Art · Collage

Colour Plunge

This is week 5 of a collage project I’m doing with my sister Carolyn, we’re following the prompts in The Collage Workbook by Randel Plowman. This week’s prompt is colour plunge – create a collage using only different shades of one (or almost one) colour. I did three collages in total…

Vintage Pale Blue - NB
Vintage Pale Blue

The first collage is made up from vintage pale blue papers and some fabric from an erosion bundle….

Prussian Blue - NB
Prussian Blue

This collage is again blue but totally different blues – rich dark Prussian blue tones to this one. The fabrics in this came from my erosion bundles….

Roman Baths - NB
Roman Baths

The last collage is made using vintage pale green papers, with tiny hints of turquoise here and there. I used some erosion bundle papers in this one. There’s a tiny piece of scrim on the left and some vintage cellotape on the right to add extra vintage touches.

All three collages measure 8″ x 8″. They all turned out completely different to how I originally intended them to be but I like them. Next week’s prompt is image pairings – I need to think about this one….

Art · Collage

Colour Charge

Welcome to week 4 of a collage project I’m doing with my sister Carolyn, following the prompts from Randel Plowmans book The Collage Workbook. This weeks prompt is colour charge – add colour to a collage that’s primarily black and white. Here’s what I did:

Vintage Orange - NB
Vintage Orange

This is a vintage black and white collage coloured with a fairly bright orange. I’ve used orange printed material and orange oil pastel. This collage measures approx. 6″ x 6″.

A Touch Of Rus - NB
A Touch Of Rust

For this collage I printed out some of my own black and white photographs and cut them up for the collage base. Then I added rusty colours in the form of watercolour paint, rusty paper scraps and some fabric – both from my erosion bundle material. This collage measures 8″ x 8″.

Next weeks collages are going to be colourful….

Art · Collage

Black & White

This is the third week of the collage project I’m doing with my sister Carolyn, following the prompts in The Collage Workbook by Randel Plowman. Also it’s lovely to now have a number of other people joining in with our project. This week’s prompt is black and white. I did two black and white collages….

Dimensions Of Space - NB

The first collage is more traditional black and white tones and the second is vintage style….

Vintage Black & White - NB

Both collages measure 8″ x 8″ and I have used some erosion bundle papers in both collages. Both are more complex in design than previous week’s collages.

I’m really enjoying this collage project and already my mind is working on next week’s theme….

Art · Erosion Bundles

Art & Beauty In Decay

Summer EB 2017 Mosaic - NB

This image follows on from yesterday’s post of my Summer Erosion Bundle 2017. It’s a mosaic I created in Photoshop of some of the highlights of my erosion bundle. Notice the lovely autumnal colours ~ rusty browns and autumn berry colours….

When I made my erosion bundle back in the summer I realized it would be autumn when I opened it so I deliberately tried to incorporate things that would create autumnal colours – I didn’t  just throw my bundles together, I did give them a little thought…. !

You can click on the image to view a much larger version and large pictures have gone into my Art Gallery.

There is indeed art and beauty in decay, when nature just left to do it’s thing….


Art · Erosion Bundles

Summer Erosion Bundle 2017

Back in the summer I did a post documenting how I made my latest erosion bundles, you can read about it here. They’ve been in the garden for almost 2 1/2 months. Well, a few days ago I opened them up, carefully separated everything and left my papers and fabrics to dry….

Summer 2017 EB 1 - NB

Lots of rust and berry stains….

Summer 2017 EB 2 - NB

Summer 2017 EB 3 - NB

Summer 2017 EB 4 - NB

The lovely blue/mauve stains above and below are from blackberries….

Summer 2017 EB 5 - NB

Summer 2017 EB 6 - NB

It will come as no surprise that fabrics made from natural fibres (ie. cotton, silk, linen etc.) absorb colour and stains much better than synthetic fabrics. Below are two pieces of blackberry and rust stained silk….

Summer 2017 EB 7 - NB

Summer 2017 EB 9 - NB

All paper fragments, like the ones above, are kept and will be used in a future art project…

Summer 2017 EB 11 - NB

Pearl mica adds some shimmer on the papers below….

Summer 2017 EB 12 - NBSummer 2017 EB 13 - NBSummer 2017 EB 14 - NB

Summer 2017 EB 15 - NB

Beautiful rust stains below….

Summer 2017 EB 16 - NB

Summer 2017 EB 17 - NB

Above and below are both sides of the same piece. They’re actually two pieces of paper fused together, there’s just no hope of separating them. The rust stains are gorgeous. Some rusty washers are still attached. Below you can see some eye shadow and berry marks too. But what really intrigues me though is that round turquoise circle you can see on both sides of the paper. As yet, I have no idea what made that turquoise circle – it’s distinctly washer shaped, so I’m thinking that maybe one of my washers has reacted with something in my bundle. That’s one of the joys of erosion bundles ~ lovely things happen inside them ~ you never know what you’re going to find when you open them….

Summer 2017 EB 18 - NB

Below is some greaseproof paper from the kitchen – it’s quite good stuff to put into an erosion bundle, not too thick and fairly strong. There’s a dried blueberry stuck on it and you can also see some blackberry stains. In the middle on the right you can also see a pattern left by some fabric….

