Category Archives: Art

Surface Treatment Workshop – Week 3

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The focus on this weeks edition of the Surface Treatment Workshop is Aluminium Foil.

It sounds very simple but in practice I found aluminium foil is not very easy stuff to work with. The good points are that it’s very easy to create texture and patterns with foil but the downside is that it’s not so easy to paint over. The paint doesn’t stick to the foil very well. Using a layer of clear gesso first helped but it still takes several layers of paint to cover the foil and when it dries the paint scratches off very easily. So I’ve got misgivings about it’s archival quality.

I have only one sample for this weeks workshop – pictured above. The foil I used were the foil wrappers from some stock cubes! Four wrappers were needed. And I simply coloured in the existing shapes and patterns in the foil. I used acrylic paint, oil pastels and stuck on some small rusty bits of paper left over from an erosion bundle.

I like my sample above, I like the textures shapes and colours. I’m not quite sure this sample is completely finished yet – I may work into it some more – but I like it so far!

The conclusion of this weeks workshop is that I don’t think I will be using aluminium foil in mixed media art to any great degree but it may possibly have small uses here and there… ! Next week the focus is on Masking Tape – looking forward to this!

Home Made Rust

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These four pieces of rusty tin above I rusted myself. These are some of the rusty pieces I put into my Erosion Bundles.

These pieces of tin I cut out from the sides of a corned beef tin. They have flat sides and are easier to cut! As I cut the tin there was need for caution as the cut edges are razor sharp… ! Then I simply got a disposable aluminium foil tray (or an old plastic ice cream tub) and placed in it a solution of vinegar and bleach. The solution is mixed to a ratio of 2 parts bleach to one part vinegar. I needed enough to make sure the pieces of tin (or other items to be rusted) are completely covered. Then I put the pieces on tin into the solution and left them for about 4 -5 hours.

I wore disposable gloves and I put the tray out into the garden (I picked a dry day) as the solution of vinegar and bleach gives off very strong fumes – I really didn’t want it in the house! I have been known to leave these outside all night. If the items haven’t rusted enough when I check them I simply tip the solution away and cover them with a fresh solution and repeat the process.

Some things rust really well (like corned beef tins) others don’t – so it’s about experimenting. I’m really pleased how my rusty bits of tin above turned out and they have become even more rusty after being in my erosion bundles!

Vintage Blue & Rust

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A collection of vintage blue and rusty coloured treasures from around my work room. Vintage dyed fabrics, a piece of dyed string, a vintage blue pressed hydrangea flower, a rusty coloured dried pressed rose, a rusty ring pull from a can – all on a vintage blue textured background. I painted the background paper with acrylic paints.

All these lovely things I collect inspire me and I will eventually use them in art work when the right project comes along. And I will then replace them with other lovely things… !

Surface Treatment Workshop – Week 2

Welcome to Week 2 of the Surface Treatment Workshop. The focus for week 2 is stencils. In preparing my samples for this week I made a discovery… a personal discovery… ! I’ve discovered that I don’t actually like frilly, flowery, fussy, swirly stencil patterns. I can appreciate them in other peoples work, other people can make them look lovely, but I don’t like them in my own work…

Having discovered this I now had to completely rethink what I’m going to produce for this weeks workshop. What I’ve also discovered is that I do like  simple shapes, lines and patterns and that unique, individual home made stencils are the way forward…

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For the above sample I used cut out paper shapes as stencils to create simple lines and squares…

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For this image I used a Large Polka Dot stencil. Here we have several different versions of the same stencil layered over each other. Next, how both these images appear in my sketchbook:

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Next another polka dot design – just simple circles. In the centre is a small photo of a piece of my own art work – it has a circle theme which complemented the polka dots…

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For the next sample I made a homemade paper stencil. I used thick glossy paper, cut my stencil out and used it several times to create the design below. When I finished with the stencil I cut it up and stuck it over my design to add more wavy lines and colour. I finished by outlining some of the pattern with gold acrylic paint. The photograph below doesn’t really do the art work justice, the reality is much better – however, this was one of the best photos I got!

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What I’ve taken away from this exercise is that I’m now determined to be a lot more picky about what commercially available stencils I buy. And I’m going to do a lot more home made stencils. OK, paper stencils are “use once-throw away” stencils but you do get a unique, original design that nobody else in the world has – that’s something that appeals to me. I have already made some home made stencils from acetate sheet – they are reusable and totally original!

