Free Art Friday

 

Have you heard of Free Art Friday?  If the answer is ‘no’, then I hope to help you discover what this wonderful bit of generosity, love, fun and Random Act of Kindness(‘s) is about. Stick with me .. you might just want to get involved in this. 

I hadn’t  heard of this myself until a few years ago when I saw a really fabulous artist interviewed on TV (here in the UK) about it.  

It all began over ten years ago with a British Artist who goes by the name of  My Dog Sighs (who was the chap being interviewed).  The moment the interview finished I knew I wanted to join in with this bit of ‘lovely’ in a world which seems to be increasingly unlovelyBut one thing has stopped me.  I don’t ‘do’ Facebook or Twitter, and in order to get the word out about your own particular piece of ‘Free Art’, you need to be able to give people clues about where your piece(s) of free art can be found so that they can go on a type of Treasure Hunt to find it.

Facebook scares the heck out of me.  People seem to get verbally bullied beyond belief on these social networking sites, and I’m just not the sort of person to get involved with allowing that sort of conduct.  But … I want to get involved in this Free Art Movement!  Catch 22 situation. 

So .. I’ve begun my adventure and joined Facebook – but I haven’t figured it all out yet.  I’m still trying to work out how to use the darn site.  Boy, is it confusing!   I will also look into joining Twitter and see if I can find a group in the area around where I live.

Here’s how Free Art Friday works:

  • Create a piece of art
  • Write on an attached tag “Free Art, to take home and enjoy” ~ adding the artist’s name, email or web address is optional.
  • Place your piece of artwork somewhere in public, indoors or out.
  • Some people make a game out of it and leave clues on Twitter.
  • It’s NOT an exclusive group or movement.  ANYBODY can join in.

There are now Artists across the world making their own art and leaving it outside, somewhere noticeable but slightly hidden, for others to discover, and take,  free of any charges or from any costs to themselves.

There are no real rules as suchwhich is a joyThe only ‘rules’ are:  that the art has to be exclusively free art and you need to make sure that the work is easily removable from where you’ve left it,  and does little or no damage to its environment.  Oh … and it doesn’t actually HAVE to be a Friday either.  (It just started as this, and it’s kind of grown into an any day free art)

Some artists will put out a painted canvas or mixed art canvas, others use materials found on the street, – such as cardboard, bits of wood, or a tin can – which is popular,  but your only limit is your imagination.  Many free art Friday participants’ work is fun and good-natured, which cheers up the folk seeing it (maybe on their way to work in the morning) and also, obviously, bringing a smile to the face of the person who claims the Free Art for themselves.

Artists have been leaving their art for others for many years, but My Dog Sighs can be credited with galvanizing the Free Art Movement when he coined the phrase “Free Art Friday“.  After several years he started his Flickr Group (in 2006), and you can find the My Dog Sighs website  HERE (it will open in a new page).

13680701_1055549374539830_1700926973536897651_n

This is a typical ‘notice’ which can accompany a piece of free art.  There is a ‘global’ Art Abandonment page of Facebook, where artists all over the globe post photographs of the art they’ve abandoned, and where people who have found a free piece of art can say on Facebook that they’ve found something & post a photo of the item, or they can email (see the email addy at the bottom of the hand out above).

If you’d like to  view the Art Abandonment Facebook page,   CLICK HERE.

 

Below is an article from a newspaper I found on-line which talk about F.A.F in Gloucester (in the UK): (if you right-click on the photo and choose ‘View Image’ it will open up into a bigger picture for you)

FAF news article for Gloucester

So … now you know a little bit about Free Art Friday …  does it make you want to take part?  Does it bring a feeling of joy knowing that you could do something lovely to make someone else smile?   And …  they won’t have to pay a penny for the wonderful gift from the heart which you made.  Would it make you smile to find your own piece of Free Art?

Cobwebs 1st Free Art Friday

 

The Message Feather

a blow up of the hand painted feather on the can art, ‘The Message’

The photograph above is a painting on an empty, washed and cleaned out, tin can, which would normally have gone into my re-cycling bin.  However, I took a hammer to it (outside on a rock) and flattened it, and made sure that there were no sharp corners.  I then primed it and painted the background, then painted a white feather on it.  A feather from an Angel, perhaps?  I’ve called it  ‘The Message’, and only the person who takes the art will know what the message that feather brings for them.  I framed the can in a box frame.  It’s destined to be my first Free Art Friday piece of art … once I’ve figured out how to navigate Facebook and Twitter. {Cobwebs sighs}

Believe

 

But …  Free Art Friday art doesn’t have to be a painting. Artwork could be something knitted, crocheted, painted, printed, stamped, sewn, drawn or any of hundreds of different artistic things.  It could be a scrapbook made from loo roll tubes,  a card,  a Tag, a painting on canvas/cardboard/bit of MDF/Wood/etc, or maybe a key ring you’ve made, a bookmark, a stone you found in the garden and painted with patterns etc.  An ATC or ACEO.   Anything … anything you can make, is your own artwork.

Artwork placed on the street for a member of the public to take home and enjoy.  Go on, make someone’s day!

Sig coffee copy

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He’s [definitely] Making a List . . .

Around fourteen or fifteen years ago I made and painted a whole bundle of these boards for a Christmas Craft Fair which I’d been asked to do, and they went down a smash hit with parents and grandparents, who bought them for their little ones.

