Monday, August 29, 2011

Canvas Swap Play Date

 I spent another lovely day creating wrapped canvas collages with three friends on Saturday.   Dorothy and Karen had just been to the Art Unraveled retreat in Arizona, so they were full of exciting tales to share, show and tell projects, cool swaps and this idea for the day's project.
We each created four 4" by 4" wrapped canvas collages using a pile of shared materials. We had limited paint - just blue, yellow and orange, some gesso, white or black, some matte medium and an assortment of papers and ephemera.
Here is a stack of 4 different canvases - they look so cool - i think i like to create a set of stacked boxes - using the same technique.  Some of us had thick canvases, some were thin.  Some were very boxy and rigid, some had more curvy and rounded edges.
Here are Lucie's 4 canvases.  As a graphic designer - she has an innate sense of colour and shapes and how to create a cohesive arrangement - usually without a central focal point. I just love how she puts disparate items together. She also added some paper tape and zig zag rub- ons.
Here are Shelley's canvases.  She started with black gesso background and built up paper, paint, tissue and stamping as a background for her sweet vintage dancers.  So much wonderful depth. Unusual words and phrases cut from a 1967 newspaper added some fun dialogue.
Dorothy created her set using paint and orange paper, accented with punchinella stencils used with white gesso.  If you've never heard of that  - it is the metallic-y plastic ribbon waste from making sequins.  Her imagery came from a vintage Sears catalog along with trading stamps and words to tell little stories.
And guess who did these?  Let's think...they are mostly blue and they have birds on them..?  Yup - they're mine.  I started with a background of blue and white paint applied with a credit card.  Then i added some vintage text and some brightly coloured medallions cut from a napkin.
I added the birds - which were from a sheet of German scrap - ie mostly cut out  - just had to trim the connector bits. I brought the optometry lenses from my prized collection of things i never use to share with the girls.  The glue wasn't quite dry yet when we took these pics - but it should dry clear.  Most of the words were actually movie titles cut from the '67 newspaper entertainment listings like : Ship of Fools and Stop the World I Want to Get Off.  The orange dots are painted on.
Look how colorful and dynamic they look as a group!  Once we were done, and we had selected which of our own pieces we would keep,  we each took turns picking out one of each other's canvases to take home.
 Here is the group of 4 that i took home! They don't necessarily "go together".  But nobody said you have to hang them as a group!  Although it is a great memento of a fun artful day shared with friends - so i probably will!
Here is another shot of my canvases showing the sides and more of those napkins and tissue papers.  My advise to anyone show tries this?  Be patient!  Let each layer dry before moving on to the next - or have a heat gun nearby.  Wet glue and tissue paper just LOVES to stick to your fingers and tear!  Try it and have fun!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Whimsical Bird Painting

I painted two large canvases this weekend - here's how i did it!
 I started the project on Saturday - and finished on Sunday.  Working outside on my sunny deck (where the acrylic paint dries very fast) i got started working on the background - mostly white paint with a little blue and a hint of green seemed to give me the perfect robin's egg blue, you know i am so fond of!
 I quite literally just slapped it on with a cheap bristle brush.  It is just resting on my round patio table - i guess 36 by 48 inches - with the nice thick "gallery" style edge.  No drop cloth (don't tell my husband - who wasn't here!).
 The second canvas went a bit faster - since i only painted half of it!
 I should at this juncture point out that i was copying a painting diptych i saw in a magazine - i swapped out the pink for blue. The artists name is (to be filled in once i find out her name!)  I saw it in a Chatelaine magazine, back around christmas at my sister's in Calgary, Canada.  I thought it was cute - so whimsical with the large bird and the dots.
 Here is the first canvas done.  I used a foam roller in white gesso - watered down to give some transparency - for the blocks of white.  More watered down paint for the drips.  YES honey - for this i did put down a plastic sheet to protect the deck.  Sadly it did nothing to protect the bottom of my feet - which are now white.
 Here is the other half - with large dots painted with a nice flat wide brush in a deep teal.  I added some pops of bright pink with more drips.  Working outside, the drips would get about halfway down the canvas then dry up!  I used a chopstick to add drops of more paint and to "urge" them to run all the way to the bottom.  Once it was dry i added more drips running the opposite direction.

And here is how they look all done on the deck - with the sun far into the west, creating a deep shadow.
I think they will look perfect over our bed - with the new duvet cover and cushions i picked up at T.J. Maxx.  In a twisted turn of fate that almost never happens at one of the discount home stores, they actually had all the cushions to match.  My husband hasn't see this either!  I hope he likes birds as much as i do!

Re-Purposed Jewelry

 A few years ago i got some nice jewelry at a company sample sale.  This particual necklace is so pretty - with crystal beads and ecru lacey flowers.  The only problem - it weighs about 15 pounds!  But i kept it knowing that one day i could "fix it".
 I gathered up some embroidery floss, needles, linen book bining thread and some crochet hooks.
 Then i dismantled the necklace - look at all the cool pieces!

 There were 9 different class stones - including some irregular nuggets and smooth balls and faceted beads.
 This is what i made!  I wanted the piece to have the look of the crystals and the flowers - but to be lightweight.  I left lots of room in between the elements.  I like my necklaces LONG - this about 36".
 I started with embroidery floss and a needle - but gave up when the needle didn't go through the smaller holes - so i started over with the waxed linen bookbinding thread.
 Next i made this one with a thicker cording - it was easier to tie the knots.  As you can see i added some pretty aqua blue beads.
 Next i tried another one with the linen thread - but used TWO strands - which in some ways was easier  - since you could tie a normal knot.  But then you had to struggle to fit both strands through the little bead holes.
 Here is the finished necklace.
 And all three!
And look!  So many leftover beads and ecru flowers -enough for MANY more necklaces!