Tuesday 29 October 2013

Playing with elastics -

- it's not just for kids!

Wrapping some elastics around a hard brayer, rolling it into paint and then painting directly onto your support can yield some energetic lines.

What happens, though, when you use a soft foam paint roller and do the same thing?

Wrapping the elastics on a softer surface gives a bumpy and uneven texture to your roller.

Here I'm priming the roller with paint for use on my first surface

and another one.

Lightly running the roller over the first support gives a totally different look than heavier pressure on the second, and much different again than working with a hard brayer.

I'm loving the palette paper when I'm done, too.  Perfect for a transfer!

You'll note that using different brayers (foam, soft, hard), altered sizes of elastics and varying your pressure when applying will give you a wide range of effects with this technique.  It's clearly time to get those elastics working for you.

Tuesday 22 October 2013

If you think I'm stringing you along...

...you could be right!

One of those household staples that can be used to good effect in your mixed media work is the lowly ball of string.

Here I've assembled some string, a soft foam paint roller and a support that's already well layered with various techniques ( palette paper transfer, alcohol inks, script transfer, etc.).

I run the string-encircled roller (ends tucked neatly under the layers of string) in some antique copper metallic paint,

and then lightly over the support.

Note the lovely pattern on the palette paper when I'm done - won't this make a great palette paper transfer?

There's more than one way to skin a string, though!  Here I've  randomly placed some string on a support, and then over-painted it all with a soft brayer rolled in paint.

On this support, I taped the string outside the edges of the mat board.  I rolled a soft foam roller in paint and then over the matboard.  Once dried, and string removed, it makes a lively background.

Oh, and save those painted bits of string to incorporate them into your mixed media works as well - everything is fodder for this style of painting!

Friday 18 October 2013

Nothing more exciting...

than having a new arrival in the family, and for the past week, I've been in Calgary family-sitting with my niece after the arrival of her second baby.

Mara was born on the 9th of October, and is happily spending time with her big sister, Maevie, a 25 month old tear-away.

From dog-walking Fernie, 

to enjoying the beautiful fall weather and colour,

I feel like I'm in a world that is wholly unlike my normal studio and classroom one.  I'd forgotten what a challenge two small children could be, with rounds of medical appointments, dinners, laundry, trips to and from day care and constant feedings (not MY job with the baby, luckily).  

And of course, the best part is the opportunity to bond with another grand-niece and spend lots of time with the first one.  

And here's my salute to these parents and parents everywhere- you're totally amazing at  what you do, and my hat's off to you  (and so is Mara's)!

Tuesday 15 October 2013

Get your fabric on!

Those of us who are the creative type have generally gone through phases galore in our lives, and in mixed media, this is definitely a leg up.

I love fabric, and while I no longer spend hours over a sewing machine, I just can't resist a pretty piece of it. The best thing to do is to give in!  This richly designed cotton came from Gleaners and at $1.50 for the healthy two metres, it had to be mine!

Here I'm coating a portion of the back side of the fabric with a gloss gel medium to ensure that when I use it, there will be no frayed edges.

Once dry, I cut out the portion that is coated (reverse side at the top),

and then carefully cut it into sections.

I'm liking the subtle look of this fabric frieze underneath a lightly painted dryer sheet, over top of a heavily patterned surface.

And for those of you making paper flowers, this works just as well when substituting fabric for paper.

What tricks can you get your fabric swatches to do?  Email me with photos at windinn@shaw.ca, and I'll add them to this tutorial.

Friday 11 October 2013

New growth

We've been patiently (HA!) awaiting a new arrival in our family, as my niece gestated her second child.  It's always  fun to determine what will make the cut for gifts when a new baby's involved.  Alice Saltiel-Marshall was the one who came up with the idea for a grow chart, bless her.

Since I'd had a piece of musical ear-worm going on since I first found out about the pregnancy, I knew the chart would need to have a musical basis.  I started with a six or seven foot long piece of mulberry paper for the base so I'd have lots of room for error.

I coated both sides of the paper with a layer of gloss medium, just as though I were going to make crystalline paper and there the method takes a side-swipe.  Along the left-hand side of the sheet, I painted a set of piano keys with titanium white mixed with a beautifully subtle pearlescent glitter power given to me by Meg Nicks at Sunny Raven Gallery.

And then came the very tricky part.  Not only did I need to add a curving musical staff from top to bottom, I had to transcribe that crazy ear-worm music.  I'd not written music for some years, so it was a challenge that had me trucking back and forth between the downstairs studio and  upstairs piano for a couple of hours. Glad that part's done!

Once the first layer of the background and  music was added, it was time to play with placement of other musical elements,

and then cut some out.

