Sunday, 17 November 2013
The Phoenix Rises
Thank you so much for your fabulous response to the ArtAngel... she's very happy that you liked her, and happy isn't exactly her default setting!
I'm back with a tag today, one that rose from the ashes of pretty much nothing to become one of my favourite recent makes.
Yes, this phoenix rising out of the flames began life as a paint sample... a tag that I grabbed just to show my sister-in-law Laura, of Laurart, some of the DecoArt paints she was asking about.
Rather than talk about the properties of Quinacridone Gold or Transparent Red Iron Oxide, I thought the best thing would just to be to put some on some card to show them to her.
And I added in one of the regular acrylics - grabbing, of course, my favoured Indian Turquoise - and just randomly squiggling the colours onto the tag with my fingers.
This finger-painting is what I ended up with, and we both looked at it and said, "Well, that's the start of something!".
But at that point, I had no idea what...
When I came back to it a few days later my first step, as pretty much always, was to add some Distress Ink to the mix.
As regulars will know from recent creations, one of my favourite games is to play with the contrast of opaque paints and translucent inks.
And it's ages since I've managed to play along with the Monday Challenge at Simon Says Stamp, so I'd like to offer this contrast up to their "Got Ink?" challenge this week.
I blended on Broken China and Rusty Hinge inks at opposite ends of the tag, contrasting with the nearest paint colours.
Obviously, I had to do a bit of spritzing and flicking too.
Next, I added the Tim Holtz sentiment - it somehow seemed right, given that my imagination was going to be the main ingredient in turning the painty scribbles into something.
I stamped it in the Indian Turquoise paint, to make sure it would hold its own against the colours and textures of the squiggles.
More stamping next, using the same Distress Inks as I'd used for the blending.
I started with the little Harlequin diamonds from the little Tim Holtz French Market set, in Broken China over the Broken China bits...
... and in Rusty Hinge over the Rusty Hinge bits.
Then came the flash of inspiration - the bird from Flights of Fancy suddenly became a Phoenix rising from the flames.
Yes, it turns out those painty squiggles are flames... obvious once you know, isn't it?!
I stamped him in Versamark ink and embossed him in Copper Kettle powder. I added some white highlighting with Inkssentials gel pen, but I somehow knew it wasn't over yet.
Now that I realised we were on fire, I decided to add some extra tongues of flame, licking around the edges of the card, using the flourish from the Regal Flourish clear stamp set, and then it was out with some more embossing powder.
I started with some Rust from the Antiquities range, and added a few dots of Frantage Aged Gold to it. Once I'd melted that, I knew what had to happen to the Phoenix!
I used the Emboss It Dabber to add some more embossing ink right to the edges of his wings and tail, as well as some tiny specks feathering outward from there too.
The Aged Gold has a fabulously lava-like look to it, and I sprinkled a couple of speckles of the Rust embossing powder onto it while still molten and remelted it in.
I'm thrilled with the results both on the Phoenix and on the edges of the card. See how he dazzles in the sunlight!!
The topping for the tag gives me great pleasure too...
It's some more wire rescued from notepads being thrown out - and this time it was already a fabulous brass colour (no need for the Worn Penny used for ArtAngel's ruff).
I twisted it around for a sculptural effect, and it wasn't until I was taking the photos that I realised how it echoes the flourish flames on the tag itself - I love happy accidents!
All in all, I hope this tag is a sign of my Mojo rising from the ashes of exhaustion and stress - it's felt more than a little sluggish lately.
There were signs of it re-emerging with the ArtAngel, and this tag certainly gave me a great deal of joy combining the inks, paint and powders to release the Phoenix from my imagination.
Hope you've all been having a fabulous week, and an even better weekend! See you soon.
It's ages and ages since I've managed to play along with the Monday Challenge at Simon Says Stamp and Show.
This week they'd like to know whether we've "Got Ink", so between the Distress Ink background, spritzed, flicked and stamped, and the Embossing Ink used for the Phoenix and for the lava, I hope this will fit.
And I'd also like to add it in to Anything But A Card's open challenge Fall Into Fall - apparently you don't have to have a Fall-themed project, so I'm taking them at their word, though I guess the colours here are pretty autumnal in any case!
The phoenix, hope, can wing her way through the desert skies and, still defying fortune's spite, revive from ashes and rise.
Miguel de Cervantes
I believe in the power of the imagination to remake the world, to release the truth within us, to hold back the night, to transcend death, to charm motorways, to ingratiate ourselves with birds, to enlist the confidences of madmen.