Christmas cards: Finding inspiration

Since I opened my Etsy shop, I’ve been planning to make a set of Christmas cards. You just have to, when you’re a Christmas lover, like I am. But alas, the inspiration was far far away because I wanted to create something in my own style, something a little bit different from what you’re used to, but still very Christmassy. What to do?

I did do some sketches, but didn’t like them. I looked at all kinds of Christmas stuff on Pinterest to get an idea of what makes something look like Christmas – is it the color combinations or the motifs? I certainly didn’t feel like doing Santa’s in red or green Christmas trees.

I’ve always loved the graphic styles from the 50-70s, so I started a board of Christmas stuff from that time. And – hooray – christmas was in all colors back then; pink, orange, teal, brown, purple etc.

At the same time I did this grey and neon colored quote and I had a painted paper laying around, waiting for a quote. But then I saw a fox appearing from the marks. I started tracing it and more animals and trees came through. I filled the gaps with grey, outlined and doodled a little more. It was a lot of fun!

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The last doodles I did, was the snowflakes and there it was – my new Christmas style, yeah!

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Next step was painting a series of painted papers, making marks and finding the hidden Christmas motifs in them.

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Out of the 10 paintings I chose the 4 I liked the best. They were scanned so I could do the finishing touches on my computer to get the ready for print.

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Off to the printer they went and this is the final result, that quickly found their way to my Etsy shop.

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Merry Christmas!

Charlotte

 

 

DIY – painted quote: The meaning of life…

I love quotes and I love having them around as reminders. This one is currently pinned up right above my computer, and I think it’s gonna stay for a while. As someone who only recently felt brave enough to call myself an artist, this is something that I still need to be reminded of:

The-meaning-of-life-quote_620

” The meaning of life is to find your gift,

the purpose of life is to give it away”

― William Shakespeare

(Print for sale in my Etsy shop)


To make your own…

You need:

  • a painted paper with lots of bold colours. Mine was a piece of watercolor paper where I’d been playing around with fingerpainting and making marks with bubble wrap etc. but you could also make a collage or find a page in a book or magazine – or anything else with lots of colors. Just make sure that the paper is heavy enough to paint on, or glue it onto a heavier piece .
  • a print of you chosen quote (or feel free to use one of mine – link below)
  • tracing paper
  • pencil
  • two shades of grey paint
  • small brush
  • paint markers (I use Posca pens)

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Step 1: Print out the quote.

Make a sandwich; colored paper, tracing paper and the quote on top.

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Step 2: Start tracing the text, but only the bold letters for now.

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It would look something like this on the painted paper.quote_text_traced


Step 3: Start painting around the letters.

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I used two shades of grey and blended them right on the paper. As you see I left a border of the multicolored background, but if you a going to put the final piece in a frame, I would recommend either no border or a wider one. Mine almost dissappeared as you’ll see in the last photo below.

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Step 4: When the paint is dry, place the quote and the tracing paper right on top of it again and trace the rest of the letters. Paint the text with paint markers (sorry I forgot to take photo, but I’m sure you know what it looks like) . Notice how I made sure to paint the darkest grey, where I knew I wanted to have white text on top.

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Step 5:  I also outlined the bold text with markes and pencil to make them pop. Finally I added a tiny bit of decoration, but feel free to doodle all over the place if you’d like to 🙂

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Step 6:  Now frame your masterpiece if you’d like and enjoy a job well done!

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Download PDF with quote.

 

^ Charlotte

 

 

See me, hear me, feel me, know me

See me, hear me, feel me, know me

– the story behind the painting

 

This is one of my most expressive painting so far. It was inspired by a mini class by Mitsi B, called “Expressing the true you”. The prombt was to paint your feelings.

Before I painted I listed to the TEDtalk by Brené Brown below, about “The power of vulnerabilty” and that sure tricked something inside me. I found all of my fluorescent colours and painted quickly. It felt so good!

This turned out to be one of my most “raw” and chaotic pieces but strangely also one of those I connect with the most. It’s an expression of my own pains, fears and longings to be truely seen, heard, felt and known. It surpriced me that it turned out to be so sad, but apparently something needed to be let out.

Art surely heals!

^ Charlotte

 

DIY – Spiral quote on stone

 
I love this quote:

“Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes and having fun”

― Mary Lou Cook

 
It’s such a great reminder of what been creative is all about. Some times  I forget and get all caught up in the end result…

Maybe you need a little reminder too? Writing your favorite quote on a post-it note is fine, but if you are a little messy (like me), they tend to disappear in the mountains of stuff on the desktop. A stone is a little harder to misplace, and a lot more decorative. Without further ado; let’s create!

quote_on_stone_color

You need:

  • a stone, a nice round one with a smooth surface is the easiest to write on
  • a print of you chosen quote (or feel free to use mine – link below)
  • tracing paper
  • pencil
  • tape
  • paint markers (I use Posca pens)

quote_on_stone_materials
Step 1: Print out the quote.

Cut out and tape it to the stone.

Insert tracing paper.
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Step 2: Start tracing the text.

If your tracing paper behaves like mine, you’ll need to go right to step 3 before the text on the stone disappears like fairy dust. Now is not the time for a coffee break! quote_on_stone_carbonpaper_hand

 

Step 3: Trace the text with your paint marker.quote_on_stone_hand

 

Leave it like this, or…

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Step 4: Bring out the colors and have fun!quote_on_stone_posca

 

You may want to give it a coat or 2 of varnish if the stone goes outside or if you want a glossy finish.  quote_on_stone_color

Download PDF: Quote_spiral_MaryLouCook

If you want to make your own spiral quote in Adobe Illustrator, download an .ai or .eps file here.

 

^ Charlotte

 

Ugly is all right!

My_ugly_painting

Some years ago I took a course in art therapy. From the first brushstroke, we were told that the purpose was not to paint pretty pictures – but to paint important pictures. Important in the sense that they could tell us something about ourselves and the things going on in our lives and our heads. A kind of personal status report.

And I tell you; it was tremendously surprising how much I and my fellow students have been told and transformed through our paintings and the interpretations of them – guided by a skilled art therapist!

I fell in love with art therapy. But the first couple of months, I often left class quite frustrated. I loved painting and my pictures were often admired by others. The problem was that I painted “pretty” pictures. When the day’s assignment were given and it was time to grap the brushes, I already had a clear picture in my mind of what my painting would look like. And then I painted it.

But it really wasn’t any fun. It was after all just a commission. And when we were to interpret the pictures, there were no great insights for me. Because I had been too focused on restoring the image from my mind rather than play, enjoy the process and let intuition rule.

The breakthrough

After a few months the breakthrough came. I decided that I would paint an ugly picture. I gave myself some rules; no bright colors (I love bright colors),  only use big brushes, sponge or fingers to paint with. And then I would spray the painting with water, lots of water, so that the paint ran and I had no control over the outcome.

And I had a blast! I played, experimented and was completely present in the moment, following the running paint and feeling (not thinking) where the brush strokes should go. Absolutely wonderful!

The biggest surprise came when I stepped back to see the work. But wait – my painting was not ugly. It wasn’t exactly beautiful, but it most certainly was important. And it was packed with interesting stories. The uncontrolled paint had created stunning landscapes populated by dragons, angels, butterflies, snakes, elephants, Indians and many other creatures who apparently lives its own life in my subconscious mind.

And now…

Years later, I’ve actually become quite good at letting go of control and let intuition rule … when I paint. And it slowly rubs off on other areas of my life.

So go play! Let go of control and performance. Let intuition take over and see what happens.

 

^ Charlotte