Treasures from the Sea Shore

As promised… Sanibel Island, Florida Part 2… Treasures galore!!!

Everyday I went to the beach and collected shells, sticks, rocks and sea shell egg cases! And everyday I laid them out and photographed them. I also doodled some of them too (that will be in part 3’s post)! And just walking the grounds of the Waterside Inn where we stayed was a beautiful adventure!

Sea Treasures Day 1: Lightning whelk shell egg case, tulip shell egg cases, dead coral, stiff pen shell and pod.

Rachel Fontenot - Sea Treasures Day 1

Sea Treasures Day 2: Sticks, palm tree wood, nut shell, pod, charcoal, sea glass and shells.

Rachel Fontenot - Sea Treasures Day 2

Rachel Fontenot - Sea Treasures Day 2

Sea Treasures Day 3: Pod and a tree from the sea! Also, fiber from palm trees… I imagine that early peoples were inspired by this tree fiber to make fabric, it is warp and weft at it’s finest!

Rachel Fontenot - Sea Treasures Day 3

Sea Treasures Day 4: Broken stiff pen shells (they make the most beautiful shapes when they are broken), dead coral, pods, Atlantic kittenpaw shells, rough scallop shells,  Atlantic giant cockle, broken sand dollar and barnacles.

Rachel Fontenot - Sea treasures Day 4

Sea Treasures Day 5: Palm tree wood and bark, pods and we don’t know what the yellow and green things are!

Rachel Fontenot - Sea Treasures Day 5

Here’s some of the beautiful nature that we found on Sanibel Island.

Rachel Fontenot - Sanibel Nature

Rachel Fontenot - Sanibel Nature

It was so fun to sort through my sea treasures every evening and photograph them.

Rachel Fontenot - Sanibel Shells

Rachel Fontenot - Sanibel Shells

Even the shadows are lovely here!

Rachel Fontenot - Sanibel Nature

Is there such a thing as professional sea shell collector? Cause that’s what I want to be when I grow up!

Happy end of Summer!

Rachel

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She Hordes Sea Shells from the Sea Shore

Sanibel Island, Florida Part 1…

I found my new favorite place on planet Earth… Sanibel Island, Florida.

Rachel Fontenot - Sanibel Island Florida

My hubby and I have been talking and dreaming of taking a trip to Sanibel for 15+ years. We finally made it there! It’s a tiny island off the coast of southern Florida in the Gulf of Mexico. It’s known for it’s abundance of sea shells. In fact, people from all over the world visit the island for the sole purpose of collecting sea shells. And that’s exactly why we went… to collect sea shells! Or as my hubby likes to say, “She’s hording sea shells”!!!

Rachel Fontenot - Sanibel Island Florida

I cannot lie… I’m a collector. A collector of many things. But nature is one of my favorite things to collect! I collect rocks, sticks, leaves, pods, nut shells, bark, sand, burned wood (which is natural charcoal, great for drawing!), sea weed and yes, little houses that have been vacated by sea creatures… SEA SHELLS!!! I doodle them, keep them in jars & bowls and I use them in art.

Sanibel Island was a treasure trove of collectables!

We arrived in the evening just before sunset. We went straight to the beach to see what it was like and I nearly lost my mind! Sea shells were EVERYWHERE!!! I didn’t have anything with me to put shells in except for my pockets! Which is why I’m a big fan of cargo shorts and pants (I wear them all the time so I always have a place to store found treasures)! And I stuffed my pockets with as many shells as I could!

Rachel Fontenot - Sanibel Island Florida

And just outside our room was a station to wash all of your collected shells. Brilliant, is the person who thought to build that outdoor sea shell washing sink!!!

Rachel Fontenot - Sanibel Island Florida

This is what the beach looks like. It’s crushed shells mixed with the sand. And there are whole shells peppered all over the place. You never know what you will find!

Rachel Fontenot - Sanibel Island Florida

Rachel Fontenot - Sanilbel Island Florida

Rachel Fontenot - Sanibel Island Florida

The beach is definitely my favorite place to be. Growing up in New Orleans on the Gulf Coast, we went to the beach every summer when I was a kid. I think the sun, sand and sea seeped into my soul and became a part of me. It’s a calming and peaceful place where you can let go, relax, slow down and listen.

