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
Michelle

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Playing with Watercolours and Portraits

I like to jump back and forth between mediums with my art and today it was a watercolour portrait kind of a day. I was inspired by the art of Kate Thompson for this piece I did in my art journal. http://thetroddenpath.ning.com/profile/KateThompson
The Girl with Flowers
I do love how artist share their techniques and provide workshops on-line. I am planning on taking one of Kate Thompson’s workshops on The Trodden Path – perhaps Watercolor Fresco Painting or her Painting and Composition; Mixed Media and Fabric Collage both incorporate Venetian plaster which is fast becoming one my favorite things to use in my collages as it adds such an old world feel to the substrates.

Until next time, happy creating

Michelle

Delicious new art supplies!

My Christmas wish list this year was mainly art supplies and I received the majority of them under the tree.  I was so excited to get the Pan Pastel Starter kit, which included a few sponges, Shades of Grey pitt pens, pit artists pens, mini canvases, a How to Draw for the Mixed Media Artist and art magazines.  I have been playing around with my new supplies the last couple of days now that things have settled down from Christmas celebrations and have been having fun experimenting.

Practice makes perfect have patience

Still have lots to learn about pan pastels, so think I will try Donna Downey’s Pan Pastel 101 on-line workshop http://www.donnadowney.com/shop/product.php?productid=2587&cat=16&page=1 so that I can hone some techniques and make the most out of my pan pastels.

Gratitude

These picture to the left is my first attempts trying out my new Shades of Grey Pitt Pens, and following a Pam Carriker Tutorial http://pamcarriker.com/tutorials/….still need lots of practice learning how to shade.  The one to the right is done with pan pastels and watercolours and some charcoal pencil to add more depth.

I am so grateful for these mixed media artists sharing their talents and providing such great tutorials so that others can become better artists too.

 

Shades of Grey with a touch of Pan Pastel

 

 

 

Canvas and recycled cardboard

I am going through creative withdrawal this past couple of weeks as I had to have surgery on my right hand…I am right-handed .  So I have this cast on my hand and arm allowing me very little mobility, so no messing around with paint and collage for a while.  I have a cast on for 6 weeks!  So I’m  trying to find other ways of being creative.  I have been checking out various artist blogs and storing  inspiration for when I am able to paint again.One of my favorite artists right now is Donna Downey http://donnadowney.typepad.com/ She has some wonderful art journal tutorial videos.

Seek the Power Within

Just prior to my surgery I went on a creative frenzy trying out painting and collaging in squares of unstretched canvas.  I found I really enjoyed this process and did a few in just a matter of days.  Then the question of what to mount these canvas pieces on and I decided to recycle some cardboard, applied some gesso and then painted with various colours to coordinate with  my canvas creations. 

Pure Joy & Bliss

I then  mounted the canvas to the cardboard  using embroidery cotton and some recycled raffia I had just to add a bit more interest to the frame.  Afterwards I roughed up the cardboard with some sandpaper to give it a more weathered look and then used a bit of distressing ink.  I really like how they turned out and can’t wait to make some more. 

Until I can actually use my hand again I am going to try doing collage digitally in photo shop….need to have some creative outlet for the next 4 weeks otherwise I may go crazy….

The pics I have include are not the best as I scanned them and they were a bit bigger than my scanner. Hopefully it won’t be long before I can hold a camera again.

Happy creating to you

Michelle

Discovering Creative Learning Resoures and Inspiration

It’s funny how you come across great magazines when you least expect it and they are treasures just filled with wonderful creative ideas, resources and new venues to develop your art.  One magazine in particular that I am really falling in love with is Somerset Studio it is chalked full of wonderful artists sharing their art and techniques.  These are definitely magazines that you keep on your bookshelf close at hand to refer back to off and on when you are needing a creative boost or looking for an idea.  Their website is also an interesting and informative place to check out where you will find free how-to videos, project ideas and new products and more http://somersetstudio.com/

While reading one of  the articles in the latest issue of Somerset Studio I discovered a link  for learning more about using moulding paste in collage and art pages – the link was  http://PamCarriker.com – well what an exciting find this site has been and I have  found myself returning many times this past week to continue to soak up all her fun techniques.  Pam Carriker is an amazing multi-media artist and she has done some videos on how to use your art pages again by making copies of them and then cutting, tearing, etc. different pieces of the previous art  page copy and giving it a whole new life on a new page.  Pam’s site also led me to a link to Stratmore’s Artist free on-line workshops another great find  http://www.strathmoreartist.com/vjworkshop2011.html .  I have  enjoyed watching all of Pam’s workshop videos – she is an incredible teacher and her techniques are really something I want to incorporate into my art pages and collages as I continue to learn and grow as an artist (still got those training wheels on).  I would be remiss not to mention that there are two other artists – Linda Blinn and Roz Stendahl also teaching Strathmore Artists Workshops on art pages and they are both really informative.

I have  scanned some of my pages, printed them off and have been having fun trying out Pam’s techniques while creating a totally different art page.  I am still working on my first page not quite finished…..but soon.

So if you are looking for some inspiration and to learn some more techniques for your art page do  check out the links I have shared in my post, well worth exploring.

Til next time happy creating

Michelle

Artist With Training Wheels

“If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced” Vincent Van Gogh

I see myself as a budding artist with training wheels, and I am very new to the collage and art journaling community I am loving the growth I have made in the past few months and know that the training wheels may be required for quite some time. If you had asked me 8 months ago if I would be painting and doing art journaling, I would have likely said ‘me I’m not a painter’ – because I have this voice inside –  that ‘EGO’ voice that stops me from doing so many things in life because of the fear it can instill if I allow it to.  That is why I chose to start off this post with the quote from Vincent Van Gogh  so we can remember to silence that voice otherwise we stop ourselves from experiencing our creativity and many other adventures in life. 

