Happy Mistakes

“Live in the field of possibilities.”

I have a number of canvases I have worked on and left and keep going back and looking at them and with this one I finally decided that I really didn’t like it and it was time to recycle the hot mess it had become by covering it up with Venetian plaster. I should have taken a picture of it first but I really like the transformation.

The original canvas had a couple of paper circles that still showed through the plaster so I made them into some colourful abstract flowers instead. To give the canvas lots of texture I used a stamp when the venetian plaster was still wet.

Be Kind

Be Kind

The blue paint I thought was acrylic and I was adding water to it and trying to dab it off in places and then realized that actually I had mixed in a tube of oil paint with my acrylics and that is what it was, but in the end I really like the contrast and how it went onto the canvas.  So it was a happy mistake as often art turns out to be.

The quote BE KIND I had painted onto the original canvas and I decided that I wanted to keep it in view on the revised piece – it is a reminder to always choose to be kind.


Watercolour Fresco on Linen

There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” – Albert Einstein

I have been admiring the work of Kate Thompson for a while now and finally I signed up for one of her on-line workshops on The Trodden Path, the Watercolour Fresco Painting http://thetroddenpath.ning.com/group/watercolor-fresco-painting. This really intrigued me as it is a continuation of the fresco workshop that I took at the Art and Soul Retreat where we used venetian plaster to add texture on canvas boards only this time you put it on linen fabric.

Watercolour Fresco

Watercolour Fresco

I had an old linen blouse that I cut up into pieces to use as I experimented with this technique. After you apply either venetian plaster or joint compound (venetian plaster is available at Home Depot), you allow it to dry some and then you start to pull the fabric from corner to corner diagonally to start creating cracks in the plaster, the timing is the hardest part about this step as you don’t want it too wet nor to dry otherwise it doesn’t crack. After it is dry and stressed I added a coat of gesso on top of the plaster and allowed that to dry, it creates a surface that will take watercolours easier and adds more texture. After the gesso was dry on the back side you must seal it with gel medium so that the paint does not bleed through.

Next step is adding a transfer using gel medium to the fabric, I choose a drawing I had done a while ago. The flower at the bottom of the painting was drawn directly onto the fabric and you start adding layers of watercolour, gesso, etc. until you get the results that are pleasing to you. I still need lots of practice doing flowers as they are not my best subject but I know with practice they will improve. I added the vines and colour to the flowers in the girls hair, etc.

I enjoyed Kate’s class and learning more about using watercolours as I have never had any formal training in painting so I pretty much fly by the seat of my pants with lots of trial and error. But I was pleased with the results for my first try at this and now I have a few more pieces of fabric prepared so I can continue to practice and see where this takes me.

I am always finding new techniques to try and it is great when they go well with others that I already know and then I can mix them up and make even more interesting textured pieces of art.

If you would like to learn more about this be sure to visit The Trodden Path where you can sign up for the class, plus many other classes offered by various artists. Kate Thompson has a great blog where you can see more of her delightful art http://fracturedangelics.blogspot.mx/

It is so wonderful how artists share their techniques and talents with others so that we can grow as artists as well.

Happy creating