For week 3 of the Surface Treatment Workshop the focus is on aluminium foil. I’ve personally never used aluminium foil in art before, so this will be a little voyage of discovery for me… !

Winter Erosion Bundle – Part 3

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Welcome to part 3 of my Winter Erosion Bundle – the final part! Part 3 is very different to Part 1 and Part 2 – is has no rust and no blueberries! I used just dots of watercolour paint and sprinkles of pearl mica.

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These papers were on the very outside of the erosion bundle. The watercolour paint gave the papers beautiful soft pastel tones…

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The pearl mica gave a lovely sheen to the papers that catches the light…

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Above is a close up view of the previous image.

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I used tissue paper, deli paper and notebook paper, all of which absorbed colour very readily…

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The lovely pastel tones blend and compliment each other beautifully…

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Shimmering gold pearl mica with touches of vintage pink…

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Blues, greens and turquoise – lagoon colours…

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All the colours of the rainbow…

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These papers have been carefully stored. I will use them in mixed media art as and when the right project comes along. These erosion bundles take time to produce, so it’s a good idea to build up a good supply of eroded, corroded, vintage papers well in advance!

Larger more detailed versions of these images can be viewed in my ART GALLERY

A spring erosion bundle is in the planning stage…

Sea Shell Sketches

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Seashell sketches ~ drawn with a HB pencil and painted with watercolours. I drew rough pencil outlines and filled in with watercolours.

These are the very first sketches I’ve done since I was in Secondary School, which was the better part of 40 years ago – I’m VERY out of practice! For my first attempts, I’m reasonably pleased with them.

My goal this year is to draw and sketch more and paint them with watercolours. At school I used to be reasonably good at drawing – but sadly the teaching and motivation I got from the art (and needlework) teacher was virtually nonexistent…!

I was inspired to do these by Anna Warren – her sketches in her blog posts Sketching in Tasmania and Freycinet – from the sketchbook are just lovely. Do have a look…

(NB – week 2 of the Surface Treatment Workshop will be next Wednesday instead of today – life got in the way…. as it does… !)

Winter Erosion Bundle – Part 2

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Welcome to part 2 of my winter erosion bundle! You can view Part 1 HERE if you missed it. Above is a piece of scrapbook paper which I scanned and printed out onto some copy paper. Into my erosion bundle it went. Stuck on the paper you can see blueberry remains, the white powdery remains of an effervescent Vitamin c tablet, some raspberry remains and some rust. All of them create wonderful vintage colours and textures. Next, the reverse side of the paper…

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Much more subtle colours and stains on this side…

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Above is some more subtly stained scanned scrapbook paper – the yellow stains are from some turmeric I sprinkled onto the paper. The reverse side looks like this:

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Above a piece of beautifully vintage sheet music, stained with rust and blueberries. It turned out that those blueberries would have a huge impact on this erosion bundle – although I had no idea when I put them in – it was purely experimental…winter-eb-15-nb

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The paper directly above is a piece of paper from an old book, beautifully stained…

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Above is an envelope – I like to use an assortment of paper in my erosion bundles! Again it’s beautifully aged and vintage looking. The reverse side:

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Also into my erosion bundle went some paper doilies:

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The doilies were very fragile when they came out of the bundle, hence why they’ve torn a little. For my final image of this post a picture of my erosion bundle in the garden:

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This my erosion bundle all tied up and hanging on my garden fence! As you can see it’s covered in frost, it was about -5 Celsius  when I photographed this. My bundle measured about 10″ x 8″ and on this morning it was frozen solid – it was like a giant house brick! You can’t miss the brown splodge on the front of it – that is…  erm…. bird pooh! I’m not entirely sure what that bird had been eating, however, when you put an art project out into the garden you have to expect these things… !

