Monday, 31 May 2010

GPPS Street Challenge No. 40!

It's been another busy, busy month but I have been looking forward to having some time to do the lovely Michelle Ward's challenge for May.  I've grabbed what time I could over this weekend and decided to go large!  This challenge was all about size and working outside of our 'normal' range.  I usually work in A5 size or smaller so I decided to go to A3 as that was the paper size I had and also the workspace.  So first up I decided to gesso my paper.  The first time I didn't really think about how I was gessoing so it went on rather randomly.  After letting it dry overnight I then decided to try a technique I have read about but not tried before - spreading acrylic paint with an old credit card.  This was fun and quite therapeutic in many ways after a day of, how shall we put it, exacting relationships!!!!

I wasn't at all sure how I was going develop this piece but knew I wanted to use some rubber stamps so this is what happened.  I used several stamps with archival black ink and then used white paint to add swirls and a white pen for doodles around the edge.

And there was some script of course - just have to have some writing on there.
The second piece was quite different.  First of all I decided to swirl my gesso on the paper making a different sort of texture altogether and then I used water colour crayons which I love to bits.  This gave a gentle effect and the colours were calming.  Again I had no idea what I would do to develop this but went for a big starfish stamp with distress ink and embossing powder (which gives it shine and sharpness and is something I haven't done for ages).  More doodles all round the edge and some distress ink blending all round the edge too.  A favourite quote in the middle which I discovered in the wonderful Tim Holz's range of stamps finishing with a large word stamp again embossed for clarity.  I like this quiet, unassuming result, although I am not sure the photos really show it as it is.

Here above is an idea of size with the tiny tag on the large sheet.
But I didn't stop here - oh no, I was on a roll...

Using gouache paints, I painted wavy stripes and another favourite quote.

Here I used gouache again and played with freehand swirls and rubber stamping with white paint (not sure I like the effect of this but good to try) and of course there had to be some script again!!

All in all this was another great fun activity and I just love this idea of a monthly challenge and Michelle's gentle but freeing guidance.  I'm learning a lot and loving it.  Thanks again Michelle!

Thursday, 27 May 2010

thoughtful Friday No. 93

"To affect the quality of the day is
the highest of arts"
Henry David Thoreau

Friday, 14 May 2010

Thoughtful Friday No. 92

"You will find as you look back upon your life that the moments when
you have really lived are the moments when you have done things
in the spirit of love"
Henry Drummond

Friday, 7 May 2010

Thoughtful Friday No. 91

"Every journey has a secret destination of which the traveller is unaware".
Martin Buber

Thursday, 6 May 2010

It's finished!

Just before daughter no.2 left for Uganda for her two year stint with Voluntary Service Overseas, we picked out some material for a quilt for me to make for her while she was away.  When I knew she was being sent home to recover from her recent operation, it set too and finished it so it was waiting for her when she arrived home.  It was a labour of love, as are all quilts, but I do love the finished result and more importantly so does she!

Of course there is someone else who loves it too!!

Monday, 3 May 2010

Soooo busy but...

I have been dying to get to this challenge since Michelle posted it but real life has taken over somewhat especially with being away for some of the time and now looking after the lovely daughter no.2 while she recovers as well as work and other necessary things.  Anyhow, yesterday was my first opportunity!  Hooray, an afternoon to myself up in the craft area with all the necessary supplies.  This challenge called for plexiglass - boy did I have trouble finding this here in the UK!  I went to art shops and was told to go to architecture specialists, I went to hardware stores and was told to go to building supply shops but in the end I used a piece of perspex (possibly the same thing but a different name? who knows?) from a photo frame and it did the trick.

Firstly it was a question of brushing paint onto the perspex and then placing a piece of card over and seeing what transpired but, as Michelle said, it was in the second or even third printing (using a stencil and spraying water on the paint) that the really interesting and exciting images emerged.  I got so carried away that I didn't remember to clean the perspex so ended up turning it over!!!  Here are some of the results:

As you can see I made a couple of stencils (from acetate; Michelle suggested tyvek but I didn't know what that was so made a guess!) - three hearts in the end and one sort of tree affair which I didn't like and stopped using after the second attempt.

This was a beautiful image on the perspex itself which went all spidery and centipede like - truly amazing and I have now idea how it did this!

As you can see I used a range of colours and had a great deal of fun!  Daughter no.1 took a look this evening and said "Mum, should you make this into a book, why not sew it together" which I thought was a great idea so that is what I am going to do!  And I will be sure to show the finished result.
Thank you again, Michelle, for taking me out of my comfort zone into new territory and for giving me a really fun afternoon!
This morning, hubby came in with a much larger piece of perspex and said would I like it for to do the same again another time only much larger - would I?  Whoo hooo! Now that might be an outdoor job when the weather is fine and using lots more paint but how exciting to see what results I might get.  I need to perfect the art of cutting stencils but why not think what else I could use?  The mind is whirring!