Wednesday, 16 August 2017

WOYWW #428: Possibility

My internet connection seems a bit temperamental this morning, but I hope I can squeeze in a WOYWW post quickly - the signal comes and goes, but I'll try to work around it. My desk shot was taken on Saturday - good thing I took a photo as I haven't had the opportunity to do anything since then with my hubby off work and the house move upon us. Our date has been pushed to next week now, so we'll just wait and see. We still haven't packed anything but we got rid of our old sofa, so we have nowhere to sit in the living room, but at least we'll have some extra space to stack up the boxes. But back to my desk...

I dry brushed three colours on this page, layering them in the process, rather than blending them. I then added pieces some of my eroded papers and a monochrome gelli print from last week. Here are a couple of photos of the process:

I got stuck at this stage, until I played around with some pyramid shaped teabags and realised that the triangles could turn those tags into houses! This in turn made the skeleton leaves look like trees and the doily look like part of the landscape. It's not something I planned - it just happened! The addition of found poetry completed the spread. Don't look for rhyme or reason in the poem - it's just something random that I thought sounded interesting. Here are some shots of the completed spread:

Remember my rainy video from last Wednesday? We still had an amazing sunset that same day. I took this photo on my regular walk down the lane that evening. This is something I will definitely miss when we're gone, but hopefully, there will be other nice things to replace it.

Yesterday we went back to Portsmouth Historic Dockyard while our tickets from last year were still valid. They had this fun deck chair on board the HMS Warrior, that I thought was worth sharing:

And here's a photo of the ship itself, built in 1860, just around the time when steam ships started to replace sailing ships. I couldn't take a proper photo last year as it was tipping down with rain, but we had a glorious day yesterday. 

Happy WOYWW! 
I'll be around visiting as many of you as I can during the course of the week, if I can't make it today.

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

WOYWW #427: Monochrome gelli prints

I could have titled this post 'Confessions of a pluviophile'. After our incredibly hot June/July, I didn't really expect this washout for August, but you know what - I'm enjoying it! And to match the grey skies, I decided to try some gelli printing in black & white only. Someone online suggested that they make great collage pieces, as they match all colour schemes, so I had to try!

This was the view of my desk yesterday:

I used some stencils to create patterns and later stamped on top of my prints too. Here are the finished prints and some closeups as well: (if you see any hints of colour, that was left-over paint on my plate)

I'm pretty sure it was the rain that inspired these gloomy prints - I just didn't feel like doing colour. I love the smell and sound of the rain - not necessarily when I'm out and about, but there's something so atmospheric about being indoors while it's raining outside. It makes me happy, despite the doom and gloom! I took this video to capture the atmosphere in our little garden this morning. It will be lovely to look back on it in years to come when we have moved on.

Our house move seems to be proceeding but we still haven't exchanged contracts so anything can happen. There have been some hiccups along the way causing confusion and uncertainty. We may be moving as soon as August 18th. I'll let you know when it's definitely happening. Enjoy the weather, rain or shine, wherever you are in the world! And happy WOYWW!

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

WOYWW #426: Fragile II

I got a bit panicky yesterday realising I had nothing to share for WOYWW so I quickly got down to business. My project was inspired by an old Donna Downey class called Metamorphosis. I didn't take the class, but by using some of Donna's techniques I'd learned in her other classes, I attempted to emulate a similar look. I used a piece of heavyweight Khadi paper that acted almost like a canvas board and turned out to be the perfect substrate for this project. I coated one side with a mixture of joint compound (Polyfilla) and white gesso followed by a layer of ultra matte fluid medium, which provided an excellent surface for an image transfer. My desk shot was taken during the proceedings of the image transfer. It turned out near perfect, which is not always the case!

Following the image transfer, I added and partially removed a layer of quinacridone nickel azo gold and a layer of raw umber. By adding and removing the paint, it gets into the little crevices of the surface, creating some lovely texture. This is what it looked like at this stage:

Next, I did some stencilling with Payne's Grey acrylic paint...

...and then added the finishing touches of found poetry, doodles and paint marks and splatters.

