Sometimes when I am feeling a little empty creatively or just don't have a lot of time...I like to sit down and work on backgrounds. I will have about 5 or 6 going at one time. I will use my journal, wood pieces, canvas, and cardboard. I use whatever my hands can grab and just build up some yummy layers.
The backgrounds come pretty easily. I love working on them. I can really stick to my "don't think too much" rule when I am working on backgrounds. There are times when I want something very specific on a canvas and I will really plan that out. But, for the most part it just comes to me as I go.
Then, when I have a creative burst, I have several different pieces to grab and work on top of. Like I said, I don't always work like that. But it sure does end some of my "creative blocks." :)
One of my favorite tools...well, maybe a mild obsession...is a brayer. Oh, how I love the way a brayer can spread paint in a completely random yet beautiful way. I love the effect, don't you? Unfortunately my beloved brayer has gone missing. A certain little 3 year old loves to lurk around all my art goodies (what 3 year old wouldn't!) and I have a sneaking suspicion that he has found a lovely place for my brayer. A place no one can find! :) He loves putting keys in toy boxes, camera SD cards in his sister's Barbie house, and you should see all the things he has hidden behind the couch. Anyways, I have been working without one for over a month...and I think it is time to get a new one. You know it will turn up a day after I rip open the new one. It always happens like that!! :)
I was wondering...are you a "start to finish" artist or do you work on several things at once? Any favorite background tools in your artistic stash?