I'm travelling into a new way of working, a new country, a new language, and a new hobby which I'm passionate about. Come with me for some of the journey...

Friday, 5 February 2016

Imagine Simplicity






Hello all!  I've taken a turn for the simple today...

I've been aware for some time that there's a big difference between the multi-layered, mixed media, busy creations I seem to make most of the time, and the simplicity and minimalism of the things I actually like to have around me or that are, for instance, pinned to my "beautiful things" or "how do I want to live" boards on Pinterest.

I love the creative extravagance of all the mediums and paints and textures, but I think at some point there will be a journey for me to take exploring simplicity.

A little touch of that reared its head this week as this tag formed itself on my craft table.







Ironically, it arises out of a very full-on piece on which I used some of these lovely natural sprays of dried wild grasses for the first time.  (You won't see that for a week or so yet, I'm afraid, but keep an eye out at Calico Craft Parts!)

Since they were sitting on the table, and since I'd adored how they looked on the other project, I found myself wanting to use them again.












It was a short step to one of my all-time favourite Tim Holtz stamps, and the background is a piece of Tim Holtz paper (I think from French Industrial).

At this stage, my brain was thinking, "Ooh, well, I could add some stencilled texture paste in the background, and ink around everything, maybe layer in some inky stencilling and stamping,", and I had to be quite firm about replying that actually I really liked it just as it was!












In the end I did alter the paper just slightly with a touch of gesso and then a tiny bit of additional text stamping in Pumice Stone because the gesso had obscured too much of the original script.  I could have left out those two steps altogether!













Some gesso'd book page butterflies hover around...













... and the Game Spinners which form their bodies give a simple metallic echo of the word band below.










I'm doing a lot of envisioning at the moment of how I'd like to shape the next stages of my life, so this word band is a useful bit of encouragement, and the torn gesso'd book page just makes it pop a little to catch your attention.










Simplicity rules for the topping too - some crinkle ribbon, lightly spritzed, and tied with fine twine and all is done.










Of course there is white splatter - seems I can barely do without it these days - but even that is done in a very minimal way.  Still, it does seem somehow to bring things to life.











Some Hildegard von Bingen playing in the background, this tag coming in to being on my craft table, and some gentle sunlight breaking through the clouds... simple things which make me very happy.

Thanks so much for stopping by today, and I wish you all a weekend of things which make you happy.

Simplify, then add lightness.
Colin Chapman

It's minimalist rather than messy, but the splatter plays a big role here, so I would like to enter this in the Splatter, Spritz and Smoosh challenge at Stamps and Stencils.  I expect I'll be back with something altogether messier later in the month!

70 comments:

Meihsia Liu said...

Wow... this is such an elegant tag, Alison. Love the gorgeous background and the beautiful butterflies. :)

Lynn Price said...

Oh, my - your facility with a neutral palette amazes me. I LOVE how you've created the "shadow" for the physical texture of the branches, and the lovely butterflies. Bravo!! xxx Lynn

Barbara Schiassi said...

Alison you've done it again! this tag is a masterpiece of elegance! I adore it! I don't have this stamp but now it's in my wishlist!Barbara

Nan G said...

It's simplicity is quite stunning, Alison.!

Helen said...

what a wonderful tag - it may be simple, but it is so effective.

brenda said...

What a beautifully fresh and elegant piece of artwork Alison and how unique to use the little clock hands for the Butterfly's thorax.

B x

dawn walsh said...

So very pretty simple but so elegant. I love cow parsley although many would describe it as a weed I think it a beautiful flower.

Shirley Chillman said...

Just back from the UK and having a catch up at all the pieces I have missed Alison.

Brenda is so right this is a beautiful and fresh looking tag. Simplicity at it's best.

Off to scroll down and see the rest.

Warm crafty hugs from Shirl x x x
ShirlsCards.

Deborah said...

Oh, it's a stunner, Alison! Beautiful.

Vintagehandmade said...

Oh, Alison, I am always so amazed by your artwork and this tag is beyond stunning! It's a pure vintage elegance! What a genius idea to use those game spinners! Simply perfect! Huge hugs to you! Branka xxx

hazel said...

Your tag is so beautiful and elegant Alison.
xxx Hazel.

Vintagehandmade said...

I was so impressed by your tag and totally forgot to thank you so much for joining in our Splatter, Spritz and Smoosh challenge at Stamps and Stencils! Branka DT x

Buttons said...

Stunning in its elegance and simplicity. I have a feeling your during your upcoming travels you will be seeing a lot more of artistic simplicity at its best too. Enjoy! Jenny x

chrissie said...

Very elegant and beautiful Alison. Often 'simple' is the most difficult thing to do well. A sort of no where to hide feeling. Great to see that you knew when to stop and made something so special.

Love Chrissie xx

Hettie said...

