Tuesday, May 26, 2020

stencil and stamp with ferns


I have a soft spot in my heart for the wild ferns in Oregon. Did you know that The Pacific Northwest is home to about 40 different species of ferns and it seems everywhere you turn you are able to find these gorgeous green beauties. Every spring and summer our yard pops with ferns and I can't resist using them in my creative projects. Today I thought it would be fun to show you how I stencil and stamp with ferns in a variety of different ways. Swipe left to see a bunch of examples!



I have to first say that creating with nature is about discovery and engaging with your materials! Forget about perfection and things looking refined- instead challenge yourself to let go expectations and HAVE FUN!



I love to stamp with ferns. I will load them up with paint just like you would with a stamp. Then I press it onto my surface to get an imprint. I like to layer these imprints all over my surface to create a messy and organic surface design.



I also love to use ferns as a stencil. I use Dylusions Ink Spray or Marabu Acrylic Spray for projects like this but I don't always have spray on hand so I like to fill a mister with very saturated watercolor water or even ink. Pretty much any kind of fluid paint can be used to fill a mister.




There is not right or wrong way for this process! I like to arrange my ferns all over the surface and I enjoy getting creative with where I place everything and then I spray lightly over the top.





Using ferns as stamps and stencils on paper and canvas are one of my favorite ways to create colorful backgrounds.





I also like to use the same concept on fabric and I will use fabric paint and dye (I love Jacquard dyes) with the same stencil and stamping process on fabric.





This is a fun way to create one of kind fabric or scraps of fabric for sewing projects. For me, I enjoy using expressive free motion stitching to create patchwork art quilts or placemats. 

Thursday, May 21, 2020

coffee filter mandala


I love using recycled materials in my art and today I thought it would be fun to show you how I used recycled coffee filters in my art journal as a layer in my mandala drawings.

Materials-

  • I like to use a cheap $1 composition notebook for a lot of my art journal experiments but any type of art journal or sketchpad will work.
  • Used coffee filters- rinse and dry
  • Matte Mod Podge
  • Micron pen size 8
  • White Uniball Signo pen
  • Marabu art spray
  • Cheap matte acrylic paint

If you are looking for more ways to use recycled materials in your art journal, check out The Recycler’s Journal online class.












Monday, May 18, 2020

inspiration is everywhere

One of the most important thing I’ve learned about inspiration is that you don’t need to travel far and wide, you don’t need money or beautiful things- inspiration is everywhere, from the cracks in the sidewalk to the clouds in the sky to weeds growing in your back yard. Don’t ever get fooled into thinking your world needs to be perfect or fancy or fabulous in order to be inspired. So often what we need is right in front of, we just need to tune into to our everyday life.













Monday, May 11, 2020

tips for painting a pattern wall

I thought it be fun to share a peek into my process and a few tips for painting pattern on a wall! 




This wall was one that I painted for my Paint Your World class and the cool thing about this project is that I only used white house paint (and a little bit of black acrylic paint for accents). While it took me around 6 hours and was lots of work, the supplies and process were so simple but the results are super dynamic! 


This space was the cutest little beach cottage that belongs to one of my customers Lisa. It is a really cute home just a few block from the ocean. The space is small and and quaint with a living room, kitchen and bathroom down stairs and a loft master bedroom. The entire house is decorated in lots of white, white washed wood and natural wood so we decided to keep the mural light and airy- no wild and crazy color! The fun thing about the layout is that you can see the master bedroom wall when you walk in the front door so the mural is a big focal point.  After an initial visit and meeting, I knew right away that the wall would be perfect for what I call "wall doodles". I took photos of the space, went home and got to work on a basic plan.

What I came up with was covering the wall in mandalas. I knew that painting them in white against grey would give the look and feel of lace. Even though it would be a busy pattern, the light color would keep it subtle. After some sketching I used one of the photos I had taken of the space and I altered it with some of my existing drawings.


Below I have a few tips for anyone wanting to try this in your own space. And if you are looking for more in depth process and tutorials, I have an entire online class Paint Your World dedicated to painting a space in different ways!


TIPS:



When it comes to painting a wall full of pattern, I like to work off the top of my head go totally free hand. But you can also really plan things out, draw them out in pencil or you can take it a step further and use a projector to get that design just right. I like to come up with a basic idea and then work off the top of my head.


For this wall, the only thing that I did before painting was draw a circle to help start each of my mandala designs. Some of those circles I drew free hand while others I used a paper plate just to get the center of my mandala set up and then I build off of that circle with my designs. Having a circle to work within helps keep my designs fairly balanced when I paint mandala pattern.


When I am working on more of a pattern approach, I almost always start at one side of the wall- sometimes it is left side, sometimes it is the right side. I find that it helps to begin on one side of my surface and then build those designs out and across that surface.



Creating a pattern from your drawings or doodles on a wall is truly the same process as working on paper or canvas- just on a larger scale! Begin with a design, add another one next to it, fill the space, repeat over and over again until the entire surface is filled.