Summer 2017 EB 19 - NB

Below is a piece of bleached denim, it always stains well in an erosion bundle…

Summer 2017 EB 20 - NB

Summer 2017 EB 21 - NB

Below is some rusty jute….

Summer 2017 EB 22 - NB

So these are the results of my summer erosion bundles. I didn’t photograph everything, just the most interesting bits. I’ll have to start thinking about what to do for my next bundle. All these lovely papers and fabrics are going to be carefully stored till I need them. I’m hoping to use them in a new project next year – but more information about that later this year.

Art · Surface Treatment Workshop

Surface Treatment Workshop – Week 21

Week 21 of the Surface treatment workshop is about embedding items into a work surface. Embedding helps to create interesting textures that seem to be custom made to a piece of art work.

I did just one sample for this week and kept it very simple…,

Week 21 - Embedding - NB

I attached a piece of lace fabric to some sketchbook paper with modelling paste and then blended the edges of the fabric into the surface with a bit more modelling paste. I left it to dry and painted stripes of colour over it. The fabric has blended into the paper quite well. Here’s a closer view…

Week 21 - Embedding - Macro - NB

The edge of the fabric blended quite seamlessly into the work surface….

The touch of sparkle is a touch of pearl mica in a shade called Diamond Dust – it’s one of my favourites….

This sample will be added to my growing pile of samples ready for gluing into my STW Sketchbook…..


Art · Erosion Bundles

Spring Erosion Bundle 2017 – Papers

Way back in early March I put an erosion bundle into the garden. What is an erosion bundle? Very simply, it’s a pile of papers and fabrics assembled in layers with lots if interesting things in between the layers that will leave marks or stains. You can use natural or man made things to create the stains or marks – the key is to experiment! The bundle is then tied with string and placed outside and left at the mercy of the elements till it’s suitably decayed, about 2 -3 months, but times can vary considerably.

So without any more waffle, here’s my results:

EB Paper 1 - NBEB Paper 2 - NBEB Paper 3 - NB

I worked on a blue and rust theme with this bundle. Sometimes the papers break up when trying to separate them but I keep all the fragments – everything will get used…

EB Paper 5 - NB

EB Paper 4 - NB

Above we have several layers of paper, paint, fabric and foil all completely fused together – there’s no way of separating them! But we have some lovely colours and textures…

EB Paper 6 - NBEB Paper 7 - NBEB Paper 11 - NB

I like putting paper doilies in my bundles but they are very delicate and rarely stay in one piece. On the one above you can see marks left from rusty washers…

EB Paper 8 - NB

Above we have several layers of paper, fabric and paint fused together by the elements. I think there’s a teabag in the layers somewhere – I can feel it but there’s no way of getting it out, it will have to stay there! Notice the lovely pastel colours and gentle rust and tea stains….

EB Paper 9 - NBEB Paper 10 - NB

In the piece above there are rusty washers stuck to the paper – I can’t get them off! The background paper was a piece of “test paper” I used for testing colours on before they go on my art work…

EB Paper 12 - NB

Beautiful shades of blue and hints of rust…

EB Paper 13 - NB

EB Paper 14 - NB

A question I’m frequently asked about my erosion bundles is “what are you going to do with these papers and fabrics?”. The answer: they will get used in mixed media art work and collage. But more specifically, my sister Carolyn and I are going to begin a new art project early next year and my erosion bundle papers and fabrics are going to be enormously useful for that. I will give more information about this new project later in the year – it’s exciting… !

I hope you enjoyed looking at my distressed papers. There will be a second post about my spring erosion bundle which will focus on the fabrics that came out of my spring erosion bundle – they are just lovely and inspiring….

By The Sea · Photography · Still Life

Colour Inspiration

Turquoise Boat - NB

These are the colours that are inspiring me today ~ turquoise, aqua, and cyan ~ colours on a sea worn boat in the harbour….

Indigo,Turquoise & Rust - NB

Above we have some bleached dark indigo denim (dark indigo denim doesn’t bleach white, it goes a dark cream colour that you see above) along with some cotton dyed with cerulean blue acrylic paint and some rusty stuff.

They’re colours that complement each other so well. Underneath the image I used Photoshop to “paint” colour samples with colours extracted from the image. In real painting terms the colours I see in the image are Indigo, Cerulean Blue, Buff Titanium and Burnt Sienna ~ a beautiful inspiring combination….

I may have a play with these colours later this evening….

Art · Photography · Still Life

Indigo & Rust

Denim & Rust - NB

At the weekend I decided to have a little play with some light blue denim and some bleach. I just love the wonderful shades of indigo blue that denim comes in – they’re all very different.

Also a new crop of rusty stuff is “developing” in my garden! The piece of rust above is one of four new pieces recently rusted. I also have a lovely collection of washers and nuts happily gaining a nice thick rusty coat in my garden at the moment….

Rusting Washers - NB

They’re not properly “cooked” yet – these washers will be in my garden for at least another week yet. I’m so looking forward to putting some of these into my erosion bundles and other art work when they’re done!

Art · Nature · Photography · Still Life · Vintage

Vintage Blue & Rust


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… !