Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Adding layers to background papers (or a happy studio session)

Back in the studio!  Braving the chill and putting on more layers, but its amazing how a bit of activity keeps you warm. 

No sitting down and gentle painting. Dear me no! 

More 'being on a mission' and it's amazing how that can give you a glow. 

So, back here I told you how I made a start on a new batch of background papers.  Torn dictionary pages, PVA glue and ink powder. 

Next I added some dimension to the original layers with gesso.

I will be honest here. The gesso was lurking at the bottom of the pot and way past it's best. 
It was more the texture of modelling paste. 

So I grabbed a favourite stencil (You can tell - its a bit mucky!)

And rather than a brush I used a little palette knife. Honestly, that gesso was too thick and past it to paint and need a bit more force. 

Now, it is probably too much texture and may cause me difficulties when I come to sew, for inevitably this will end up in the sewing machine in some way. But hey, that pot of gesso needed finishing. 

Next, a bit of paint auditioning. 

This first sheet used Brusho inks (orange and yellow if memory serves correctly) and so Zesty Zing and Yellow Submarine from the Fresco Finish paints were spot on. 

And being translucent they wont 'cover' what is underneath. Rather then will add to the layer. 

Applied with a roller in the first instance.

Another paper I decorated used Infusion inks - a duskier impact.

Hence the need for a different family of Fresco Finish paints

Again applied with a roller in the first instance.  When I originally laid down these backgrounds I did not use ink on all of my background papers.  So on the paper below the paint is the first colour to be added. 

I love the effect of the roller but for the next couple of backgrounds I used the paints more like water colours - wetting the substrate and letting the paint run and mix. 

Here is Zesty Zing and Yellow Submarine.

And the luscious colours below are Claret and Blood Orange.

And you can see how the gesso takes the paint differently to the paper. 

And finally, back to the papers that I had rollered.

I used the 'water colour' technique for the next layer of colour. 

And because the colours I used are translucent this does not block out the rollered colour beneath, but rather adds another layer and again some of the gesso takes the colour.

And to finish to, this luscious sheet with the paint still wet and glistening. 

I have further plans for these sheets before I am done. A bit of lustre and maybe foil. 

Then these will go into my folder ready to pull out when I am ready.  In my mind these will be lampshade panels, but, of course, best laid plans etc. 

Saturday, 14 January 2017

Assemblages and boxes

I have, from time to time, waxed lyrical here about artists such as Mark Hearld and Clive Hicks-Jenkins.

Well, they work closely with St Judes who support print making and produce a luscious range of fabrics for soft furnishings etc. 

Well, just before Christmas they sponsored an exhibition at a little gallery near the Tate Modern on London's south bank.

And I discovered another artist who is warming the cockles of my heart.

Most of the artists St Judes represent are one dimensional, but Alex Malcolmson works with assemblages and boxes and all things 3D.

And I just love his work.  Pop over to his website to have a look or you can look at the St Judes page to see the work that was in the exhibition.

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Getting back into the Studio

But dogs have to be walked first.

And we have to commune with the local farm animals! 

I think I have probably mentioned them before, but honestly they are so bonkers, these concrete cows. If they were not painted black and white I think you would struggle to recognise them as cows. They are not quite a literal representation. 

But they are loved. Some kind soul even decorated them with tinsel over Christmas. I failed to get a photo to show you.  Sorry about that! 

And there are ducks to be chased! But despite leaning over the water, she is careful not to fall into the lake (though paddles quite happily in the brook.)

Now, rather a lot of chocolate was consumed over Christmas, but one upside of this is the packaging. I just love the potential with this packaging. I am thinking a bit of mono printing with the geli plate or just an acrylic sheet. 

Talking of which(the mono printing, not the chocolate), I have at last made it back into the studio (which you probably guessed from the title of this post - no suspense there!)

And it felt good to be back - and not too cold! 

One reason the studio has been a bit neglected (well, apart from Christmas) is that we have had a few cold snaps and it gets very cold out there. Basically, it is just a conservatory off my bedroom. Lovely when the weather warms up a bit (it was a balmy 10 degrees today - bliss) but challenging when it is several degrees below. 

But, it was a good day today. Light and airy and welcoming. And warm! 

Consequently I had a productive session adding to my selection of background papers. 

