I wanted to leave the gouache post up for a bit, since I've gotten so many questions about it; I also had a busy weekend, which means I was knocked down with a flare up Sunday night (it's cleared up, btw, which means studio time tomorrow!).
Last week, I decided to tackle carving my own alphabet stamp set. I'm teaching a stamp carving class here in Phoenix later this month, and wanted to have a nice spread of different things you can create. Plus, my skills were a bit...rusty! And of course, this is one of those crafts that you just can't stop once you start up again, so I've been carving up a storm!
I threw down some watercolor on a spread in my art journal and decided to keep a little record of what I've carved. Some of these need to be cleaned up - I have a feeling I'll clean them up until there's nothing left! - but love the little set. I kinda want to tackle a cursive one, next...
I also had the crazy idea of carving Captain American's shield (I'm a touch consumed at the moment, but am a life-long comics fan). I did those little arrows in the corner as well, so I'm thinking I may make a complete Avenger's set. Not that I can use them in artwork, but a lot of the fun of carving is in carving...cutting away the letters or shapes and creating something from your hands, a cheap cutter, and erasers (the alphabet is from cheap white erasers, the rest from some speedy cut I've had since my last Stamp Making Obsession).
I use a lot of these in my art, as I don't have to worry about copyright issues...plus, I love having pages and paintings that are ALL MINE...from the stamps to handmade papers to the figures I draw. It's a certain kind of magic, to hold a finished thing in your hands. You took raw materials and made it with hard work and perseverance.
(Notice I didn't say talent. That's because we can all do it, make stamps or draw or paint...just takes lots of practice, commitment, & enthusiasm!)