The idea is that the little ones would write their list of toys they hoped that Father Christmas would bring for them, then Mommy, Daddy, or a Grandparent or carer, would ‘peg’ the list to the board using those pegs which you can see in the photo – which are permanently attached to the board.  However … Father Christmas with the wording over his head, was a reminder to the little monkeys amongst them to be good because they had to remember that Santa Claus was   making a list – and checking it twice!  What better way to make sure that a little monkey changed his or her ways and became a little Angel – at least … until after Christmas!

I was reminded of these boards recently and thought that I really ought to make at least one more, for the littlest member of my family – in the hope that perhaps a little Angel might just be made from a rascally monkey!

So here it is . . .   oh, and by the way   . . .   he’s still making that list!  😀

Made from a rectangle of slim MDF (Medium Density Fibre-board) – as it’s known here in the UK (not sure what it might be called in the country where you are – perhaps Mr. Google would be your friend there!).  I got himself to bevel the edges (using a router) so that they curved away and then had him drill two small holes so that, once painted and sealed, I could feed some wire through them, in order to make the curly wired hanging wires.  Then it was on to the fun stuff ….

santa list 2

I hand painted the night sky and snow, then, once dry, painted the cutesy Father Christmas, or Santa.  I left the boards to dry for a couple of days (so that they were fully dry) and then gave the whole board a gentle, but good, spray over with an acrylic varnish which has the finest particles of glitter dust suspended in it.  Once this was dry the glittery particles twinkled merrily in the light – but it doesn’t give it that white sheen which other glitter varnishes can sometimes give.  Sadly the twinkles didn’t show up in the flash photo, so you’ll have to imagine them there!

I don’t draw when I’m going to paint something – I will scribble a few lines as a reminder of where I want to place something,  but I don’t actually ‘draw‘ anything.  For example – on these board paintings all I ‘drew’ was a freehand circle – which was where I roughly wanted F.C.’s face to be,  But other than that I didn’t draw anything.  I’m someone who prefers to just go straight in with paint and ‘see’ the idea I have inside my head come to life.

I didn’t use a pattern or anything like that,  I just painted the idea I had, so sadly can’t offer to share a pattern to paint something like thisBut painting a folksy fun type of Santa isn’t that difficult.  You don’t have to put in much detail, there are no wrinkles to his face or his clothes – so you don’t have to worry about that.  But – even if you think you’re not a painter – just have a go!  You’ll never know what you can do unless you have a go!

Two Hand-made Plant Pot Cards for Autumn Gardeners

As any gardener will tell you, gardening doesn’t stop when the summer sun does, and it was this thought that made me realise that there were very few gardening or ‘plant growing’ cards for gardeners in the autumn/winter months to be seen on the high street (or on hand-made card makers blogs that I’ve come across) at these times of year, so I thought I’d make some cards for those of us who garden and pot all year round!

Card one:

Bumble and Hedgehog 1

I decided upon warm terracotta and copper tones for this first card and hand painted the little pots on some Neenah card then cut them out and shaped them (just with my fingers) to give them that dimensional look.

The deep ruby-red flower is made from felt with three glass beads in the centre, and I teamed it with two lovely burnt orange skeleton leaves.

The little Bumble Bee actually started off life as a photo corner –  ones which I’ve had for a gazillion years! (ok, I might be stretching that a little, but I’ve had them so long that I can’t even remember when I bought them nor where from).

The rim of the pot is made from coppery coloured corrugated card with the addition of a little brown and dotty ribbon, which brings a bit of happy whimsy to the pot rim.

I added a little smile to the inside by adding another hand painted pot, to which I added a ‘seed packet’ –  cut from some cardstock which had little seed packets all over the page.  I fixed the seed packet at an angle so that I could ‘sprinkle’ seeds falling out of the packet and into the pot.  The addition of the sentiment  ‘Sow Lovely’ finished the little inside scene off.

Bumble and Hedgehog 2 inside

Card number two:

Blooming Wonderful 1

The second card began life in the same way (as a Craft Card terracotta pot shaped base) but for this card I cut out papers for the rim and the base then coloured them up so that the pot took on a much deeper colour than a normal terracotta pot in order to give it a more autumnal feel.  I added three half daisies along the rim (with Candi to the centres) and added the Happy Birthday sentiment so that they looked as if they were tucked behind it.

The watering can at the bottom of the card is actually a wooden one, which I coloured silver by using a silver marker pen, and added a flower to the centre.  The dragonfly, (like the bumble bee in the first card), began life as a photo corner – and again, I’ve had them for ever so can’t tell you where I bought them from – but they’re so adorable and I’ve used them lots of times.  I hope that I can still get those from somewhere because I’ll buy them in a heartbeat.  They’re perfect for that little accent when you need one).

This time, the inside of the card was a pop up – in the shape of some flowers….

Blooming Wonderful 5 open

These flowers started life as:

Blooming Wonderful 2

…7 x 2″ square pieces of decorative cardstock,   folded and then trimmed to shape, then cut, coloured . . .

Blooming Wonderful 4

. . . and then glued to turn them into ‘cone’ shaped flowers . . .

Blooming Wonderful 3

Then they’re re-folded and glued together in a specific way in order to make them close up and open again as ‘one’ pop up.  Once the flowers were in place I added the little heart shaped sentiment to the inside, on a belly bar, over some printed gardening themed text paper.

Blooming Wonderful 5

And that’s all  there is to it! 

Two cards, both really simple,  but both with friendly little smiles to brighten the birthday of someone who still likes to garden even when the sun isn’t there!

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit and check out my blog, it’s really lovely to see you here!

Have a wonderful Friday, and a truly fabulous weekend, doing whatever makes you happiest.

Cobs siggy sml