This is absolutely stunning Alison. I love the softness of it, as you say it is more au natural, but delightful in every way. Those grasses are wonderful too.
Hugs and have a great weekend.
xxx

Amanda said...

Beautiful in its simplicity
Love
Amanda x

Brenda Brown said...

Simple or not this tag has a serene beauty about it. Love it. xxx

Lauren Hatwell said...

Breathtakingly beautiful. The spray is gorgeous and I love the contrast of metal with the delicate grasses and butterflies. Another triumph! Lx

toni said...

Simple and beautiful! Love the way you have used the grasses with that stamp. A perfect match. I also enjoyed reading your post , sounds like you have a lot to think about. Thankyou for sharing this beauty with us over at Stamps and Stencils. Toni xx

Cestina said...

I just love this one. Simple perfection. And I am listening to Hildegard even as I write. Thank you for reminding me of her.
xxx

Anita Houston said...

Oh my goodness!!! The fact that you found a flower just like the stamp is unbelievable and quite frankly amazing!!! LOVE this!

Pamellia Johnson said...

This is beautiful Alison. I know what you mean about simplicity, but I honestly have never found your work to be 'busy', but then again, I love all the textures and layers, so there you have it! This tag is completely dreamy, love the addition of the authentic babies breath! hugs :)

Team Clark said...

I agree with your statement wholeheartedly. This is such a beautiful example of why simplicity is often best. So gorgeous! Hugs, Autumn

Inkypinkycraft said...

Another beauty Alison X

froebelsternchen Susi said...

Wow... this is such an elegant tag, Alison. I love all about it!

Dorthe said...

It is so very beautiful, I love your simplicity Alison. Love how you can make a few tones looks so alive ,and not dead, and love your dried piece, creating "shadow",and the sweet butterflies !!
And we should all try to live the life we imagined !!Good luck doing it !
Dorthe, OOX

Maureen Chandler said...

I just love this tag - simple and beautiful! Thank you so very much for sharing it!!

Mrs.B said...

A beautiful and elegant tag Alison.
Avril xx

rachel said...

love this Alison - natural and pure - just perfect! Big hugs Rachel x

Joi at RR said...

Heheheh - "this tag formed itself on my craft table"... priceless.... only an artistic person would understand that phrase Alison... love it!!! And would you please tell your GLORIOUS tag that it is ALLURING AND LUSCIOUS please????!!!! Such a beautiful creation - it reminds me of years past visiting my Mama - her house was all white and airy and elegant like your tag. I will look forward to seeing more "simplistic" things "create" themselves on your craft table - for sure!!! XX j.

maj. said...

This tag is perfect Alison!!!

Marci said...

Simply beautiful!!!

Redanne said...

Simple elegance at its best Alison! Anne xx

Chrissy said...

This tag has elegance Alison..love the colours..the metal and the butterflies add softness with the grasses...just beautiful.

luv CHRISSYxx

Meggymay said...

Beautiful and elegant, the soft colours are just lovely with the delicate details.
Yvonne xx

Astrid Maclean said...

Wonderful how this tag "created itself" Alison! So light and airy, I love the stamping behind those delicate dried grasses, it looks like a shadow and adds real depth to it all, - lovely!

Inky and Quirky said...

Love this Alison,it's so delicate and beautiful,really lovely
Hugs
Donna xxx

Margik said...

A stunning tag Alison. Love the delicate design and the soft colours. Very beautiful!
Mar xx

Pawsitively Creative said...

Smashing success for the less busy approach to this tag. I have to say I am a bit biased with your designs because I like all of em and am always intrigued about how you add so many textures and layers. This design is gorgeous and breathtaking as well. So soft and elegant! Awesome sauce! Hugz. ~Niki

sam21ski said...

Oooh how lovely, so delicate xx

Willy said...

Wowww what a beautiful tag, love it!!

lynnesbowsandbelles said...

Alison, I definitely look forward to you dabbling with simplicity more often as the results speak to me.
The dried grasses are beautiful.
Wishes
Lynne

Andrea Ockey Parr said...

This is an absolutely remarkable piece! It is soul-soothing somehow and I think you are amazing in the way you combine simplicity and layers. It was so interesting to read your post, too, because I felt like I could really connect to your feelings. I adore crazy layers and explosions of color, but I also am an organized, clean-line type of person, so it's interesting to see how these sides mesh when we get into the art studio! Sometimes I feel like those two sides are at war, but other times, they harmonize beautifully. You seem to always find the perfect balance and it's a joy to see your work!

maria's knutselplezier said...

What a great beautiful tag, and I admire simplicity, although I am myself always to bussy on my cards, I know it, but it's an art on his own to create something so beautiful with only simple and few things like you did, it really is wonderful, congrets!!

Greetings
Maria

Kirsten said...

