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1  "Agony," watercolor and gold leaf in More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works by Phantome on: April 18, 2015 12:32:27 AM
This is part of a series I've been posting as I complete them, with monochrome watercolor and gold leaf. This one was a little more therapeutic in nature because I've been dealing with some stuff lately, but it felt good to get it out. 12x18" watercolor and gold leaf on paper.



And a couple in progress shots because that's a thing I do





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2  Watercolor and gold leaf Hamsa in More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works by Phantome on: April 18, 2015 12:27:46 AM
I painted this for a friend in a craft swap, watercolor and gold leaf, 6x9". Yay!



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3  Sparkly watercolor TARDIS! in More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works by Phantome on: April 18, 2015 12:25:51 AM
I painted this in a craft swap with a friend who is a Whovian, and love how it turned out! I used liquid latex to keep the white areas white, then used an iridescent medium in the paint to give the galaxy a sparkly effect. It really shimmers in real life! The yellow tint is just because of the lighting, it's actually on bright white paper. 6x9" watercolor on paper.





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4  "Awakening," watercolor and gold leaf in More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works by Phantome on: March 28, 2015 02:48:57 PM
So this one was a total adventure and experiment, and I had no idea it would actually work. But yes, this is white watercolor on black paper! I love the effect!

"Awakening," watercolor and gold leaf on black paper, 18"x24".


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5  "Perception," watercolor and gold leaf in More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works by Phantome on: March 28, 2015 02:46:55 PM
This is "Perception," another watercolor and gold leaf on paper, 18"x24". I tell you, those circles were hard! After jerking around with my compass for what seemed like ever, I finally just found a template. UGH. It's hard to tell with this compressed file size, but the color fades down to little bits of dandelion fluff.


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6  "Ascension," watercolor and gold leaf in More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works by Phantome on: March 28, 2015 02:43:23 PM
Hello all! I haven't posted for awhile, I know. My art output has just been utterly barren for the longest time, but I'm back on board, with a departure from my usual style.

This is "Ascension," watercolor and gold leaf on paper.



As always, here are some process shots, because that's a thing I like to share.

If you're curious about the gold leaf, it's actually pretty simple. I got some gold leaf adhesive and 24kt gold leaf from Michael's. The adhesive is about the consistency of cream, and you paint it on with a brush (a lot like liquid latex). Takes about 20 minutes to dry, then you lay the leaf over it and gently press it to the adhesive, and brush away (and save!) the excess with a stiff paint brush.





Here's the adhesive painted on, before the leaf.



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7  Re: Tiffany-style Watercolor Paper Mosaic in More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works by Phantome on: August 05, 2014 10:59:15 AM
Wow!!! Thank you all so, so much for such kind words!!!!! Well, since I've posted, we've had the Final Friday gallery show and the gala auction. It took the second-highest bid of the night, at about $2K! We had tons of people come up and tell us it was their absolute favorite piece, and that they couldn't believe how detailed it was! The folks who bought it are partners in a law firm downtown, and said that they lost the bid on our piece last year (the city map papercutting), and were determined not to lose out on our piece again this year. Then at the gallery show, there were several people who came to look and didn't intend to go to the gala, who ended up buying tickets specifically so they could bid on our piece! *swoon*

So long story short, it was a raging success, and I'm so happy. After all the hours and work that we put into it, it just really thrills me that we were able to raise so much money for the charity, and even better, ended up getting more people to come to the event just for a chance to bid (hence raising more money). Plus, they always serve these incredible little bacon-wrapped chestnuts, and I swear to god I ate like, thirty of them. Those little things are like candy, my self control utterly crumbles when faced with them.

Here we are at the gala, being all fancy at the country club!

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8  Tiffany-style Watercolor Paper Mosaic in More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works by Phantome on: July 23, 2014 11:39:32 AM
Every year I volunteer as a mentor artist for a big fundraising auction and gala to benefit juvenile arthritis research, in which I'm paired with a teen who has juvenile arthritis, and we create a big piece of art together, then auction it off at a fancypants gala for the charity. You might remember the city map papercutting we did last year! So this year, we wanted to top what we'd done before, and decided to do a paper mosaic, in a stained glass style. WELL. Let me tell you, hand-gluing over 100K pieces of paper the size of a grain of rice or a bean TAKES WAY FREAKING LONGER THAN YOU'D THINK. It took us a full 6 weeks longer than we thought it would, oopsie!

