Friday, 20 December 2013

Let it snow!

Well, inside the house, anyway!  I needed some snowflakes in a particular colour scheme for a project or two, and naturally reached for my Gelli Plate.

The resulting prints on mulberry paper were just delicious...

 and I made paper snowflakes from ghost prints,

 to heavily layered prints,

 each one more beautiful than the last,

 until I was scissor happy.

When I had them finished I added them to a new painting.

An Unexpected Snowfall     Mixed Media on 9 x 12 cradled wood panel     © Win Dinn
I've been cutting snowflakes since my mother taught me as a child - it's something that has, for some reason, never ceased to fascinate me.  Do you have any creative habits that have stayed with you that long?  How do they fit into your current artwork?

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Plastic is everywhere - an inexpensive pattern maker!

I love making backgrounds with plastic - plastic 'anything's-that-flat' can be used to make patterned backgrounds quite easily.

I started taking photographs halfway through this process, so I'll catch you up as I go along.  Using a palette paper and mat board surface, I painted a wash of yellow on the board, plunked down some embroidery thingies, and weighted it with an essential Van Gogh tomb.  I actually did this a couple of times with different washes of paint.  These washes were heavy body acrylic, thinned with copious quantities of water.

This repetition resulted in a lively pattern:

 Feeling a need for more pizazz, I added more quinacridone gold,

and then decided a layer of herringbone from a plastic bag would help.  The quinacridone burnt scarlet would make it pop a bit too.

The paint, thinned with air brush medium to a very fluid layer this time, was liberally splashed on the support with the plastic bag stretched over top.

I covered it with another piece of palette paper (waxy side on the paint) and plunked down my Van Gogh bible again.

 I very patiently watched it dry overnight, and the reveal in the morning showed me this.

I'd say I've gone too far, but if I decide that's the case, I can always knock it back a bit with more colour, more pattern, maybe gesso!  The air brush medium thinner works quite differently from the washes created with water in this technique, so there's my lesson for the week.

How about you?  What are you learning in your artwork?

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Red is best.

With new camera in hand, I've been experimenting and getting to know it this morning...60 photos later, I'm amused to discover that about 99% of the photographs contain the colour red.

I've been a red fan since early childhood, and drove my mom near-crazy with the desire for everything red, so it's no surprise that my camera practice run was attracted to it.

From Andrea Revoy's fancy clay chicken,

to a scarlet-topped woodpecker by Liz Hale,

then a canvas of red flowers,

near a ribboned artist flag,

and even a  trio of dancing 'ladies',

the artwork around the house is bright with it.  And in the studio,

 it's everywhere, from the water bottles to ink jars,

and from paint colours,

to spray cans,

 and even in the discard pile,

it's impossible to escape.

I'll be curious to see where the next session of colour takes the camera.  At least it managed to pick a 'Christmas' colour this season!

Wednesday, 4 December 2013


I've been remiss in posting these last couple of weeks, since I've been without a camera.  Mine keeled over while I was in Claresholm for the last workshop there, and I've been limping along without one since early November.

The arrival yesterday of a camera-on-loan from my daughter, Rochelle, will have me snapping photos until the one I ordered this past week arrives in the post.  In the meantime, I realized I could share some small paintings/wordings I call Wingdings.

These snippets are so named because my children started calling me that years ago when I married my husband John.  They thought my new name of Win Dinn was hilarious, and the occasional nickname stuck like glue.

For some reason, they thought the new moniker was very apt.

Because a sense of play is important to me, I did too.

Although these Wingdings are not playful in sentiment, they certainly are so from the studio aspect, because there's nothing I love better than playing in the studio (unless it's teaching what I've learned!).  My passion for colour and play cannot help but come through in some way, even in these.  You can see more of these on my Wingding page, as well as on my Win Dinn, Artist Facebook page.

If you're interested in learning how these backgrounds were created, check out the upcoming Mixed Media workshop in Kimberley and plan to join us.  I guarantee you'll have more fun than is strictly legal and with any luck you'll garner a wacky nickname in the process.

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