This past week I have continued to experiment with my art pages by incorporating and altering  magazine photos.  It is such an interesting transformation and it is amazing how something so simple can create such different and unique art pages. 

I was reflecting on the past few months and am so pleased with the progress in my art and all of the different techniques I have been learning.  When I think that up until 4 months ago I had not tried  painting or doing collage for that matter I  had really no thoughts of trying these different mediums, instead  I had been  creating wire wrap jewellery for about 4 months which I loved but I was searching for more.  Creativity opened  another door to me in December when I was inspired by a couple of collages a past co-worker had hanging in her office.  She had recently taken a class and created these striking wax collages and ‘ voila’ I was overcome with  inspiration and a tweaked curiosity to sample collage as an art form myself – it stirred some excitement within me.  I remembered doing collage of sorts back at the age of 19 when I covered the exterior of an old claw-foot bathtub with pictures and quotes to cover the ugly peeling paint – I wonder what the landlord thought of my artistic refurbishing of the tub? 

So now with  a new area to explore I started searching on-line and found many videos to watch on the collage process, painting, mediums, etc. – trying to learn all that I could.

Collage art page prior to being altered

I am so grateful that I stumbled onto the 21 Secrets Workshop Artists Workshops  http://www.dirtyfootprintsworkshops.com/2008/09/21-secrets-art-journal-playground.html through Violette’s  Creative Juice blog http://www.violette.ca/  where I discovered 21 talented artists who are willing to share their many talents – feeding my hunger to learn more techniques and try new things.  I look forward to where my creations will go in the next months while I wander down this exciting road of art discovery with my training wheels firmly attached – learning not only art techniques but more about my inner self from  these very talented instructors but also from the incredible 21 Secrets community that is rapidly growing with other artists willing to share their new artistic adventures and growth. Still three more months of fun in the playground.

So who says you can’t paint? – just give it a try, have fun, art journaling is a wonderful way to discover that child within and to experiment, use your hands – get messy and learn so much more about yourself as it is a very therapeutic past time.

After altering the magazine photo collage

Til next time happy creating

Michelle

Altered Magazine Photos – Another Creative Technique

 

“Children, like animals, use all their senses to discover the world.  Then artist come along and discover it the same way, all over again.”  – EUDORA WELTY

I have been diving into a number of the 21 Secrets Workshop videos http://www.dirtyfootprintsworkshops.com/2008/09/21-secrets-art-journal-playground.html and learning some really fun techniques for expanding my exploration of this creative process.  The latest video I watched was Tamara Laporte’s – Collage, Paint & Soul – I believe that she lives in Britain and she offers many on-line workshops through her website www.willowing.org.   After watching the process she went through I decided to give it a try as I am always wanting to add some variety to my art pages and collages so that I continue to grow creatively and besides that is what these workshops are all about experimenting with new techniques. 

Tamara’s technique is to find photos of people from magazines and incorporate them into your collage along with the usual printed pages, patterned and textured scrapbook papers and any other things that you might like to add.  This creates the base for your page before you start to alter it with gesso, paint, etc.  She then paints over the face and other collage pieces which immediately alters the whole page – masking the original face of the model. Then you add new features, embellishments and so forth to totally make it into your own original piece. 

 This was a very interesting process and I was totally surprised at what I created. Again I start off my collages and paintings without anything really planned out – just letting myself freely create what ever my whispers tell me to do next – I find that works best for me because if I try to plan it out too much I just get stuck and end up sitting staring at the piece off and on for days – fearing that I will make a mistake and then finally I tell myself – what does it matter if I do make a mistake, I can alway cover it over with gesso and start over again.  So I do much better using free-form creating without a pre-conceived plan….just let the creative juices flow and see what turns up so that I don’t get so stuck. 

My first attempt I ended up loving the original photo so much I didn’t have the heart to alter it much so I just ended up adding collage elements of my hand written words and some painted experimental pages which ended up getting covered by

Dreams Infuse Your Spirit With Energy Spurring Us On To Greatness

Dreams Infuse Your Spirit With Energy

 molding paste, paint and stamping. 

For my next page I found a picture of a women that was quite large and it was at the edge of the page, I liked that because I felt like I wanted her to be looking out onto the page in a way.  I also used a picture of a goose and a clock that called out to

The Ability to Understand Beliefs About Yourself - Release Your Fears Discover Your Wings

 me, it also had a golden egg with it but it ended up getting covered up with her face.  I added some torn up pieces of hand written ‘ things that I love’  underneath everything so that it had some soul included, even though you can’t see it in the finished piece – the soul is deep within :).  Where her hair was I added some molding paste to give it a bit of texture and now it looks more like a hat then hair.   When I was in Michael’s yesterday looking for Paperclay I noticed that they had a huge new stock of stamps for $1.50 and I found some really interesting ones and I used this neat textured stamp to finish off the page.  I was quite pleased with the overall look of the page and my first attempt at altering photos from magazines.   I wish I had remembered to take the before picture so that you could see how it changed.   I am sure that I will continue to explore this technique – it really does have a lot of potential.

If you are wanting to discover more of your creative side, or learning how to do art journal pages or collages and want to expand your repertoire be sure to check out the 21 Secrets workshops  http://www.dirtyfootprintsworkshops.com/2008/09/21-secrets-art-journal-playground.html.  There is still another 3 months to enjoy and explore the playground – it really does open you up to some wonderfully fun and juicy ways to be creative plus look deeper within yourself while being a member of a community of other like-minded souls.

Til next time – happy creating!

Michelle

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