Layer, stack and squish those designs together. This will instantly create the visual appearance of pattern.




Tuesday, May 05, 2020

creating with Jules- faux batik fabric

I’ve seen lots of tutorials making faux batik fabric using pva glue, but in the interests of being a little more environmental I wondered if I could make fabric with the batik look but without all the polymer glue, using a flour and water mix instead.

You will need:

-white cotton fabric
-fabric paints OR acrylic paints with fabric medium
-plain flour
-squeezy bottle

I started with pre-washed plain white cotton fabric around 20” square.

Protect your workspace with a piece of plastic. Loosely draw a design onto your fabric. You can copy my design or come up with your own. Big, bold shapes work well.



You then paint pale colors with either fabric paints, or I used a fabric medium which you mix into acrylic paints and heat set when dry with an iron. I used my acrylic medium + acrylic paints watered down quite a bit to help the paint spread. You need to find the right consistency if using acrylic paints, too thick and the painting will take forever, too thin and the colors will spread too much. Paint and let dry. 



Once dry, make a mix of flour and water that is not too runny nor too thick. You want to make sure it’s nice and smooth too so you don’t get blobs squirting out when you squeeze it onto the fabric. Press through a sieve or mix with a blender.

Using your squeezy bottle, cover all your lines with the flour mix, then let dry completely overnight.




Once the outlines are dry, paint over your shapes in darker colours. I used variants of shades rather than flat colours, but that’s up to you!



After all that was dry I sat down and peeled all of the flour lines off. Kind of satisfying.



I decided it needed something more so I went back in and added some darker outlines and extra dots. 



Make sure to heat set your fabric according to the instructions either on your fabric paint or medium. Hand wash to remove any last little bits of flour and then use as you wish!



I decided to make my panel into a cushion cover with some corded trim around the edges.



Jules :)

You can find more of Jules here:



Sunday, May 03, 2020

NEW CLASS! pattern discovery



Ok friends, I have another fun online class that I am rolling out! This is another one that I had scheduled for a late summer launch but it's something that I think would be fun to release right now. So I've moved up the launch date and marked it 50% off. You can visit the  shop HERE


PATTERN DISCOVERY ONLINE CLASS from Alisa Burke on Vimeo.

PATTERN DISCOVERY
NOW $15 (Regular Price $30)
Class launches Monday, May 4th

I am OBSESSED with pattern! In my own work I love using a variety of supplies, materials and techniques to fill all a surface with color and pattern. In this class we are taking doodling and drawing to the next level and we are using all kinds of techniques, concepts and supplies to explore a pattern in a variety of different ways in your art journal. I am sharing 30 creative techniques, prompts and exercises to get you playing around with pattern. We will explore color, repetition, shapes, mark making, abstraction and design. I will be sharing a variety of simple techniques that will take that pattern to the next level.

Pattern Discovery is a class structured into 30 inspiring lessons. The concept is that you have one simple creative idea, prompt or technique to work through each day for 30 days. I will be sharing all kinds of really simple, fun exercises to get you creating.

All of my online classes have unlimited access which means that you can join in at any time. Some people like to work through the 30 day format while others will sign up and take more time to work through the 30 posts. You come and go as you please and create at your own pace. All ages and levels welcome!



Monday, April 27, 2020

creating with a kid- funnel paint pouring


One of my favorite activities to do with kids of any age is pour painting. It's messy, fun and any age can create beautiful results. Around here we like to experiment supplies and techniques and lately we've been loving pour painting WITH A FUNNEL (pretty much any kitchen tool makes painting more fun). Here are (tailored for kids) a few tips in case anyone out there is looking for a fun winter activity.


Before starting any messy process with kids, I recommend just accepting that IT WILL GET MESSY! In my experience, these types of projects are worth the mess because they are a wonderful way to foster creativity. If messes are hard for you to manage, just take extra time to prep- cover a table and the floor in drop clothes.

I also find that it helps to lay out ground rules before the mess begins (wash hands when finished, you will not get in trouble if paint spills, let an adult know so you can work together to clean up, give a time limit for mess making, ect). While I am not a big fan of rules when it comes to creativity, they are helpful when working with toddlers & younger kiddos.


For this project, we used funnels and a variety of paint. For the pouring process, your paint needs to be fluid. You can use water, ModPodge or puring medium to create fluid paint. 

There are a variety of recipes and supplies but with kids you can keep it pretty simple with watered down paint. I let Lucy use my "adult supplies" and we used a mixture of paint, water and Liquitex pouring medium.



We mixed up a bunch of colors and then I let Lucy go wild. First she poured a few different colors in her funnel and then drizzled it all over a canvas. She worked over the top of it with lots of layers of with her funnel and lots of moving her surface around.



Using a pour painting, using a funnel or unique kitchen tools really encourages getting creative with movement and expression- a great alternative to painting with a brush!




This process is one that has always captured Lucy's attention for hours and it makes for a great indoor activity and the results are amazing!

!

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