Friday, March 23, 2012

Canvas Art with Dyan Reaveley

And now for something completely different!  I had a great time yesterday messing about with inks and paints at the class taught by Dyan Reaveley, Ranger's International Senior Educator.  Dyan has a signature line with Ranger called "Dylusions."  The spray inks have the most amazing clear and bright colors and her stamps and stencils can help even a novice like me feel "artsy!"

Dyan is all about color, pattern and creativity.  I thought it was terrific that even her suitcase was unusual and fun!  Dyan has a great way of encouraging everyone to "do art."  She says:

My mission is to introduce everyone to the fabulous therapy that is art journaling and creating mixed-media art. Art is not the finished result; it is the actual act of creating that emerges when you let yourself play. It is the journey it takes from the soul.

Dyan taught three workshops at Ink About It - the morning class made these accordian books with watercolor paper and the Wednesday evening class was a kraft resist mini book.  You can see more photos on the Ink About It Blog.

Here is another glimpse at some of her work - fueled by Dr. Pepper!  The bright colors are so much fun and the many layers of pattern and color keep your eyes busy taking it all in.  The words are sometimes incorporated into the designs (as a sort of secret journaling) and sometimes added in white blocks on top.  She has some phrase stamps in her line that make you laugh and/or think, such as "if you are already walking on thin ice, you might as well dance," and "boys will be boys and so will a lot of middle aged men." (both from the Say What you Mean set)  A few stamp sets came home with me on Wednesday and after taking the class I know I have to get a few more.

We were finished in time to have the treat of watching Dyan work in her journal - adding layer after layer of colors and patterns and then placing collage pieces (she had a large stash of things already cut out) and doodling or otherwise altering them.  It really is all about the process and there is no right or wrong. If it means something to you - just go for it!

Our projects began with this very chunky canvas, about six inches square and a little over two inches thick.  It is nice that it will stand very well by itself - no easel or stand is needed.  We painted the edges and a bit over the front with black paint.

Then we used two colors of Adirondack acrylic paint to make a blended background on white cardstock.  We used baby wipes to paint and blend the background - it sounds a bit odd but it worked very well!

We added some random circles and lines and then stamped some images and painted the leaves with ink.

Before we glued the paper to the canvas, we attached the birdcage - painted black and sprayed with Perfect Pearls Mist.

We used perfect pearls mixed with water to paint the birds and flowers.

We also stamped on the sides with Perfect Medium and added Perfect Pearls in a variety of colors.

The birdcage is attached with a tiny brad and a game spinner from the Tim Holtz Idea-ology line.  Dyan gave us a tip to just use the metal pieces randomly (most of the metal items come with three finishes in the package - copper, brass and nickel).  That way you never have to worry about matching things up in the end.

I took this photo in bright sunlight at home - can you see the shimmery pearl finish on the bird?  I like the way we curved the bird through the cage.  I gave it just a dab of glue on the tail feathers to hold it together since the birdcage can swing freely.

The effect of the Perfect Pearls on the black sides is so pretty.  I also think this leaf stamp is lovely and it is on my list for the next shopping trip.

The great thing about projects like this is that they all look good in their own way.  I am used to working with computers and images that are precisely symmetrical (which I love to design) and it was nice to just let this piece develop and not worry too much (though I am still not quite sure about the color of the largest toadstool!).

Dyan was a wonderful instructor - lots of helpful advice and tips all delivered with a great sense of humor.  After class she posed for a photo with my friend Renee Zarate (check out her blog HERE).  Renee has been published frequently in the Stampington publications (Stamper's Sampler, Take Ten) and she used some of Dyan's stamps for the article seen here.

Here I am with Dyan (still wearing my kitchen apron that I grabbed on the way out the door to keep ink off my clothes).   When I stopped by the shop on Wednesday (just to pick up a few ink pads for a technique from the Tim Holtz online class I am taking) I told her that I loved what she makes but it is totally outside my comfort zone - definitely not my usual type of project.

I helped to pick up at the end and there was a bit of the stamped paper she had used to demonstrate.  I asked her to sign it for me and I love what she wrote.  It is a different world from digital scrapbooking and die cutting designs but I think I'll definitely be trying some more of this!

Thanks to Ink About It and Dyan for a great class.

Now I really have to get busy and pull my pieces together for the exhibit that goes up a week from today!  I think it will be a very busy weekend...

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  1. That looks like so much fun!
    I have to take breaks from scrap booking and just do fun card projects once in a while. Since I am trying to "close the gap" in my scrap books, from 1982 and 1990, it can get tedious.
    Also, I find that when I do more fun cards etc, I can incorporate some of that fun in my albums. I am of course very particular with the materials I use in the albums.

  2. I think it looks wonderful! Congratulations for doing something outside your comfort zone. I wish I lived closer to a big center so that I could take advantage of those types of classes myself!

  3. Absolutely love it. I need to take a class like that. Cool that you jumped out of the box my creative friend. And thanks to sharing.
    Dawn RI

  4. Your art project is awesome. It's so bright and whimsical. I love to try different types of art and I'm envious of your day. So much fun. I'm anxious to see your photo exhibit. Knowing you, I'm sure it will be beautiful.

  5. I love this project. I don't do a lot of these kinds of things because I say "what will I do with it when I'm done?" Now that I've seen yours, I'd take advantage of a class like this if I was ever in a place to do so.

  6. This is just outstanding!! Gorgeous details!I have been wanting to play around with canvas..thanks for the inspiration:) I am curious what did you use for the glue adhesive to hold things down to the canvas??
    Sherrie K
    jskoning at msn dot com

  7. Dyan is such a great teacher and I love what you created in her classes.

  8. Here from Dyan's link on her FB page.

    Wonderful canvas! I love every single thing about it, especially the largest toadstool! (big grin!) I am a new fan of Dyan's and can't wait to get every. single. one. of. her. products!

  9. Wow your canvas looks fantastic. Thanks for the step by step. I have just found Dyan and her style too about 3 weeks ago and have to say I am sooo addicted. Really need to have a go on a canvus now, yours looks great, it certainly looks like you have been doing it for a long time.

    Sandra. Yorkshire - England. X


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