Using A2 sheets of cartridge paper and PVA glue, I simply pasted down torn pages from an old dictionary. 

That dictionary cost £1 from a charity shop about 2 and a half years ago. And its a big old thing and I have only just reached the letter C and I feel I have used it a lot. There are a lot more pages to go. 

I simply pasted the PVA across the cartridge paper with an old credit card and then applied the ripped dictionary - using the credit card to smooth the book paper down and make sure the edges had been captured. 

Then, and more as an experiment really, I sprinted ink powders onto a couple of the pages. Brusho above (you can tell from the sharp colours) and Infusions below (more of a vintage feel since they also contain walnut pigment) 

So now those papers are hanging in the studio drying, ready for the next layer.

Oh, and one thing I forgot to show you in my last post was some paper bunting made before Christmas. I had some left over coloured map - not enough for a lampshade but enough for a little length of paper bunting.  I will probably use that for stall decoration when I do my next sale or exhibition. 

Sunday, 8 January 2017

Bye bye 2016 - Hello 2017

So, dear reader, Christmas has been and gone and we have waved goodbye to 2016.

Welcome 2017 - let's hope more stars are in a better alignment. 

Meanwhile, what have I been up to? 

Well it's all been a bit quiet on the art front. With the exception of the gift tags ( which I shared here) I haven't really managed any quality time in the studio since the mad production line that was the lampshades. 

I blame Christmas. 

There was an awful lot of tidying up to do after the dogs had ripped open their lovingly wrapped presents. 

Then there was rather a lot of chocolate consumption ( well, I needed the energy after all that tidying up).

And these are possibly the best chocolates of all time. All the way from South Wales. 

And then there was dog walking. 

And stick wars! 

And then it was all over, but as I had a few days off the day job there was the chance to do a bit of charity shop browsing. 

I'm not taking up knitting anytime soon, but these are the perfect texture for some of my embroideries. 

They'll make an appearance in something soon, I am sure ( if, in a mad moment of tidying, I don't tidy them too away!) 

And a coffee table for Son No 1.

And a lovely little book case calling out for a bit of love. 

Oh, and Scrabble, with possibly the worst selection of letters ever. 

And there was time to reflect and mull and make plans. 

So, what are you planning for the next year? 

Monday, 26 December 2016

Tips for finding inspiration

We all have dry patches. Sometimes it seems that my own dry patches go on for weeks.

So posts like this can be very useful!


I particularly like this post because it is varied and practical and warns against always relying on the internet!  Get out and look at art! Brilliant.

I hope you are not having a dry patch but if you are book mark this link for both eye candy and assistance! 

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Quick idea - gift tags

Christmas is sneaking up on me. As always, December slides past me in a complete rush, and all my best intentions to be on top of everything fall by the wayside.

And this year it's tough to feel Christmassy with all the horrendous things going on in the world and the whole looming Brexit mess and the next incumbent of The White House. But hibernation for a decade isn't an option so here's an idea for some quick and effective gift tags for you. 

I used bought heart shape tags. Pre cut with a small hole and made of white card. I got mine in Hobbycraft. (They do other shapes too)


No great design input - I scribbled over the tags with neo colour water resistant crayons then sprinkled on faithful Brusho inks. 

Spritz with water then leave to dry. 

And then paint with Fresco Paint Metallic Glaze ( paint on very lightly - Brusho will run again if it gets wet so you want to quickly and gently just coat the tags to avoid to much re- activation). 

And you have yourself a rather classy tag. I used blues but of course this would be fab with more seasonal reds and glitter! 

Sunday, 18 December 2016

Handprinted, Bognor and Lisa Hooper

Here in Blighty there is a very useful supplier of materials and general goodies for all things printmaking, including Gelli plates.

They also have a lovely website.

Based outside Bognor Regis (which is such a wonderful name for a place - and infamous for where King George the V is reported to have said "Bugger Bogner" shortly before his demise) Handprinted is run by a textile artist. So what's not to like!

Anyway, they also run a blog and recently featured the work of Lisa Hooper.

Now I love prints and was particularly taken with the work of this artist, previously unknown to me. And just look at that printing press!

Pop over to Handprinted to have a look at their goodies and also the Blog about Lisa Hooper.