about burning the edges off with a candle flame and now we’re off to the races.

I like to prepare my stamp by heating it first with an iron (cover it with parchment paper first), this helps grab onto the first layer of film. Then ink with black permanent ink and lay on one layer of Fantasy Film.

You can see all around the stamp my scraps of Fantasy Film from other stamping projects that I cover the image with.

Cover the scraps with parchment paper and iron for a few seconds. Since these scraps are on the thick side I iron for about 5-10 seconds. Just until my light starts to blink on my iron!

You can see the ink through the film.

Trim off excess film and separate the wings.

Hold edges up to flame and move around till done. Yes there are burn marks, and if it caught on fire I simply blew it out. Love it!

I held it right over the cut between the wings to get more definition. I also heated the wings to make them curl up. I even got some great holes in some of them. I don’t have a photo of it, but I did use a pair of pliers to hold the butterfly since the film is so thick it does get quite hot.

To give the body a fluffy effect I added Elements Earth Textures. Draw the body on with the Designer Dries Clear adhesive and dump some Elements on.

To make it really thick I gently added another line of glue and Elements.

This is pretty thick and not dry at all, so just slide the Elements off carefully.

Roughly this is it so far. I will be using more techniques from Michael deMeng’s class to attach them. I see wire, beads, E-6000 and possibly ribbon in my near future. Stay tuned. (If you didn’t see the making of the background see my last post.) Enjoy!

2009 Art Unraveled Techniques Chunky Book Take One

January 19, 2010

Okay, here’s the new adventure. I’ve signed up to be part of the 2009 Art Unraveled Techniques Chunky Book. For this chunky book exchange you need to have had a class at the 2009 Art Unraveled gig and your page is to represent a technique you learned there. As you already know from my last posting, my surprise technique I learned was how to paint again, and really enjoy it. So that’s my big exciting technique, painting a background!

Back ground in stages

I started with a cheese crisp box from the Mexican restaurant down the street (Su Casa, love it!). There are some cuts in the box making some of it unusable, but I was able to get eight 4 x 4 inch pieces anyway. I made 4 of them for a total of 32 pages. Since I only need 29 I can properly screw up 3 of them! (Can anyone say hello to Christmas mini-presents for Vicki and Cheryl this year?).

Finished Back ground

So the technique is simple, mix your acrylic paints with water to make a proper wash and apply colors until you are happy. It works best to start out with a dark color and go lighter or visa versa. You can use a heat tool to speed up drying times. But be careful if you are using a cheep surface like mine. It will bubble up if it gets too hot! Lovely rich colors!!!

I also enjoy blotting some paint away with a paper towel to get a faux texture.

Azo Gold Rag

This paper towel has so much paint on it (Azo Gold, yea!) I’m going to save it. Yes, I am a bit stingy. But it suites me! Anyway, I’m also showing you my stubby fingers in this shot because I derive a measurable amount of joy by seeing paint on my fingers. Of course it translates to creativity to me that I get reminders of every time I look at my hands until it completely washes off. Am I alone in this feeling?

Back side of back ground

On the backside I went for a slightly drier brush effect, just for sh*ts and giggles. I must admit at this point how much I thoroughly enjoy mass production pieces. The maturation from piece to piece thrills me!

Cut to size back grounds

Ta Da! All cut up. I had envisioned myself with my straight edge and x-acto blade deftly cutting these out at home when I realized…duh, there’s a big cutting board at work! Done, now for the embellishing. Will have to think about that some. Show you later.

DISCLAIMER: I apologize, these photos aren’t my best, acrylic paint reflects even the smallest amount of light. I had to take them with almost no lighting and there you have it.

No Guts No Glory, Grasshoppa Man and Michael deMeng

January 15, 2010

I’m starting a new adventure; well actually it started last summer when I went to Art Unraveled, a great artist’s retreat in Phoenix. I had a blast, learned a boatload and met a lot of amazing people, like I knew I would.

I took 5 classes and true to Emily nature, I barely finished anything. But right before the Made In Clarkdale show this last December I finished my pieces I started in Michael deMeng’s class – ‘What a Relief’. What an amazing class. I went to learn how to properly attach items to a relief and learned so much more. The biggest surprise was in learning how to paint again. I realize this statement would make my teachers in college spit. Yes, I learned how to paint traditionally, but it never was my thing, so I didn’t do it very much. Now, don’t get excited, I’m not going to start painting canvas; it’s still not my thing. But Michael said, “you’re just painting things, not painting”, and so I ended up painting my backgrounds for most of the class! We used acrylics, which have always been my favorite, but what I didn’t know was that there are transparent and opaque acrylics. I may seem a little naive in admitting this, but hey, it’s a great discovery anyway.

So here are my finished pieces. When I showed them to my husband he said, “You’re not one of those kinds of artists are you?” To which I didn’t reply to, I mean, we’ve been together for 21 years now…he’s well aware of the answer to that question. Anyway at Made In Clarkdale they were hung next to each other. Several times it was observed that a viewer would stare at them for a bit, run off and bring someone back to point at them together. I didn’t get to watch this myself, I’m always busy working the show, but my husband told me of these events, with some pride I might add. So overall, a resounding success!

Feel free to point and stare.

No Guts No Glory“No Guts, No Glory”

No Guts No Glory 'Heart'

Grasshoppa Man“Grasshoppa Man”

Grasshoppa Man Side View

Thank you Michael for a great class. If any of you ever have the chance to take a class, any class, from this man, do! And as for the new adventure? We’ll talk about that next time. Enjoy!  -emm

The Stars, The moon, Oh Yea

January 12, 2010

Oh boy, the moon and stars were spectacular this morning! I would say I wish you were there, but really it’s our time. Me and my spazdik dog, Scottie. Our walking time is in total darkness this time of year and it’s nice. It was about 36 degrees, so not too cold as we set off down the big hill in town, I noticed right away that it was incredibly clear and very dark. Then we came up the hill the back way, off-road. I let Scottie go free and had to watch my footing, but at the top of the hill I had to stop, a couple of times, just to take it all in. The moon was just a sliver, slightly above the horizon and every star was visible.

This is the time of year when I really start to crave longer days. But today was an exception. I’ll take it!

Scottie and MeHere’s the spaz and I out front later today he would not cooperate! Ethan, my photographer, was still able to get a couple of good shots.

Scottie and Me

Scottie is an Australian Shepherd Lab mix about a year and a half old.

Loot from walk

And here’s the loot I picked up when we went on one of our longer weekend walks, (during daylight!). Actually this is stuff I’ve seen forever along our trails, but I happened upon the rusted coiled wire for the first time and couldn’t pass it up. And once I took out a bag…well…I just had to fill it! Pretty great stuff right? I know you’re all jealous! Anyway, hopefully you’ll be seeing these pieces show up somewhere along the way in my artwork. Maybe it will make sense then, maybe not…in the eye of the beholder right?

Soon I’ll take the camera out with me and show you some of my routes. I love this town. Scottie does too.