Friday, June 19, 2015

Painting on Plaster Play Date

 We had a great time creating water colour paintings on plaster coated fabric, inspired by the work of Kate Thompson and her Fractured Angelics.  Our craft buddy K set us up for another great creative play date.  Here's how i got started.....
 K printed out some images on printer paper using a laser printer (not ink jet).
 She had prepared dozens of pieces of fabric, burlap and lace by coating them with either Venetian plaster or joint compound.  a coat of gesso to seal the front and back.
 Apply some matte medium to the plaster and to the image - and lay face down.  smooth all the bumps.
 Let dry thoroughly.  I drew a few flowers on the side with a pencil.
 Spritz with water and start peeling off the paper backing.  keep adding water with your fingers and roll the little bits of paper until they are all off.  You will be left with the image - transferred onto your plaster.
 In some places you can see i scraped too much and took off the gesso (white) showing the plaster (cream) underneath.  no matter, i plan to paint it anyway!
 The image on top (my favorite) was perfect and soft and lovely.  but i kept adding and taking away and ruined the eyes.  We were painting with water colour paints and a bit of white gouache.
 more work in progress.
Here is my finished result!  darker than the original, but still quite nice.
 K set us up with a flat screen to watch videos while we worked!
 And of course prepared a delicious, beautiful and nutritious luncheon.
 Here was my second attempt.  I used a copy of a vintage image - here in the rolling the paper stage.
 The image was too small on the fringed burlap.  k had pressed some lace into the plaster for more texture.
 I painted the background blue and added a trellis.
 and here she is - complete with a dress made from an actual doily (applied to the base with some joint compound) and a cute little bird.
 Here is a piece that Z was working on.  
She plans to add some berries and leaves as a headress.
 Another work in progress - a vintage image with some stencilling done with plaster for a raised texture.
 Look at this cutie - she'll look great when colourized.
 Speaking of colour - wow - look at K's angels!
Later K added some texture using a wing stencil.
 And another with brilliant tones.
This one was just image transferred, a more modern day example.  
can't wait to see how this turns out once some colour is applied!
Thanks K for another fabulous play date.  Missed our crafty buddies D and S.  We can always do this again - it was so much fun!  And thanks again to Kate for the inspiration.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Paint Lounge


 I am on a business trip in Markham, Ontario, and had to spend the weekend.  I looked around for artsy activities and found the Paint Lounge on historic Old Markham Main Street.  I have never been impressed with the cookie cutter paintings these places promote as "paint and drink" parties.  
But the Paint Lounge was offering a workshop featuring different texture techniques. Using string, using drips, or using tissue paper for raised surfaces, you could create your own painting, any size you wanted.  I decided to try that.
 The first step was to put on an apron and learn how to use their disposable palettes and paint pumps.  There were about 8 people there when i started, but an hour later the place was packed solid with several groups of gal pals, many couples, and me.
 I chose  to use a 12" square canvas, for $20.  prices go up from there and include all other supplies.  my only complaint would be that the quality of the brushes was kind of bad,  and they were totally trashed (stubby and stiff).  But no matter.  I started with a blend of blue, white and a touch of green to create a background of my signature robin's egg blue.  then one of the instructors  showed us the simple technique of creating flowers using tissue paper coiled into a rough circle, and dabbed into matte medium and onto the canvas.
I created 7 flowers and then added a few leaves fro some added texture.  I had grand plans to capture every stage of my painting - but alas my phone battery died right after this image was taken.
 So all i can show you is the final result -voila!  I added globs of paint to each flower.  tried to make each one a little different.  i never quite know how to add white highlights.  not sure they worked!  it was impossible to paint narrows stems with the brushes provided.  i went ahead and even added white flecks with a toothbrush - since that was one of the "tools" offered.  the  girl next to me acted as if she witnessed Michelangelo in person creating the Sistine chapel when she saw me do that!  (which was silly, but made me beam with pride nonetheless)

One of the instructors told me my painting would look so cute in a little girl's bedroom.  so i guess i'll  add it to my other "suitable for a little girl's bedroom" art collection!  like these:
 Up next?  how about i go to the pottery painting place.....?

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Play Date - UFO's

 What is a UFO you might ask? 
 The bane of the artist/crafter's existence - the UnFinishedObject!  
We decided to forgo our typical NEW IDEA for our monthly play date - instead to each work on our own halfway done projects
 I did some fabulous paper painting collage projects back in the fall you can read about HERE.  I started these birds but never finished them.  i had painted the birds and background roughly and did some collage for the branches with text in different fonts and colours.
 So at the play date i started to collage the birds themselves - starting with yellow shades for the bellies.
 Then onto dark blues for the birds and lighter blues for the sky.
Just kept adding paper to the sky and the sides of the thick canvases.
 I worked back and forth on the two canvases.  Three birds on one and two on the other.

 Pretty much done....?
NO!  how about some leaves!
I think they could use some paint to soften the sky and to make the birds more distinct from the background.  Yikes - yet another unfinished project!
 My friend Z had missed the paper painting play date, so was anxious to try it.  So TECHNICALLY her project was not something unfinished, but we are not sticklers  for details.  She purchased a cool looking denim covered canvas at Michaels to use as a base for this cow collage.  You can see her inspiration photo on the left.  She painted the cow with white paint - i think it looks  awesome just like that!
 Next she started adding colour with collage elements - 
like these ears made from fizzy juice can labels.
 She added some lacy blue paper and a purple nose - 
this is going to turn out great!
 D worked on this bird with doll head she started last month.

 she smoothed the paper clay and painted it with white paint/gesso.  
what a cool idea - a deconstructed badminton bird makes a fun little tail!

 The hole in the head is to accept the headress befitting this bird - an egg beater!
In between paint drying D worked on this other  piece.  A dolls torso,on a candle stick base, with a tin butterfly for wings, golf tees for a headdress, and keys and upholstery tacks for a skirt.  Can't wait to see her once the glue dries, and the tape is removed, and she is painted and ready for her debut.

Well.  we had fun.  but we didn't exactly get anything finished, did  we?

Altered Book Swap - Nature Green Revisited

 It is taking a while longer to complete our 2014 altered book round robin, with the colour theme, due to so many of our member's travel schedules.  no problem - what's the rush?  
I last worked in Z's Green themed book last year.  You can see what i did HERE.
 I had selected a couple of architectural images from a travel magazine to use in my spreads.  This elaborate door had a greenish cast to it.  I cut open the door to take a peak inside.  on the left i just filled in the page with a stash of Colombian stamps, since they were, well, very green.  I left some words showing on the page - Morocco and Persia - since they both are evocative of the architecture.
 The next page shows an arch with a man feeding a large creature what could it be?
 How about a large green bird!  
I used small doilies to create a stencil effect by sanding the pages.  
It looks better in person.  
no it doesn't.  
it looks crappy actually.  
but no matter.  
on to the next spread.....
 My next multi page spread was inspired by a book of botanical's i purchased recently.  Since the community where Z and I live has street names of  flowers, it seemed fitting to use those flowers in her book.  I envisioned a victorian ladies journal filled with flowers and birds and butterflies.

Here on the final page are the two ladies - ostensively Z and Me.  Her with a book and me with a bird....  in a beautiful garden on our flowered street named neighborhood!