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

Orange

Dear Liza,

A few weeks ago I painted a bunch of bright orange cards. I have never really cared for orange, but with the skies dark from forest fire smoke, I needed the brightness.

My first ORANGE!

And I liked it! Orange is a bright, cheerful, aggressively happy color. How had I not seen this before?

I discovered my love of orange just in time. Ruth Inman’s friend Jody Tockes ran a class where we used torn paper to make a sunflower. And guess what? More orange!

And this week, Ruth is running an “Art Journal” class, and I got inspired. Of course, the class isn’t until tomorrow, but I felt the need to get an early start.

First layers of crayon and watercolor wash…

As usual in watercolor, I was disappointed by my first layer. It looked pale and boring. But Picasso said that unless you hate a piece somewhere in the middle, you will never make something you love. So I kept at it.

More crayons and watercolor…

I got some purple in and laid in some more layers, and liked how it was looking. I decided it needed some words, so I browsed magazines for whatever seemed appropriate.

And words….

As always with art, I’d do a little, walk away, then come back and see what it needed next. I fiddled a little bit more and was done. But that’s okay! There are lots more pages in the book!

Love,

Grandma Judy