Friday 30 May 2014

I'm folding...

and folding, and folding once again.  I've had this 'novel' sitting in my bookshelf for a couple of years waiting for some folding inspiration.  I was displeased with the geometric, structured rigidity of the piece, and knew it needed something.

From both angles it looked hard and unappealing, which may be exactly right for a medical book on urology and cancer of the prostate, but not for an art piece.

 So I started the deconstruction process, taking apart the middle sections, tearing a piece of each sheet away (you can see it here on the left), tearing that in half, and then curling each around a skewer.

 The result, after hours and hours of folding, was much more organic and flowing,

 and more appealing from every direction.

Portioned into twelve segments, each section folds and flows into the next.

It's safe to say that this is the only way I'll ever enjoy a book on urology!
Organic Medicine    Altered Book Folding   9 " x 11 " © Win Dinn
Here's a Helpful Hint for you if you're planning on a book folding project.  It's WAY smarter to pre-plan your folding so you don't have to deconstruct what you've already done in order to complete your mission. Happy folding!  And if you're book folding, email me a photo, and I'll showcase it here!

Tuesday 27 May 2014

Time in the studio...

is a bounce from one activity to another.  I've been working on book pages for my gratitude journal...

G for Gelli, using my yummy stash of Gelli prints for fodder
moving from one to the other.

B for books, possibly?

I've just unpacked 14 Gelli plates for the upcoming playshop at the college here in town,

and made a fascinator to wear at Wine Art this Friday night, where all those fabulous heads go up for auction.  It cracks me up that I have so little hair on my head it won't stay on - duct tape, perhaps?

With the yellow book in the Rainbow Series of altered books nearly completed and awaiting the title to go with the front and back quotes, it's one project that will soon be off the table.

Not So Mellow  An altered book in progress
There's a dried puff paint start to a new Gelli plate technique waiting for a moment of experimentation to happen,

and another gratitude page sits on the easel, patiently waiting its turn.  Can you tell this is A for alphabet, which precedes the B for books near the top of this post?  I know someone who would possibly cringe at the fact that I'm doing the pages out of order...true story!  :D  You know who you are!

I've actually managed to finish a couple of paintings, too.  This one is from my Fading From the Pattern Series, depicting animals that are nearing the point of no return on our planet.  

Green Sea Turtle   6" x 8" on cradled wood panel  © Win Dinn
Fading from the Pattern Series
Another completion is this whimsical piece utilizing some of my dried foliage stash.  I often think about what the inhabitants of the garden are doing when John's not out there watching. I suspect there's a whole lot more going on than we can imagine.

Carrot Love  10" x 10"  mixed media on cradled wood panel  © Win Dinn
What's happening in your studio these days?

Friday 23 May 2014

This week in the studio...

... I've spent a great deal of time working on a house wrap stencil (the wrap is actually  fibreweb by Typar).

I spotted the design on the bottom of a plastic tray for plants from the greenhouse...I stole it from long-suffering John, of course.  He knows that nothing is safe from my thievery if it's patterned, and knows enough to lock away any similar items when he thinks he'll need it later.

Transferring the design with a black pen, I then used my trusty stencil burner for hours and hours and then even more hours (it's a 12" x 14" stencil).

I love the pattern, cutting mistakes, warts and all.

While I'm rarely happy with the first print on a Gelli plate pull,

 I love the ghost prints,

which range from strong to subtle.

 And of course, after a while the stencil itself gains some beautiful colour.

Helpful Hint:  When using a stencil burner, ensure that your glass support is tempered, and that you use a steady slow motion.  It's particularly tricky burning a house wrap 'fabric', as they tend to be lumpy, bumpy and grooved.  I like this brand for its linear quality, though, which adds another dimension, particularly to Gelli prints.

I love these hand-burnt stencils for a couple of reasons - they are very thin and lovely to place underneath a commercial, thicker stencil, and because I cut them myself they have that hand-crafted look that is unique to the maker.  Check out Tuesday's post find out how you can learn more about Gelli printing!

Tuesday 20 May 2014

Drywalling in the studio...

sounds like a nasty way to spend a day, but not so!

I spent some time recently making texture plates for the upcoming Gelli it Up! playshop.  The use of drywall compound on a wood panel, incorporating textural implements from around the studio made some lovely plates.