Our piece "Wichita Proud" is a 28x36" watercolor, Tiffany-Style paper mosaic mounted on a watercolored canvas. Each piece was individually painted, cut, and meticulously hand-glued to create a stained-glass effect of the iconic Keeper of the Plains silhouetted against the Wichita flag (I also included a pic of the Keeper- he is an iconic symbol of our city, a 44-foot tall steel sculpture created by legendary Kiowa-Comanche artist, Blackbear Bosin). Many of the pieces of paper are as small as a grain of rice, and had to be placed with tweezers, with final details stitched to the canvas in bronze thread. The work was incredibly time consuming; the Keeper's headdress alone took more than 18 hours.

We worked together (often with enthusiastic help from my kitties) to paint, cut, and glue, with frequent breaks to watch movies, sing showtunes, and learn to play ukulele. Oh, and play with the kitties, of course. With this piece, we wanted to create something that would inspire hometown pride in the viewer (three cheers for Wichita, woo!), showing off some of the iconic imagery that is unique to our home. With the Wichita flag illuminating the Keeper like a setting sun, golden light and twilight shadows surround this symbol of our city. The map last year was a huge hit, and we actually got quite a few requests for another show-stopper that was city-centric (a lot of the winning bidders have downtown office buildings or are city officials, so quite a few of the art pieces hang publicly, and the Wichita-themed stuff seemed to really get people excited!).  







And some process pics, because why not?





Some of the many little bowls of colors, all nicely separated out so we could pick precisely the exact shade and gradient and texture of little bits of paper that we needed.





This is Rufus. He was very helpful, as you can see here.





And here's a photo of the Keeper of the Plains, watching over the city at the confluence of the two rivers. We liked the way the sun and shadow looked on this particular shot, so we tried to emulate that in the shading when choosing our individual pieces.



And here's the Wichita flag.



 
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9  Invictus: Gallifreyan Papercutting in Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: General by Phantome on: May 11, 2014 12:43:38 AM
So I'm in the middle of doing a whole series of poems and quotes, translated into circular Gallifrey (the language of The Doctor on Doctor Who), and done as mounted papercuttings. This is the last stanza from "Invictus," by William Earnest Henley. It is one of my very favorite poems ever, and means a lot to me for a variety of different reasons. AND AND AND!!! This piece was just published in the Suisun Valley Review art and literary journal!! My first publication!!! I'm excited to get the rest of my pieces done and in the gallery, woo!

Ok ok ok. So this is the last stanza of the poem. Each circle is a line of text, and reads counter-clockwise from the big circle:

It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishment the scroll.
I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.



For this one, I translated each line of text individually so I could see the full circle as reference, and printed the images reversed. Then I broke out the good ol' protractor, compass, and ruler, and set about the painstaking task of freehanding the translation. I overlapped each line so the circles sort of wove into each other, so that the overlap enabled me to have the circles each share something- a punctuation, a word, a letter grouping, etc. So while each circle is stand alone, they all are also completely connected by shared curves, lines, or symbols.

Full disclosure: THIS TOOK FOR FREAKING EVERRRRR





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10  Art Deco Robot Papercutting in Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: General by Phantome on: May 11, 2014 12:17:02 AM
Yay, more papercutting! Ok, so I love robots (and if you've followed any of my art, you probably already know that). Like, really, really love them. And when I got into papercutting, one of the first things I wanted to make was a robot papercutting. Thus, this precious baby came into fruition:



Papercutting from a single sheet, mounted on top of a watercolor backing, about 7x9". This is actually inspired by one of my favorite images ever, Robot 1920, by Giacobino:



So I set about trying to translate it into a papercutting, which proved to be an enormous challenge and pissed me off to no end. The problem is, all those little pieces where the robot is flying apart, have to be touching in some manner, for the thing to work. I went through several attempts to make it work, before I finally got it. So the straight diagonal lines in the final image aren't just for aesthetic, but also to help hold all the little pieces together, to give the image a framework in which to explode around. Whee!

So below, you can see how I mean. I printed it in black and white, so I could see the primary lines of importance, and began cutting, making sure to go in very small areas, so I could make sure nothing was getting cut that shouldn't be. As I finished an area, I would cut and peel away the reference picture, to reveal the actual papercutting underneath, so I wouldn't accidentally cut something twice.



And the reverse side:



And the final cutting before I mounted it to the watercolor backing. Of all the papercuttings I've done, this is actually one of the most delicate, because there are so many tiny pieces that are connected to the main sheet by hardly more than a hair's width of paper. I just about murdered the parent of one of my music students, who came in to drop her kid off for a lesson, and just scooped it up out of my sketchbook by one of those thin diagonal lines to look at, and almost ripped the whole thing in half (the mom did this, not the kid). I screeched completely unabashedly, and she was extraordinarily embarrassed, and I literally have no sympathy. Ugh, dummy.



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