Vendor Spotlight: Horse and Hare

Our favorite find at GRUMP 2013 was Horse and Hare and we are excited have them back for GRUMP 2014. Horse and Hare are husband and wife, super duo artist team, Neil and Kerry Stavely. Specializing in linocut and woodcut printmaking, their images run the gamut from tarot, nature themes …

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Glass in the making with Beth Hess

Beth Hess from Wunder Around shared some progress photos of her work. You can see Beth’s amazing work in person at GRUMP on Sunday, December 14th at Artisphere. Thanks for sharing, Beth! “Each piece of Wunder Around glass begins with a thought about the color, or shape, or texture (or …

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Meet Nik da Pooh Designs

Nik da Pooh Designs joins us from Baltimore for GRUMP. Monique makes hand made planters, terrariums, jewelry and gifts that embraces the use of repurposed materials like recycled lightbulbs to create unique designs. She also sells kits so that you can get inspired to create your own little world. Her …

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The Making of a Splotch Monster “Thank You” Card Illo

 

About five years ago I began making something I call Splotch Monsters as a way to get creative and make some art again. Basically, you splotch around some paint, let it dry a bit, then draw on the splotch, creating monsters. A couple years ago, I began working on a more controlled method of Splotch Monster-making that involved the use of text, as is the case with this "Thank You" illio.

About five years ago I began making something I call Splotch Monsters as a way to get creative and make some art again. Basically, you splotch around some paint, let it dry a bit, then draw on the splotch, creating monsters. A couple years ago, I began working on a more controlled method of Splotch Monster-making that involved the use of text, as is the case with this “Thank You” illio.

 

First off, I began with several false starts, all going straight into the ol' recycle bin. This doesn't always happen, but more often than not, it will, especially when working with text. As an art teacher, I tell my students that it's okay to mess up and that mistakes will always be a part of the process. As anger-inducing as it can be, I have to always apply the same rules to myself as well.

 First off, I began with several false starts, all going straight into the ol’ recycle bin. This doesn’t always happen, but more often than not, it will, especially when working with text. As an art teacher, I tell my students that it’s okay to mess up and that mistakes will always be a part of the process. As anger-inducing as it can be, I have to always apply the same rules to myself as well.

OK, off to a fresh start. Mind cleared, desk cleared, water still dirty. Take four (or five).

 OK, off to a fresh start. Mind cleared, desk cleared, water still dirty. Take four (or five).

With the message in mind, I first scan the paper to see how the words will fit, then get right to it, painting with watercolors.

 With the message in mind, I first scan the paper with my eyes to see how the words will fit, then get right to it, painting with watercolors.

After painting on each letter, I sprinkle a little salt throughout the letter for added texture and visual interest, then move on to the next letter.

 After painting on each letter, I sprinkle a little salt throughout the letter for added texture and visual interest, then move on to the next letter. Any type of salt will do.

Sometimes I'll add some subtle drips of other colors and let them mix and bleed in with the letter's original color.

 Sometimes I’ll add some subtle drips of other colors and let them mix and bleed in with the letter’s original color.

So far so good!So far so good!

After successfully painting on the text (Splotch) portion of the image, I leave it alone and let it dry over night.After successfully painting on the text (Splotch) portion of the image, I leave it alone and let it dry over night.

The next day I begin to carefully brush away any residual salt from the letters.

The next day I begin to carefully brush away any residual salt from the letters.

Almost always, a brush won't completely take away the excess salt, so I go back over the letters again, this time with my fingers, carefully knocking away the salt in order for me to be able to begin drawing on the letters. It's highly recommended to wash one's fingers after doing this, as I've accidentally gotten paint smudges on my paper, completely ruining the image. Sometimes this can add character and visual interest to more experimental Splotch Monster works, however, when doing a text-based illustration, I want the words to be as clear as possible.

Almost always, a brush won’t completely take away the excess salt, so I go back over the letters again, this time with my fingers, carefully knocking away the salt in order for me to be able to begin drawing on the letters. It’s highly recommended to wash one’s fingers after doing this, as I’ve accidentally gotten paint smudges on my paper, completely ruining the image. Sometimes this can add character and visual interest to more experimental Splotch Monster works, however, when doing a text-based illustration, I want the words to be as clear as possible.

Now the fun has just begun as I dive into the drawing portion of the illo. On occasion, I'll begin with some type of marker, such as the kind made by Prismacolor, then add more to it with Pigma Micron pens and archival Jelly Roll writers. Almost always, I'll begin with the eyes, however, it doesn't matter where you start really.

Now the fun has just begun as I dive into the drawing portion of the illo. On occasion, I’ll start with some type of marker, such as the kind made by Prismacolor, then add more using Pigma Micron pens and archival Jelly Roll writers. Almost always, I’ll  draw the eyes first, however, it doesn’t matter where you start really.

Adding spots, stripes and hair make the Splotch Monsters come alive. I've had a lot of practice drawing and doing some painting based on animals and various wildlife, and it's fun applying that visual knowledge and experience to more imaginative subject matter, such as Splotch Monsters.

Adding spots, stripes and hair make the Splotch Monsters come alive. I’ve had a lot of practice drawing and doing some painting based on animals and various wildlife, and it’s fun applying that visual knowledge and experience to more imaginative subject matter, such as Splotch Monsters.

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Adding limbs and facial expressions are important too!

Finally, the image is completed and ready to be scanned and made into a greeting card. I'll be selling cards with this image in person at this year's GRUMP Supersized event, along with all kinds of Splotch Monster-based goodies. To stay up to date with my Splotch Monster art and illustration adventures, be sure to follow my Splotch Monster island blog here: http://asplotchmonsteraday.blogspot.com. Thank you for your time and hope to see YOU at GRUMP this year!

Finally, the image is completed and ready to be scanned and made into a greeting card. I’ll be selling cards with this image in person at this year’s GRUMP Supersized event, along with all kinds of Splotch Monster-based goodies. To stay up to date with my Splotch Monster art and illustration adventures, be sure to follow the Splotch Monster Island blog HERE. Thank you for your time and hope to see YOU at GRUMP this year!

Learn to Knit at GRUMP

Want to learn to knit? Our make and take area at GRUMP will have 100 free pairs of knitting needles and yarn for folks eager to learn to knit. You won’t have to look like this yeti anymore, you can walk out of GRUMP with the knowledge and tools to …

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  • GRUMP Holiday Arts & Crafts Show

    Now in our 6th year, the GRUMP Holiday Arts & Crafts show is the best ever way to shop local this holiday season.