With twelve plates for students to play with before they learn how to make their own, I can see some fabulous prints coming up!

Each one unique, this one is made from plastic grids,

while a smoosh and lift created this lively texture - rather like crackle.

 This one was created by stamping an old collograph plate into the compound,

 and some more plastic grids (this time segmented rounded embroidery ones), gives an entirely different look.

 Larger plastic grids that incorporate a circular and lineal design created this one,

 and I suspect this was a draw-back-into-it-design, but I can't really remember for sure!

 More completely round hoops of varying sizes make a great pattern,

and Catalyst shapers were fun to play with in this one.

 I like the higgledy-piggledy look on this map-like one,

and this lacy one was a hit with guests (although not with me - took a great deal of time to clean out the compound before it went into the washer!).

If you're intrigued, why not make a play date with yourself, and come join us here at the college?  Not only will you enjoy the playshop, but our area is going to be basking in the summer sun on June 21 and 22 - guaranteed!

Friday 16 May 2014

Easy, peasey?

Some days, yes.  Some days, no.  Some brains, get the picture.

I've been trying to teach myself how to make a video - rather like trying to teach someone with no sense of rhythm how to dance the macarena.  Given I'm technologically challenged, spatially declined and incapable of stringing any two supposedly logical computer actions together, learning a new program is a real test of patience (my previous post indicates how much of that I have too).

I can show you the final result in photos...these two Gelli plate prints were a lot of fun to do, with five layers of Golden open acrylic paints - hansa yellow, quinacridone gold, quinacridone burnt orange, pyrrol red and alizaron crimson hue.

First print created from each layer

Ghost print created from each layer
If you've the patience to sit through about eight minutes of video, you'll find the step by step action here:

If you've got the courage, you could also subscribe to the channel, although there's no guarantee the uploads will be fast and furious!

If you'd rather see it in person, I recommend you sign up for the 'Gelli it Up!' course, coming to this Summer Arts Series at the College of the Rockies in June - it's much easier to do it than (for me anyway) to grasp in a video.  There are no prerequisites or experience required - just a willingness to play with paint and other stuff for a full weekend.  Oh, you have to know how to laugh, too.  Best of all, you`ll take your Gelli plate home with you so you can continue with your new addiction.



Tuesday 13 May 2014

It's a jeans kind of day

I don't say that very often, but it was certainly part of a recent day.

I'd recently watched a Gelli arts video about working with layered texture plates and knew I had to try the technique.  Given that I had no interfacing on hand and with the patience of a gnat, I had to make my plates from blue jeans.

Here are some of the results, with the blue jean plates on the left and the resultant Gelli print starts on the right.

Why so many you ask (and you should - I made twelve of them!)?  Well, I think these are going to be a huge hit with my students next month, especially given that they'll be making their own blue jeans templates.
What could be more fun than that?  Well, maybe making blue jeans templates, texture plates, fun foam stamps, text stamps and dozens of get the picture!  Will you join us?  You can register for this playshop online....hurry, though, as registration closes this week!

Friday 9 May 2014

Winding up...

...or is that Wingding up?  As the playshop season draws near to an end (only the Gelli plate one in June here in Creston at the college), I've had a bit more time to work on the studio.

Part of the clean-up for tomorrow's art tour (part of the Bird Festival here in town) has involved some actual painting time.  My goal for the week was to finish all 22 paintings and five altered books on the go...can you hear me laughing like a loon?

I did manage to finish some paintings, including 'Point, Counterpoint' which was started waaaaaaay back in February while on a visit with the Marshall's in Claresholm.  You can see Alice's post here about this start and others.

The Tic Tac Toe series of nine paintings (see previous post) also qualifies, I think, even though they're pretty tiny.

Another completion was 'The Space Between', an abstract representing all the things around us that are felt, but not visible.  Alice commented that this was full of eyes, masks and smiles, and I have to agree.  Don't you sometimes feel that we're being watched, applauded and encouraged by a bevy of unidentified strangers?

The studio is not only looking very tidy, it obviously will need some more starts to  get back into the frenzy it was a couple of weeks ago.  I think I can easily get a start on that this Sunday...snicker, snicker.

If you're out and about in Creston today, pop over to the college at 1:30 or 2:30 to see some Gelli play. You'll then be in the perfect place to register for the June playshop!

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