So beautiful! The grasses are a lovely touch.

Maggie said...

LOVE this tag Alison, I was laughing along with you as the need to add more is always there, I find it hard to "stop" so CAS is the hardest to make in my opinion, so well done and I'm sure we will see more of this style lol.

MaggieH

oops forgot to say thank you so much for spending the time to visit my blog.

A Pink said...

You have created a truly beautiful organic tag ! Alison and proved that there IS beauty in simplicity . hugs x

Lys Scrap said...

A gorgeous tag with such peaceful shades. It just answers to me the question " when a piece is finished?" Because it just answers the question doesn't have to be asked. Perfect like this!

Julia said...

The splatters finish this piece perfectly, I love the simplicity of it. You should do more of these minimalist things, it is simply serene. X

pearshapedcrafting said...

What a stunning tag Alison! It has a French feel about it! Stylish and elegant! Hugs, Chrisx

Deb~Paxton Valley Folk Art said...

There is a true art to minimalism and knowing when to stop and you have mastered it Alison. A gorgeous monochromatic palette with the perfect amount of adornment, thanks so much for sharing it, Deb xo

Coco said...

Oh Alison... I think you're right, simplicity can be the best and the most beautiful sometimes. Your tag here is just wonderful... I'm going to pin it on one of my boards too.
And let's me confess you that I hare your feelings at the moment, I'm doing a lot of envisioning at the moment of how I'd like to shape the next stages of my life... I have so often and so much mixed feelings between my wish of art and creation, and my obligations as a mum and wife.. Also my wish of having more time quietly to learn more and evolve! Maybe towards more simplicity like you today.. I don't know yet. Hugs and happy day to you dear Alison. Coco xx

Diana Taylor said...

Oh wow, this is stunning - I love the simplicity of it and I totally get where you are coming from - I lean towards uncluttered, unfrilly and minimalist in my life, which is often at odds with what I make! This is perfectly beautiful - I love your delicate grasses on top of the stencil shadows - jaw droppingly gorgeous!

Annie said...

Such a soft and gentle tag here Alison. Love the 3d effect of the flowers and butterfly calming colours too. Just what is needed on a Monday after a hectic weekend

Best wishes
Annie x

Etsuko Noguchi said...

Simple and very elegance, I love it!! xxx

Almo said...

Alison this is one of the most elegant examples of less is more I have seen for quite some time, I am a huge fan of those grasses too I just love how they are perfectly shadowed by your stamping on this tag and beautifully complimented by the delicate splatter and book print butterflies. Mo x

Sandy said...

I have to start leaving a comment earlier in the game - when I get behind I have to scroll down for another day to be able to say beautiful!
sandy xx

Princess Judy Palmer said...

How nice to see a different side of you. I like this minimalist side. The white splatters are needed so you got that right. The stamping with the real twig is wonderful, like a shadow almost. Very nice!

WendyK said...

Absolutely beautiful. I love the simplicity of it. The lightness of the whole thing is very refreshing. Love it.

Lisa Minckler said...

I had coined another friend of mine with the loving nickname Onion and I find it's quite fitting for you too as you reveal yet another layer of yourself in this tag. I find it stunning. Simplicity can mesmerize the eye just as much as anything else can. I really look forward to seeing more of these sprigs you speak of in the future too!
Big hugs,
Lisa x

Jackie P Neal said...

Simplicity at it's finest! Just simply Gorgeous! Alison! xo

Juliz Design Post said...

I love how you have layered this tag with the 3D grasses for a shadow effect, exquisite.
Julie x

ßeulah ßee said...

Less is always more IMHO. This is a perfect example. Just lovely!

craftytrog said...

So beautiful and delicate Alison!
We recorded the Real Marigold Hotel, looking forward to watching :-)
Alison xxx

Lisa S. said...

Only you could make simplicity this beautiful Alison...stunning tag! xx

Julie Ann Lee said...

I adore the simplicity of this gorgeous tag! The edges always look fabulous and those grasses are superb! Whether it be simple or complex, what you create always leaves me breathless with wonder! xx

Evelyn Walter said...

Wow, I LOVE this tag!
But it is far away from simplicity!!!
xxx Evelyn

Anke said...

WOW WOW WOW I LOVE IT !!!!

Liebe Alison,

Dein Tag ist zauberhaft geworden, es gefällt mir wahnsinnig gut, gesehen und gleich verliebt. Diese Gräser sind wunderschön und die weißen Highlights gefallen mir wahnsinnig gut.

Ein SAHNESTÜCK !!!

Herzliche Grüße
von Anke

Anneke said...

Beautiful and so delicate! I really love it.

Ruth said...

Already pinned when I saw it pop up on Pinterest, truly gorgeous, my favourite taupe colour....simplicity and perfection. Ruth x