Here we are… We’ve been married for 22 years! Don is my best fellow adventurer!

Rachel Fontenot - Don & Rachel - Sanibel Island Florida

This is the end of Sanibel Island part one… Part two promises sea treasures galore!!!

Happy Summer!

Rachel

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Mod Paper Collage

I’m taking 30 Days of Collage with Stephanie Levy. This is my third time taking this class! I really like the collage prompts and the push to do them within 30 days. Though, this time around, I’m not doing a very good job of keeping up… Today is day 17 and I’ve only done one collage so far! Boo. Hoo.  It’s ok. I’m not beating myself up over it. This is the first week I’ve had free time to devote to collage. So, this week, I’m taking the class prompts and going with my collage whim and creating in the order that I wish!

Yesterday, I created a black and white collage. Always a challenge for me ’cause I work with bold color and pattern all the time.

Rachel Fontenot - Paper Collage Process

I find it interesting that lately I’ve been attracted to grey tones.  I’ve been doodling and drawing with greys. It’s weird! Maybe all the rainy days we’ve had this month have rubbed off on my conscience. So, I decided to use grey tones in the black and white collage. I like how it turned out!

Rachel Fontenot - B&W&G Collage - paper, collage, mixed media, art, black & white

After cutting out the grey shapes for the black and white piece, I noticed the negative space in the sheet of grey paper was quite nice.  I decided to play around with the left over pieces of grey paper to create another collage. But this time, I had to add some color!!!

Rachel Fontneot - Paper Collage Process

I keep a pile of painted papers on hand for use in collage or drawing or whatever fancies me. I chose a paper that I had painted with bright warm colors. I used the left over grey shapes and created some new ones for this collage. I really like the warm and cool colors together. And the pop of lime is just yummy!

Rachel Fontenot - Warm Grey Collage - paper, collage, mixed media, art, paper cut out

The piece is too big for my scanner so I scanned it in two sections and I like how each section turned out to be a nice composition all on it’s own!

Rachel Fontenot - Warm Grey Collage 01 - paper, collage, mixed media, art, paper cut out

Rachel Fontenot - Warm Grey Collage 02 - paper, collage, mixed media, art, paper cut out

I really enjoy creating paper collages. I could sit and cut out paper shapes all day long. If Henri Matisse were alive today, I think we’d be BFF’s!

Collage something today… begin with just black and white and see where it takes you!

Happy collaging!

Rachel

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Pattern Play

I’ve been playing with simple patterns using a new set of watercolors and some water based markers (the kind kid’s use!). It’s so good to just “play”. To just doodle around with art supplies and see what happens.

When I do this, I really like “playing” with inexpensive art supplies. I find that when I doodle around with the less expensive supplies (like art supplies for kids) there are no strings attached. Meaning, I can be free… mess up… use a ton of the cerulean blue (my favorite color) without that voice reminding me, “that color cost $20 for a 0.47 fl. oz. tube”… I can use all of something without the price tag telling me that, “it’s precious, don’t use it all up.” Using cheaper supplies takes the pressure off of the creative “play” process. It takes the “seriousness” out of the picture and allows you to play with abandon like you did when you were a young one! It makes sense, right?

So, I have a stash of inexpensive paints, markers, paper, colors etc. that I keep at hands reach so that I can play anytime I want to without pressure and the inner critic.

And play always leads us onto new art paths and creative roads to journey!

Here’s some results from my most recent studio playtime:

Rachel Fontenot - pattern play process - watercolor - art

Rachel Fontenot - pattern - watercolor - mixed media - art

Rachel Fontenot - pattern - watercolor - mixed media - art

The top right and bottom right pieces were created by drawing with wax crayons and then painting watercolor over the entire design. All the rest were drawn with water based markers (the kid’s kind!) and then I painted over the design with clear water. The water smears the marker giving the design a blurred, fuzzy look. It’s fun… ya gotta try it!

