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

Wine Glass in Encaustic

Since taking Serena Barton’s Workshop at the Art and Soul Retreat in Portland I have tried different ways of creating a canvas using bees wax. This is one that I did a little while ago and I really like how it turned out.

I started with a wood panel and then used several layers of bees wax adding various pieces of collage papers and cardboard. The wine glass I cut out of crimped paper and adhered it to the board with wax. I then used oil pastels to add some shading to create more depth.

I think I was on a bit of a wine glass theme for a while.

Wine glass in encaustics

Wine glass in encaustics

Until next time
Happy creating
Michelle

A Toast to 2014

I created this collage for a special friend who is a ‘Sommelier’ (one who has studied areas of wine procurement, wine storage, wine cellar rotation, and expert service to wine)
Cheers Taking what I learned when I took Sandra Duran Wilson’s – No Fail Fescoes class at the Art and Soul Retreat in Portland I applied these techniques to the collage. You can find Sandra on Facebook or at her website http://www.sandraduranwilson.com/Artist

To begin with I covered the canvas with some collage papers and then thinly applied Venetian plaster and pressed a stamp into the plaster to create a textured aged look. I drew some wine glasses on ‘Rice Paper’ because of it’s transparency and used a gold pen to write positive words within the glasses and then cut them out and attached them to the canvas. I added more layers of Venetian plaster here and there and then started using oil pastels, rubbing it into the crevices to add colour and more depth to the overall collage and this is what I ended up with.

My friend loved the collage and has hung it in a special spot by her wine collection.

If you want to try using Venetian plaster in your collages you can get it from Home Depot.

Happy New Year and 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

The Joy of Trying Something New

When I was at the Art and Soul Workshop in Portland I took a No Fail Frescoes Workshop with Sandra Duran Wilson Abstract Artist. ( she is having a huge sale of her art work check her out on Face Book or at http://www.Sandraduranwilson.com) She uses Venetian plaster to add really wonderful texture to the canvas.

I had some scrap wood that I wanted to use for substrates so I covered them with a thin coat of Venetian plaster and texturized with stamps etc.

Joy

Joy


I then covered with acrylics and added some little Christmas trees I created out of sheet music and then crimped, added some sparkles etc. and now I have some nice little Christmas plaques.
Gratitude

Gratitude

Love

Love

Peace

Peace


They were fun to make and will be good hostess gifts, etc. Now I have sparkles everywhere including my face....it is the season for sparkling.

Happy creating
Michelle

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Mind Your Bees Wax With Encaustics

After taking the encaustic workshop at the Portland Art and Soul Retreat in October http://www.artandsoulretreat.com/ I fell in love with the technique of incorporating wax into my collage process.

I ordered a supply of wax, resin crystals and soya wax from Swans Candles http://www.swanscandles.com/ for a very good price considering how much the supplies would have cost at my local art store.  It was definitely more economical to order in bulk then to buy it by the package.  I also had the order delivered to Ship Happens so that the shipping costs were a fraction of what I would have had to pay if sent to Canada.  Fortunately I live very close to the USA border so it is not an issue to go and pick up my orders.

Since receiving my wax I have been practicing on smaller substrates of 5″ x 7″ so that I can try different things and see what results I get.  First I made up a large batch of clear wax using 4 parts bees-wax with 1 part Damar resin crystals, note the resin takes a very long time to melt and blend into the bee’s wax, so be patient – I used an old crock pot the first time I made it up and then poured the combined ingredients into a muffin tin and when cooled I popped them out and stored them for future use.  For melting my wax while working on a piece, I bought a pancake griddle and then used cat food and tuna tins to melt the wax in – remember to keep your temperature below 200 degrees and no higher than 250 while melting the wax.  I have started some of the pieces by attaching  various paper to the board and then adding at least 2 layers of clear wax, bonding each layer in-between with a torch or heat gun – it is very important to bond between each layer and then adding coloured layers and more papers here and there.  I used pieces of oil pastel for most of the colours I have made or you can use a little bit of oil paint – acrylic paint does not work with the wax.

Encaustic In this collage I used some cheese cloth, various papers and a real dried flower blossom adding some incising where the red is and rubbing red oil paint into the crevices, and then taking a paper towel with a bit of vegetable oil on it to wipe off any excess oil pant I didn’t want….the oil works really well for removing the oil paint from you hands as well.  I like my first attempts at encaustic on my own and love that I have Serena Barton’s book Wabi-Sabi Art Workshop http://www.serenabarton.com to refer to for ideas and techniques.  Before trying this be sure to read up about melting wax and safety while using it, etc. and also how to clean your brushes with melted soya wax – natural Bristol brushes are best.

I look forward to working more with wax and seeing what I can do I am sure the possibilities are endless and how wonderful is it to have art that gives off the lovely fragrance of honey.

Until next time, happy creating.

Michelle

 

 

Art and Soul Retreat – Portland

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I was fortunate to be able to attend some workshops at the Portland Art and Soul Retreat the week of September 30. artandsoulretreat.com It was a wonderful experience and I loved all the workshops that I attended….4 all together.
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My favorite was the first one with Serena Barton – Wabi Sabi Encaustics. I have her latest book and had not tried the encaustics until the workshop. I absolutely fell in love with this medium it is so organic and natural and there are so many things you can do. I have included a couple of photos of my encaustic creations – love the earthy colours and being able to add in fibres, fabric, paper, etch into the wax etc. I already love creating collages and now I can incorporate encaustics into the mix of things.art 013 5x7 I have ordered wax and I am gathering the other necessary tools and I should be creating more with wax soon.

If you ever have the opportunity to attend an art retreat, I highly recommend it as it is a great way to learn new techniques and meet other artists. I do hope to attend again next year.

Until next time
Michelle

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