Riotous Ripples and Purple Koi

koi coverAt my new house we have a big koi pond just outside my studio door. The waterfalls on it are a most wonderful sound to work to but I had never dealt with any kind of yard garden feature before and we were left with a murky mess so it wasn’t so lovely to look at. We knew there were fish in there but we could hardly see them so we weren’t sure what we had. I did a ton of research and finally, last week, hit upon the one thing that cleared it up (it was a pea gravel filter, in case there are any pond owners out there struggling with algae bloom as well) and now I’ve been gazing at my clear water and six beautiful koi including two that are as big as a loaf of bread. They are amazing.

This purple journal cover by Wojciech Chowaniec is as amazing as the fish it glorifies. I wish I had a purple colored koi but the look on this fish reminds me of the large one in our little school. Although the purple next to the shimmering blue is half the drama, the curve and active arrangement of the fins along with the riotous ripples of the water add a lot of energy to this as well.

Did you notice that the fish is not all purple? There is actually more silver than purple and the fins look to be bronze. But it’s the purple that pops. However, like our piece yesterday, the other colors around the purple is what gives the color so much liveliness.

Creating dramatic and energetic covers in polymer is what Wojciech does. He actually tends towards the macabre and fantasy based themes but this certainly shows off his skill with both bas-relief sculpture and color. You can check his other work out in his Etsy shop.

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Journals: Organic Matter

gabriellepollacc organic matter journalJournal covers are very much like blank canvases, which means you can do anything you desire on them. Your medium is probably the only thing that will constrict you, but then you aren’t restricted to one medium, are you? Polymer is amazing and will always be my go to material but I wouldn’t ignore other wonderful options, especially since so many other mediums work so well with polymer.

Here is a journal cover that has no polymer on it but most of the materials used are quite familiar to polymer clayers and could be combined with it to create looks inspired by this texture rich cover. Gabrielle Pollacco uses an insanely wide array of paints, inks, powders, sprays, stencils, stamps and a few other things to create this cover. Sometimes, too many materials is like too many ingredients in a recipe … going overboard can really muck things up. But Gabrielle brings it all together here by limiting her palette and sticking with a weathered look as her thematic motif.

She seriously looks like she is having way too much fun in this video tutorial that she recorded of her full process for creating this cover. I now have a new list of products to find and try so if you watch this, you have been warned that it may result in a bit of frenetic online shopping! Also … the music she uses may get stuck in your head and have you bopping about the rest of the day. It’s not a bad thing. Just wanted to give you a head’s up so you are ready to defend yourself with the mute button if bopping is not appropriate at the time.

Weekly Inspiration Challenge: Create a journal cover for your goals and plans book. Try some new materials to really make it interesting. If you’ve not covered a journal or sketchbook before and find covering a pristine new book on your first try to be a bit too much pressure, create on a separate sheet of clay that can be glued to the journal later or, if you like it as is, can be a bit of inspiration to frame. A sheet of raw clay, cured between two tiles to keep it perfectly flat can be a great ‘canvas’ to work on.

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Journals: Polymer Painted

monika autumn journalNot only is today’s journal cover an inspiration for what you can do with your own decorative journal cover, it’s a beautiful example of ‘painting’ with polymer.

England’s Monika Duchowicz actually does do a bit of acrylic painting on this along with the polymer applications but it doesn’t come across as painted. I would guess most of the painting is in the moss on the stone and in the water which is beautifully rendered and in a way that polymer would not be able to emulate in such a seamless fashion. With a successful background in painting, it’s no wonder that the water and its complex reflections look so real.

Journals are a primary form for Monika, especially these painterly ones. You can view more of her journals as well as wearable art in her Etsy shop and on her website which is in Polish and English although some pages are just one or the other. You can always drop the URL of a page or parts of text into Google Translate if you come upon text that needs translating. .

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Gorgeously Dark

il_fullxfull.475132936_d734This week counts down to that one very dark and ominous day (or fun and frolicsome, depending on your approach) sometimes known as the All Saint’s Eve, Day of the Dead, Samhain, Allantide among other things, but most commonly known as Halloween. It’s that day when, in many Christian-based religions as well as pagan and European folklore, we either have a chance to speak to loved ones passed on and/or we must hide from the demons and other creatures that have the opportunity to walk the earth the one night when the veil between the worlds of the living and dead are thinnest. That makes the holiday seem rather dreary, but truly, it’s more of a celebration of the lives that have lived. Death and the things of the dark exist in contrast to the vibrancy of life and the light. Without the dark, how would we appreciate the light? And even the dark things can be quite beautiful.

So this week, let’s look at the beauty of dark things. I promise it will not be all spooky and ghoulish. But, okay, we’re going to start off kind of on that end. If you are familiar with the movie Aliens then you would likely then recognize the imagery of Swiss sculptor, painter and set designer, H.R. Giger who designed the alien and extraterrestrial environments for that movie, in the work of Aniko Kolesnikova that you see here. This journal cover is a display piece that Aniko uses to show off her hand tooled polymer sculpture techniques. The melding of Aniko’s skills and the Giger imagery makes for gorgeous lines and intriguing textures as well as being an combined example from two different artists of how beautiful the dark renditions of the imagination can be.

Most of Aniko’s work is not that dark, she just embraces this as part of all that is beautiful in this world. Or that’s how I see her work. I mean, her moniker is “Mandarin Duck” (I don’t know why … ) and commonly refers to her blog readers as “honey bunnies”, so she’s definitely not all about the dark side. See more of her varied work on her website and more journals on this Pinterest board.

 

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