Second Floor Challenge: Circles!

Here is my first response to the fairly new "second floor" challenge. Please read more about it HERE on Julie Fei-Fan Balzer's scrumptious blog. You can also find a link in the sidebar of my blog. I am pledging to continue doing these challenges when they are offered every few weeks. The idea is to use the prompt given as a starting point and then take it to "the second floor". Huh?? Meaning to challenge yourself to do something more, something scary, perhaps something where you might even fail. Experimenting and pushing yourself. I found the abstract art class I recently took with Bill Buchman offered me the same sort of thing, to try doing things a bit out of my comfort zone with my art. Even though sometimes it was hard for me to do, and sometimes I created things I did not like at all, I saw my art change for the better as I went along. It is easier to do again and again what you know works, right? Time to change-it-up and grow. The prompt this time was CIRCLES. Here's my story in photos . . . .

I started by drawing circles with both water soluble crayons and oil pastels that would resist water.

I sprayed my water color paper with water and let it run  . . . I love this look.

So the first thing I did to take it to the second floor was . . . 
even though I loved all the water color running everywhere I made myself 
 cover some of it, with paint! 

eeep! 2 colors, green and off-white.

This is how it looked when I went to bed last night.
I decided to let it sit and not do anything more with it.

In the morning after my dentist appointment I decided to keep going.
That is something Julie was talking about in her post for this challenge:
"Keep going. I get scared when I have an idea and I'm not sure if it's going to work and I don't want to ruin what I have. Keep going."

Good advice I think. I mean, sometimes you do have to know when to stop, but to stop because you are scared of ruining your work is not a great idea. You can always make more! So I turned the paper 90 degrees and grabbed a large rubber stamp.

I inked it with wet midnight blue VersaCraft ink and firmly pressed it all over my painting.

Then, I sprinkled Hologram embossing powder randomly over the piece.

I tapped the excess off and heated it with my heat gun till it was hard and shiny where I had stamped and told myself to "keep going". So, I watered down Hi Lite Violet Lumiere . . . 

Brushed this paint over most of my painting and stamping; it has a sheeen.

Something told me to keep going!! I got out my new Sennelier Soft pastels.
These are new tools for me that Bill Buchman turned me onto.

I really like how they work! They are in-between chalk and any other pastels or crayons I have had before. I used my finger to spread my marks around. The color is soft yet rich.

Then I decided to experiment more, pouring bright gold Lumiere on in places.

wiping the excess away . . .

Then, I added more marks and circles with mostly the soft pastels.
My piece ended up looking like this below.

I took it outside to spay it with a sealer because of the pastels.
A close up of one section. I like what the sealer did to the painting!

A full look of it outside, before I . . . . 

CUT it into 4 postcards!! 

I really felt that this was what I needed to do with my painting.
Here is what *I* am taking away from this challenge:

  • I need challenges, prompts or assignments to motivate me to create.
  • I think I need to try to push myself to try different things than I usually do, more often.
  • Not sure how beautiful this painting was, but I sure love the little sections of colour as "postcards" and I also loved doing this exercise.
  • creating makes me feel good, it both calms me and energizes me.
  • Simply playing with my supplies without a lot of expectations is good for me and sparks my creativity. 
  • I need to go back and watch Bill Buchman's DVD's again, while IN my studio this time so I can work along with him. He has a lot of great ideas and exercises. I need to put this on my calendar so I will do it! 

Are you ready for the second floor challenge? 
Hop over to the Balzer Designs blog
I will be guest posting on Friday, May 18th! 
My post is about the Sketchbook project
Please stop by that day and say hi! 

Life is 10 percent what you make it, and 90 percent how you take it. 
  ~ Irving Berlin