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….

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Summer 2017 EB 3 - NB

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

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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….

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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….

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Summer 2017 EB 15 - NB

Beautiful rust stains below….

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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…

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Below is some rusty jute….

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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 16

This week’s Surface Treatment Workshop is about pulled papers. For pulled papers you apply some gel medium (or PVA glue) to a painted surface and then apply some paper with text or an image (text side down!). You leave it on for about a minute or so and then pull the paper off and you get the text left on the surface with minimal paper.

Week 16 - Pulled Paper 1 - NB

In the above sample I’ve probably slightly overdone the pulled papers a bit but it does give you a fairly good idea of how it works. Notice a lot of the text is backwards… ! The background was an old gelli print I had left over.

You can click on the images (twice) to view them larger…

Week 16 - Pulled Paper 2 - NB

The window image in the above sample was from a non glossy gardening magazine that came through the post! Some papers work better than others for this technique – vintage book papers worked very well. Thicker papers like scapbooking papers didn’t work. Carolyn assures me that glossy magazine images don’t work either…!

I like this technique very much – I like how you can add random text and images to art work. But…  (you knew there was a but coming didn’t you!) it is a slightly tricky technique to get right. Let me explain – how much gel or PVA you apply depends on the thickness of the paper, how long you leave the paper before pulling it off depends on the thickness of the gel… so it’s not an exact science. If you leave the paper on too long you cant get it off and if you don’t leave it on long enough you don’t get any text or image on your artwork!

There is a definite knack to this technique and it’s one I’ve not quite mastered yet. I guess I would get better with practice – so that is what I will do. With a bit of experience it would be easier to estimate how much gel to use and how long to leave the paper for before pulling it…

All things considered then, I like this technique and I would use it in future art works. In the meantime I will practice it to hopefully get a higher success rate with it…

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….

Art · Surface Treatment Workshop

Surface Treatment Workshop – Week 14

Welcome to this weeks Surface Treatment Workshop. This week Carolyn and I are experimenting with skins. What are skins? Very simply, skins are created by putting a layer of acrylic medium on to a hard surface (eg. a plastic chopping board, plate etc.), letting it dry and then carefully peeling it off. For this to work the acrylic medium must be one that becomes rubbery and flexible when dry. I used Gloss Gel, Fiber Paste, acrylic paint and masking fluid.

Here are my samples:

Week 14 - Skins - 1 - NB

For the above sample I used Gloss Gel and simply embedded some small pieces of my own art work into it. I left all my skins for about 48 hours to make sure they were properly dry and set. I then glued them to a surface of vintage papers and collage…

Week 14 - Skins - 2 - NB

For this sample I used some watercolour masking fluid as it dries to a rubbery consistency. And notice the lovely yellowy brown colour of it – it adds an extra vintage touch…

Week 14 - Skins - 3 - NB

This skin was made from Golden Fiber Paste. I mixed some Prussian Blue acrylic paint into it before leaving it to dry. Fiber Paste is very flexible when dry and is therefore good for making skins. After glueing it to a collaged background I stuck two small pieces of my own art on top of it.

Week 14 - Skins - 4 - NB

The skin above is made of acrylic paint. I used a vintage pale blue (my own mix), Buff Titanium and white. I did reasonably thick swirls of the different colours and left them to dry. Acrylic paint has a lovely rubbery texture to it when dry…

Week 14 - Skins - 5 - NB

For this skin sample above I used Gloss Gel. I tinted it with some turquoise pearl mica and embedded a dried blue hydrangea flower into the gel….

Week 14 - Skins - 6 - NB

The above skin samples were done by putting a layer of Gloss Gel over a rusty piece of metal. The gel was slightly tricky to peel off – I had to very carefully loosen all the edges with my fingernails and pull it very slowly. I also added a touch of turquoise pearl mica to the gel for a little contrasting colour…

Week 14 - Skins - 7 - NB

Two more rusty skins…

Week 14 - Skins - 8 - NB

For my next skins I used more Fiber Paste:

Week 14 - Skins - 9 - NB

I smoothed a layer of Fiber Paste onto a plastic chopping board, which had a very fine texture to it, and left it to dry. When dry I cut two heart shapes out of the Fiber paste and painted them. When the paint had dried I glued them to vintage papers…

Week 14 - Skins - 10 - NB

So that is all my skin samples for this weeks Surface Treatment Workshop!

In conclusion I have to say that I quite like creating and using skins. They are a good way of adding a little bit of extra interest to a piece of mixed media art. You can create skins in advance and store them ready for future use. It’s also fun to experiment with embedding different things and tinting with with different mediums.

Next weeks Surface Treatment Workshop is about Pulled Papers. It’s a great technique and I’m looking forward to it…

Art · Surface Treatment Workshop

Surface Treatment Workshop – Week 13

Today sees a return to the Surface Treatment Workshop after a few weeks break for my holiday and time for me to recover from a rather unpleasant injury. Week 13 is about using pastes. I used Galeria Modelling Paste.  Here’s what I did with it…

Week 13 - Pastes - Collage 1 - NB

Pastes are very good for embedding objects into your art work. Above, after applying my paste (not too thinly) I pressed some papers, cardboard and some rusty washers into the paste. The washers were quite chunky and heavy but the paste did a great job of sticking them down. I then simply applied a thin wash of pale blue acrylic paint over the paste.

Week 13 - Pastes - Collage 2 - NB

In the above sample, after applying the paste I embedded some papers and then I used a number of different things to make marks in the paste around the paper. I used a round cardboard tube and some bubble wrap. When the paste was dry I painted over the paste with pale blue and turquoise paint and highlighted some of the marks in the paste with gel pens.

Week 13 - Pastes - Emboss 1 - NB

Pastes are very good for embossing patterns into. Above I applied my paste to some thick paper and then pressed some swirly shapes into the paste. When it had dried I painted the shapes with blue, gold and turquoise acrylic paint.

Below is another similar sample:

Week 13 - Pastes - Emboss 2 - NB

I simply applied a pale turquoise acrylic paint to this one. These shapes turned out quite well.

So then to sum up my findings for this weeks workshop I would say pastes are a very useful commodity to have among my art supplies. I don’t think I will be using huge amounts of it but it will come in handy on occasions and it is very easy to use – does what it says on the tin… ! As always, these samples will be stuck into my dedicated STW sketchbook!

Next weeks Surface Treatment Workshop is about skins – this could turn out quite interesting. Looking forward to it…

Art · Nature · Photography · Still Life · Vintage

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… !

Art · Erosion Bundles

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.

Click on any of the images to view them larger…

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… !

Art · Photography · Sketchbooks · Still Life

Vintage Print Sketchbook

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At the same time that I bought the sketchbook in my previous post I also bought this one too! What am I like? I can’t help myself!

As you can see it has a lovely off white linen cover with a vintage print. But inside….

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…. it is filled with the most beautiful thick cream coloured paper. It’s slightly crinkly textured paper with a handmade feel to it. It just lovely! It’s paper that’s crying out for some paint, ink and colour…

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On the left is the sketchbook from my previous post. I don’t know exactly what I will fill these books with yet but I will know the right thing when it comes along!

I buy these books when I see them for one very good reason, even though I don’t know exactly what I will fill them with and that is because:

if I don’t buy them when I see them, they aren’t going to be there when I go back! It’s now or never! Sketchbooks like these are not run of the mill, mass produced, when they’re gone, they’re gone!

If there’s one important thing I’ve learnt in life it’s to seize opportunities when they come along – you may not get a second chance!