 Here I've placed the musical elements and weighted them to the grow chart to ensure a solid adhesion.

I was so pleased with the 'black' keys made from scraps of painted paper that I told John I wanted to paint the keys that way on our real piano.  He was underwhelmed by the idea.  I had to content myself with adding appropriate measurements in French and English - sorry, make that feet and metres.

I'm happy with the final results, here from top,

moving down,

 in segments,

 so you can each section,

 and the completion.

It's a musical welcome for Mara Jean Hand, born at 8:20 am, October 9, 2013 and tipping the scale at 6 lbs, 14 oz.  Already 19 inches tall, she'll be up to the two foot bottom of this chart faster than her mom and dad can say 'stop that'!

Wednesday 9 October 2013

Get packing!

If you're looking for a quick and easy transfer of a small image, look no further than the shelf where you keep your handy-dandy packing tape.

Place your tape on top of your image (here I'm picking circles from butcher paper (I have a massive roll that I use for palette paper, and this one had a painted paper drying on it), but you can pick up any image from a magazine, photo or your sketchbook.  Burnish it thoroughly with your fingernail or a spoon.

If you're working on palette paper you can just lift the tape off and transfer to your background, burnishing it once again to secure.

Repeat as often as you wish, and then coat it all with a layer of liquid gloss medium.

If you're lifting something from a magazine or photo, merely cut around the image you want to secure, and use liquid gel medium to adhere it to your background.

If you wish to secure larger pieces (and goodness knows the paint spills on my plastic workshop tablecloths are endless), you can purchase cold laminating film from the stationers and use it in the same way.

Friday 4 October 2013

Well I'm halfway gone...

... or there, as the case may be.

I promised myself that I'd not start any more paintings until I had completed at least 10 of those that have been in various stages of undress, some since the spring.  The past few days in the studio have been a good move towards that goal.

One of the pieces that was in limbo was this heavily textured one.  I started with a stencil and created drywall compound flowers on a previously 'junk' background for an experiment, not noticing it had been painted with iridescent paint.  When I walked past it in the dark the next morning, the fluorescent-edged flowers scared the stuffing out of me!

Garden Texture    6" x 10" mixed media on mat board  © Win Dinn
I'd been reading and viewing some photos about the star Arcturus, and the next two paintings are my interpretation of how that area of the galaxy may look.  Being that it's over 36 light years away from our home, there's no one who can refute me!

Moonrise Near Arcturus    9" x 12"  mixed media on board  © Win Dinn

Moonrise Near Arcturus II    5" x 7" mixed media on board  © Win Dinn
One of my favourite Crafter's Workshop stencils is their Mini Gears one, and it was perfect for this small canvas that had been heavily coated with layer after layer of palette paper transfers.

My Daily Grind    4" x 6" mixed media on canvas  © Win Dinn
While this painting had 'only' been hanging about since early July, it had given me enough challenges through my own errors that I was delighted to finish it.

Summer Flight    12" x 12" mixed media on canvas  © Win Dinn
I'm looking forward to sneaking in some more studio time before I head to Calgary on baby duty (we have a new grand-niece or nephew arriving next week) and then roar into workshop season.

And if you're looking for some fun creativity-muscle-stretching workshops, check out the lineup in the Playshop tab at the top of the blog.  There's a good chance I could be in your area soon!

Tuesday 1 October 2013

Oh those skins...

are a process!

I'm starting here with a sheet of music, as the value of doing a skin is very apparent when it's important that script, faces etc. are right side up.  If you're uncaring about that, or you want the image reversed, you can use a direct transfer instead.

Place the image you wish to turn into a 'skin' on a piece of palette paper,

and coat it with a layer of liquid gloss medium.  I always place a tick mark on the palette paper with each layer to remind myself how many I've done.  It's also helpful to do each layer in a different direction to ensure the paper is adequately covered in all areas.

When you've got at least six layers of gloss medium coating your image, it's time to celebrate (perhaps a glass of wine?).

Carefully peel the paper up from the palette support, and turn it over.  Spritz it liberally with water, and

gently, gently, GENTLY start rubbing it with a plastic scraper.  As you get closer and closer to removing the back of the page entirely, you may wish to use your fingers to avoid removing too much or tearing it.

Although this is not a quick process, it's a valuable one (and you might want to save those bits of paper to paint for another project).

I love the way the white of the paper comes away, leaving a transparent plastic skin - it can be overlaid on any background and becomes beautifully integrated.  This process works equally well for coloured imagery although the background will not show through (except where white is part of the image, since the printing establishment does not normally print white).

It's interesting to note that the backs of these transparent skins can also be painted to add yet another dimension to your work.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...