Arty Leaves, Leafy Art

Dear Liza,

I love learning new things! Last week, my friend and art teacher Ruth Inman showed me a way to put the beauty of Fall leaves on paper so I can keep them, send them to friends, or even scan them into my computer to use later.

First, of course, you have to collect the leaves. This gets you out of the house and noticing things, which is always good. If the leaves are wet, lay them between paper towels with something heavy on top for an hour or so.

Place dry leaves between the pages of a heavy book for a few days.

Once your leaves are flat and dry, they are ready. You will need acrylic paints, a brush, watercolor paper, and extra paper to paint and press on.


Paint your choice of colors on the back of the leaf, then carefully lay it, wet side UP, on a clean sheet of newspaper. Lay a piece of watercolor paper over it and rub to get lots of paint from the leaf to the paper. Then carefully peel the leaf off and set the paper aside to dry.

You will learn as you go how much is too little or too much. Be prepared to make a few that you don’t like until you get the hang of it.

TOO MUCH, DARLING…
NOT ENOUGH!

Putting Fall colors on randomly, you can get good effects. Sometimes, a single dot of pure yellow or blue makes the whole thing pop.

JUST RIGHT

Once your prints are dry, you can trim them and glue them onto cards. If you have a scanner, you can scan the prints into your computer and make dozens more.

I enjoyed leaf printing so much, I did a bunch more this morning!

Thanks, Ruthie!

Love,

Grandma Judy

Going in Circles

Dear Liza,

I have told you about the art journal I have been working in.

In October, Ruth Inman urged us to make pictures following prompts like “haunted house” or “sea life”.

Sea Life

In November we were given loose lists of supplies like “junk mail” or “cranberry can label”.

Junk Mail Art

One of my favorite pictures was one made with a printed photo of Cousin Kestrel, a fruit bag, and bits of magazines. It shows her as a flower fairy, which is just about right.

Cousin Kestrel as a nature fairy

On my own, I’ve been working in the Journal. As a matter of fact, I am on my last page! For my last piece in the book, I have returned to a favorite shape. Yesterday, I borrowed Auntie Bridgett’s ek 1 1/4 inch hole cutter and started chopping circles out of papers in my recycling box.

ek cutter and its bounty

But, art being art, when I laid down the background with acrylics and various textures, it looked like outer space! I would need other colors.

Layers of color and pattern for background

I found an old Sunset magazine and looked for cool toned colors and patterns. After lots of playing, I figured where I wanted to put the ‘planets’, and Mod Podged them into place. A few more white flicks from an old toothbrush, and I was done.

My “Winter Universe”


I can’t tell you how much I enjoy doing art everyday. With fewer outside adventures to keep me busy, being creative and having fun have allowed me to be active and learn something new every day.

Love,

Grandma Judy