We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
"Little Gidding"
T S Eliot

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Adventures in collage - part 3

I'm in the middle of my art course, and have just finished the third exercise, which was to take a naturalistic subject (i.e. from real life), and combine watercolour with collage.

I chose this as my reference, which I found on Pinterest.  It is a small run-down cabin in Skinnalon, Iceland.

I wanted to use a piece of half imperial sized watercolour paper, which is 22 inches x 15 inches. I ended up with a piece slightly smaller as my first attempt at stretching it failed, so I had to slightly cut it down.

Anyway, I started with the collage element, doing my usual random thing, using some Brusho'd handmade paper, book pages, sheet music, rice paper, map pages, and some brown paper.

Everything was stuck down with matt medium.

Next, I covered the whole piece with crumpled tissue paper, again using matt medium, to knock it back and to unify everything.

Now, the major part of the challenge ... to use the drawing skills from my summer drawing course, and use watercolour paint! I used both watercolour paint and watercolour pencils.

It has taken a couple of weeks, and I've learned a lot, including not to be quite so random with the collage element. Also, it is quite difficult painting on top of crumpled tissue!

I'm reasonably happy with the finished piece -

I'll be starting my next collage tomorrow, not completely sure what I'll be doing as the rest of the course is freestyle, but I have learned I need some kind of plan if I'm going to combine painting with collage!

Don't limit your challenges - challenge your limits!

Monday, 19 October 2015

Good luck Craft Barn!

This post is dedicated to the Craft Barn, which closed its bricks and mortar shop last weekend. I've been going to the Craft Barn for many years after first finding them in Lingfield, and later they moved to Nutfield.

I went to the final workshop on Saturday, with Chris Dark. We did a highly textured frame - just my cup of tea! Not sure what I'm going to put in the frame yet, but I've digitally added the words for this post!

Other workshops I've done at the Craft Barn during the past month ...

This meandering journal with Lin Brown. Stencil bumping on hessian is a bit of a challenge! The sunflower is stamped onto calico, and has some central padding.

With Darcy Wilkinson, a slashed canvas -

I love the diversity of workshops the Craft Barn offers, and they are continuing with the workshops in a different venue, as well as maintaining the online shop.

So, Craft Barn, wishing you all the good luckness there is!

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Pumpkin moon

The Craft Barn's Calendar Challenge words for October are orange and pumpkin/fruit.

Thought I would stick with collage, so I found a pumpkin photo and printed several in different sizes.
I then printed out the moon photos I recently took (see here), and added a die-cut of my friendly raven! Then decided to use some black card as the base for dramatic effect!

The Raven by Edgar Allen Poe is rather a long poem - so here is the final verse ...

And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon’s that is dreaming,
And the lamp-light o’er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
                              Shall be lifted—nevermore!

Happy spookiness!

Thursday, 8 October 2015

The owl and the ... bee?

The Ashtead Craft Club runs an annual challenge, and this year's is to create a collection of at least 10 cards, for different occasions, incorporating a common theme - and I decided to include a bee into every card. Initially I thought that would be quite easy to do ...

Additionally, as part of the annual challenge there are bi-monthly ones too, creating cards that can be included in the overall challenge - makes sense? Anyway, this card was part of the bi-monthly challenge - to create a male birthday card using collage.

All the pieces are cut from magazines, and I tried to give it a male feel - even with a bee! The bee stamp is by Stampotique and I love it - it comes on a square wood block and there are 2 different sized bees.

This week's Craft Barn challenge word is people, I think my two boxers qualify for that!

Also, this month's Craft Stamper Magazine challenge is to use one or more processes - ink, stitch, paint, collage, print, paper, and include some stamping somewhere.

It is National Poetry Day today, so here is one of my favourite poems -

The Owl and the Pussy-Cat

The Owl and the Pussy-cat went to sea
   In a beautiful pea-green boat,
They took some honey, and plenty of money,
   Wrapped up in a five-pound note.
The Owl looked up to the stars above,
   And sang to a small guitar,
"O lovely Pussy! O Pussy, my love,
    What a beautiful Pussy you are,
         You are,
         You are!
What a beautiful Pussy you are!"

Pussy said to the Owl, "You elegant fowl!
   How charmingly sweet you sing!
O let us be married! too long we have tarried:
   But what shall we do for a ring?"
They sailed away, for a year and a day,
   To the land where the Bong-Tree grows
And there in a wood a Piggy-wig stood
   With a ring at the end of his nose,
             His nose,
             His nose,
   With a ring at the end of his nose.

"Dear Pig, are you willing to sell for one shilling
   Your ring?" Said the Piggy, "I will."
So they took it away, and were married next day
   By the Turkey who lives on the hill.
They dined on mince, and slices of quince,
   Which they ate with a runcible spoon;   
And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand,
   They danced by the light of the moon,
             The moon,
             The moon,
They danced by the light of the moon.

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Pin it!

I recently did a post about Tyvek (see here).  Tyvek is a man made non-woven fabric, with many uses. These include building wrap and one piece coveralls.  When heated it starts to disintegrate, giving some great effects.

I've found the best result is to paint some Tyvek with pearlised or metallic acrylic paint; the paint should not be too thick.  When dry, choose some fabric that colour co-ordinates (I've used felt), then create layers - fabric at the bottom, then some bondaweb, then the Tyvek, painted side face up. Cover with some parchment paper and iron.  The Tyvek will start to shrink and break apart, which you will see through the parchment.  Up to you when you stop ironing!

The current Paper Artsy challenge is about wearable art - I created this brooch using Tyvek on felt, which has been die-cut, together with some netting, a heart charm, and some chain and pearls from a broken necklace.

I think it has a bit of a Victorian feel to it.

Autumn is in full swing now - just love those all those leaf colours against a brilliant sky. You probably can guess what is coming ... another of my haikus!

Red against sky blue
Falling folds of autumn's dress
Crushed and forgotten

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Making waves ...

The second exercise on my art course was to create an abstract collage, and to include some texture and metallic effect, but no overpainting this time.

Abstract? not tried that before - what is abstract?  Could it be defined as not being able to identify and name the contents?

I took my inspiration from sound waves.

Still using A3 size watercolour paper, I first did a watercolour wash with varying intensity of colour. I used violet Brusho as a regular diluted watercolour paint.

I prepared some papers, and also used some from my stash. Including randomly painted book pages, dried paint clean-up wipes, cork, corrugated card, fabric ribbon, acetate, metallic thread wool, Gelli printed deli paper, rice paper and handmade paper.

I also overlaid white tissue paper on some areas, but this is very subtle and difficult to see in the photo.

Some detail, using some book page clippings.

How about some abstract thought progression ...

Sound waves - waves crashing on the beach - the sea ...

This week's Craft Barn challenge is "The Sea". Are abstracts allowed? Let me know your abstract thoughts!