Here are some close-up shots:

The found poetry concept is a godsent when you're lost for words. (The letter 'e' at the end of 'escape' got splattered with a drop of paint - I didn't notice this until after I took the photos, but I have now corrected it with a pen. There's always a chance of that happening!) Make what you want of my poem - it can have many interpretations. My current interpretation has got to do with our imminent house move, which is still hanging in the air. Hopefully, we'll know more next week.

While we're still here though, I took this photo of a rainbow over our housing estate. It was raining on one side of the house but not the other!

Instead of an Oreo photo this week, let me share this one of a very similar looking cat I came across online (and blatantly stole it). I find it so funny!

Hope you're having a good week! 
Happy WOYWW!

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

WOYWW #425: Mini chest of drawers and Ikea cart

Hello on this cool and gloomy Wednesday - just the way I like it! I have a weekend feeling as yesterday was my son's last day at school. Possibly his last day forever at that school if we move in August, but it's still not certain. This uncertainty is killing me! He didn't even say goodbye to his friends - having learned from the experience two years ago when we took him out of school - he got the cards and the teary goodbyes - only to be back in September to everyone's surprise, so we're playing it differently this time around.

Now onto WOYWW! My desk shot was taken on Saturday. I altered one of those cheap chipboard mini chest of drawers from the Works. It think it was something like £2.00. Initially, I wanted to cover it with a patterned napkin, not realizing that the colour of the chipboard underneath would show through, so I had to cover it with some book paper afterwards. The napkin also crumpled terribly, so I wouldn't recommend covering large surfaces with it. Lesson learned!

I dry-brushed some teal paint over the book paper and distressed it with some gesso. Then I added some butterfly motifs cut from a napkin and shaded the edges with a permanent ink pad. The drawers were a bit stiff at first, because of the multiple layers of paper, but I managed to break them in - literally as one of the drawers broke (twice!), but I glued it back together. A bit of silicone barrier cream (artguard) helped make the drawers slide easier. I store my metal charms in these drawers now. 

On Sunday, we went to Ikea in Bristol on a whim. We wanted to look at furniture for our new house (just in case we end up moving). While we were there, I decided to buy one of those iconic carts that I'd been coveting for ages, but could never buy for lack of space. Now we'll REALLY have to move as I don't have anywhere to put it! It's parked in the dining room for now. They had one last cream coloured unit remaining - they don't sell the teal any more. That's fine, I can live with that! I can always paint it later if I want. I immediately assembled it when we got home. It was very easy - took me less than 20-25 minutes, I reckon. Oreo was not impressed at first, but curiosity got the better of him! And, of course, he got the box too! This cart will be incredibly useful for storing my paints and mediums. 

Thanks for visiting today!
Happy WOYWW! 

Friday, 21 July 2017

Wanderlust Week 25: Air-drying clay plaque

This Wanderlust lesson was published a few weeks ago, but it took me this long to get my hands on some air-drying clay. The waiting was quite excruciating, especially waiting for the clay to dry - it took three whole days before the plaque was ready to paint. I so loved Kasia's lesson that I closely followed her tutorial with  a similar composition, elements and colours. This project is tied to the art journal page we made back in January, using the same sentiments.

Here's a photo of me getting ready to paint my plaque earlier today. I used my Ecoline watercolours: lemon yellow, turquoise and prussian blue. I had previously made impressions with those metal charms and polymer clay tile, so they would be easier to stick down once the plaque was painted. The word 'GROW' was stamped into the wet clay along with some background textures. It's supposed to be a bit irregular and not a perfect rectangle!

This is what it looked like after I'd painted it. I just loved how the watercolours soaked into the porous surface of the clay. I applied several coats for stronger colours:

I used Diamond Glaze to attach the charms and beads. It worked surprisingly well - those babies are not going anywhere! I filled in the grooves of the letters with Pebeo Moon Fantasy paint (metal blue) to make the letters pop and give them some shimmer. I carefully added a few tiny drops with a toothpick and guided the liquid along the grooves. This is the finished plaque:

And here's my hand holding it to give you a size reference:

This was a really fun lesson - a bit different from some of the stuff I've been making lately. I missed out a step where I was supposed to distress it with some gesso, but I think I like it this way for now. I can always add that later. Happy Friday! Hope you have a good weekend!