These papers will be carefully stored and will get used in my art work, in due course. They are all totally unique and individual and each of them have their own beauty. I love them! This concludes part 2 of my winter erosion bundle, part 3 (the final part) will follow sometime in the not too distant future…

Indigo Circles

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A second selection of stamping samples for week 1 of the Surface Treatment Workshop…

This time I used a stencil as a stamp, which was suggested in the book. I used indigo paint with a touch of white mixed in with it…

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The prints are very simple, but I like the contrast between the indigo paint and the white paper underneath…

How the prints appear in my sketchbook:

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This will be all for week 1 now and for week 2 the focus is on stencils…

Surface Treatment Workshop – Week 1

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This is week 1 of the Surface Treatment Workshop! Week 1 starts off very basically with stamping. For the sample above I covered a 6″ x 6″ piece of paper with collage and then simply stamped circles over the top in different sizes and colours. I rummaged round the house and found lots of things I could use for stamping circles – above I used a cardboard tube, a jam jar, a little bit of bubble wrap and… the best bit… an empty Belgian Bun packet! The larger dark blue circles were from the bottom of a plastic Belgian Bun packet – this has just got to be the best excuse ever for buying Belgian Buns!

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For the above sample I started with a 6″ x 6″ piece of paper and covered it with white gesso. Then I stamped a gold and turquoise pattern on the base of the sample using acrylic paints. To create the square pattern I used some of that rubbery stuff you put under mats and rugs to stop them slipping… ! For the small dark circles I used bubble wrap and then simply stamped the fish on. Very simple!

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Both samples have been stuck into a dedicated 8″ x 8″ sketchbook set aside especially for the project. I’m trying not to be overly fussy or fiddly with the samples for this project, after all, it is meant to be an experimental learning curve. I think I’m reasonably happy with how week 1 has turned out – now looking forward to week 2… !

Winter Erosion Bundle – Part 1

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Soon after finishing my previous Erosion Bundle I started a new one! You can see the results of my previous one here: Art & Beauty In Decay.

An erosion bundle is simply a pile of paper and/or fabric layered up with stuff that will leave stains, marks, colour and texture etc. I use tea bags, coffee, paint, rusty stuff, household chemicals – literally anything that has the vaguest hope of leaving marks, stains, patterns or some colour! I use lots of different paper types and sizes and different fabrics, Sometimes I finish with a fabric wrapping , sometimes I don’t! Then I tie it up with string and out it goes into the garden to be left to the mercy of the elements for a long as I dare! Usually anything from 6 to 12 weeks, to let nature do it’s thing…

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This erosion bundle I left outside for about 8 weeks. I had planned to leave it longer, but due to the sub-zero icy weather alternating with warm rainy weather, the bundle eroded much quicker than I thought it might. The above two pics are both sides of the same piece of paper – just look at that wonderful rusty, crusty stain on the paper…

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I scanned some scrapbook paper and printed it off – into my erosion bundle it went! More lovely rust stains. But do you see that darkish  grey-blue stain in the bottom right corner above? The stain left by a blueberry!! Next is the other side of the paper…

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… delicious colours and textures…

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Scrapbook paper with rust stains, blueberry stains and paint. But look how beautifully aged and crinkled the paper looks – this paper was white copy paper when it started out! Next is a detailed section of the above pic…

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Next the reverse side of the above paper…

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The two dark marks in the above pic on the left are blueberry remains! Here’s a more detailed look…

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Another detailed view of the same piece of paper…

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Beautiful blueberry stains and rust…

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Lovely turquoise paint stains. Do you see the white mark on the right of the above pic? It’s the remains of an effervescent vitamin C tablet! Nothing is sacred when it comes to an erosion bundle… Next is the reverse side of the paper…

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In the top right corner is another one of those tell tale blueberry stains. But do you notice some tiny bits in the rusty stain in the bottom right corner? When I looked at them closely I realized they were raspberry seeds! The raspberries didn’t leave any colour in my erosion bundle but they did leave their seeds behind for some added texture! Next a close up view of the blueberry stain:

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Well, this is going to conclude Part 1 of my Winter Erosion Bundle results. There will be a Part 2 and a Part 3 in due course! This was a very big erosion bundle and the results were very mixed and varied. I will also post larger more detailed pics in my ART GALLERY as soon as I can.

These papers will get stored very carefully till I decide on the right project to use them on. As a girl in love with colour and texture, I find these erosion bundle results very exciting! A blog friend called this “garden art” – I like that! Nature is very good at creating it’s own art!

What I love most of all about these papers and all the other papers from erosion bundles is that they are all totally UNIQUE, ORIGINAL and ONE OF A KIND! There will never be another one exactly the same ever… !