Rachel Fontenot - pattern - watercolor -  crayon - marker - art

Rachel Fontenot - pattern - watercolor -  crayon - marker - art

Rachel Fontenot - Watercolors - Palette

Here are the new watercolors I picked up at my local Hobby Lobby. It’s the Master’s Touch brand which I think is the store brand. Some of the colors are neon-ish! I really enjoy painting with those! A few of the colors are super close to being the same. But they give you enough colors to play with that it doesn’t really matter! And the trays are stackable! How convenient is that!

When’s the last time you allowed yourself to play? Get yourself a new box of kid’s markers, crayons, watercolors and a pad of watercolor paper and let your inner young one loose!

Who knows where you’ll end up going!

Happy playing!

Rachel

Posted in Collage/Mixed Media, Drawing, My Artwork, Painting, Surface Pattern Design | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

More Monoprints!

Here’s a few more Gelli® plate prints. Printing in multiple layers creates such beautiful depth and richness. I really could make prints all day long, day after day after day!

Rachel Fontenot - Gelli® plate print - acrylic monoprint - printmaking - art

Rachel Fontenot - Gelli® plate print - acrylic - monoprint - printmaking - art

Rachel Fontenot - Gelli® plate print - acrylic - monoprint - printmaking - art

Rachel Fontenot - Gelli® plate print - acrylic - monoprint - printmaking - art

These may get a few more layers added to them. And maybe a little collage too. Not sure yet… we’ll see!

Happy art making!

Rachel

Posted in My Artwork, Printmaking/Stamping | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Gelli® Plate Printing… I can’t seem to stop!

I’ve been Gelli® (used with permission from Gelli Arts® LLC) plate printing like crazy lately… I can’t seem to stop! It’s so much fun and very addictive. The possibilities are endless and once you begin, you lose track of time and space and all that seems to exists is paint and paper and stencils and brayers and a Gelli® plate! And when you do snap back from Gelli® Land you are surrounded by colorful papers everywhere! Oh the joy!!!

Printing on a Gelli® plate is basically monoprinting, except that you can get more than one print from a single plate of paint… and you can make “ghost” prints. With all that said, you still get one original print each time, hence the term, monoprint!

Here’s my studio floor covered in prints!

Rachel Fontenot - Gelli Plate Prints - acrylic - paint - printmaking

Here are some process photos:

Rachel Fontenot - Gelli Plate Printing - acrylic - paint - printmaking

Rachel Fontenot - Gelli Plate Printing - acrylic - paint - printmaking

Rachel Fontenot - Gelli Plate Printing - acrylic - paint - printmaking

Rachel Fontenot - Gelli Plate Printing - acrylic - paint - printmaking

Rachel Fontenot - Gelli Plate Printing - acrylic - paint - printmaking

Here’s a whole lot of prints I made. Some are finished… some will get printed on some more… some will get collaged!

Rachel Fontenot - Gelli Plate Prints- acrylic - paint - printmaking

Rachel Fontenot - Gelli Plate Prints- acrylic - paint - printmaking

Rachel Fontenot - Gelli Plate Prints - acrylic - paint - printmaking

You end up making so many prints! I love monoprinting with the Gelli® plate. Have you ever tried it? If not, you just gotta!!!

For all you NOLA locals, I’ll be teaching a Gelli® plate printing class at Mo’s Art Supply in Covington on May 9… more details to come!

Happy printing!

Rachel

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Picayune Spring Street Festival… This Weekend!

Come see me this weekend at the Picayune Spring Street Festival in Picayune Mississippi!

Saturday and Sunday, March 28 & 29, 9am to 5pm. My booth will be in front of Gibson House Antiques at 120 West Canal Street.

The fest will be full of art, handmade items, antiques and delicious Southern food!

I’ll be showing and selling my handmade journals and books, glass garden art, decorative fleur de lis and crosses and more! Here’s a sneak peak!

Rachel Fontenot - Decorative Washi Art

Rachel Fontenot - Handmade Journals and Books

Rachel Fontenot - Handmade Journals and Books

Rachel Fontenot - Handmade Jewelry

Hope to see all you locals there! Y’all come say “hi”!

Happy Spring!

Rachel

Posted in Book Arts, My Artwork | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments