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

Monday, 27 February 2017

Mix it up!

Following the experimentation with textures in my art class (see here), we spent a couple of weeks on a project using textures and mixed media.

This project had many layers, and I luckily remembered to take stage photos!

Stage one was drawing the outline and laying down some tissue paper pieces with PVA glue and resin sand (a gel medium with sand).

When dry I then did a pale all over wash.

Light coloured oil pastels were used next in some of the foreground areas and over the resin sand on the tree and shrubby areas. This was followed by background watercolour washes. The oil pastels act as a resist.

Then I concentrated on the tree using watercolour.

Next I strengthened some areas of the watercolour background, and added some gouache (greens and purples).

Finally, I used more oil pastels in the foreground and on the tree, Neocolor II pastels in the background, and acrylic inks and watercolour pencils for the extra twiggy bits.

This combination of almost every media I own made me realise even more that anything and everything can work together.

This project has taught me so much, that I'll no longer be afraid to use something if I think it will give me the effect I'm after.

I encourage everyone to have a go with paint, pencils, inks - whatever you've got!

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Happy Big Birthday Little Sis!

Yesterday was my little sister's 60th birthday, and I had a go at book folding for this auspicious occasion. I found a free pattern on the internet, and then found a book with the requisite number of pages in a pound shop.

I think it turned out quite well -

The folding is relatively easy because you are using the pattern measurements for each page. I did this over a few sessions; just remember to mark on the pattern where you last stopped!

You Tube has some good tutorials.

Another thing to remember is that each page on the pattern is equal to 2 pages in the book (front and back), so remember to double the number of pages when looking for the right book. Hope that makes sense!

I also wanted to decorate the cover with some appropriate photographs, printed onto wood veneer (my sister is a woodturner).

I designed the grouping of photos and words on the computer, then used the backing sheet from some sticky labels, which is completely non absorbent. Remove the labels first!

Run that backing sheet through the printer and the ink stays on the sheet, completely wet. Handle with care!

This is the tricky bit, lay the sheet face down on your piece of wood, and without moving it, press down all over. The ink will be transferred.

Oh, and remember to flip your pictures on the computer first, otherwise you will transfer it back to front! Yes, that was my initial mistake!

I also made this, as I found the lights at the end of last year, and then had to think of how to use them!

A perfect day!

Friday, 10 February 2017

Love reigns in my heart ...

The second part of the Craft Barn's twelve month challenge (based on Sara Coleridge's poem The Months) uses the next couplet -

February brings the rain
Thaws the frozen ponds again

and must also include a cherub and heart somewhere.

Sticking to my personal challenge of the postcard format, I used the last piece of the painted textured paper that formed the background of January's postcard (see here). I also found a small picture of a couple of delightful cherubs, which I must have had for many years in my 'maybe collage' box of treasures!

Finally, I cut out some clouds and added some heart-shaped raindrops ...

The postcard size is certainly making me think differently, but it also feeds a bit of my abstract soul too!

Cherubs fan our foolish fires, filling hearts with mad desires.
They prick our pride and haughtiness with quick, angelic naughtiness.
John Biccard

Thursday, 2 February 2017

Disaster alert ...

My art class session on mixing greens and using gouache allowed me time to have a go at another painting, which turned into a bit of a disaster.

I finished it at home, but I found it a bit boring. I had read about a technique of putting an extremely dilute colour wash over the whole painting to provide some unity, so decided to do a dilute pink wash.

What I didn't know was that gouache is very readily reactivated with water.  I carefully put the wash on and then before my very eyes the whole thing started to run! Shock, horror, and a bit of panic ensued ... I quickly mopped everything up and was left with a bit of a washed out picture.

Never daunted I tried to rescue it by redoing some areas, including the gouache ones.

I decided to let you see the finished item, so you can learn what I've learned - don't re-wet gouache and a rescue job isn't going to really work!

Though I'm quite pleased with my (albeit rescued) clouds!