Friday, 15 January 2016

Effortless Layers - Tutorial by Julie

                      January's Challenge is HERE

Hello and thanks for dropping in. At the start of the month I showed a wood and resin piece that has led to a lot of experimenting this month. From a disaster, another path was turned.

Rather than give you a project this month I want to share some tips and discoveries.
Here's how the largest art piece I have ever made came to be.

I work with large sheets of cardboard on my desk. Over time they build up crusty layers.
Layers that are quite random. The cover here was splattered in all sorts of mixed media products and almost lake of resin flowed out from my "Magical Forest" piece.

What a mess....I left it and took myself right away from the studio.

Next morning, I had a Aha moment as the resin was hard and the colours underneath glowed.
So began the my next adventure.

Can I suggest that the effortless layers take time with very little initial planning.
Get out some paints and other mixed media products and add a little, in a random sort of way each time you pass.

To give more texture I adhered scraps, leftover scraps of textured paper with impasto (loving this) I also put drops of fluid acrylic colour directly onto the papers then randomly brushed the colour.
Impasto takes many different types of colour and every tiny mark and texture will show up.
It's fabulous for stencilling too. However wash the stencil straight away!

Look around your house you just might be surprised at what you can re-purpose. These metal butterflies are from some defunct solar lights. At about the same time as these appeared, a snatch of song, "how high can you fly?" began flipping through my head.

Super Star came with me and we got a canvas. I wanted to use it in reverse but that meant removing the supports. Out came some framing and with a little careful measuring we had a wonderful shadow canvas, with added support..

I built up layers of colour for a few days.  As I passed I just brushed or rubbed a little here and there.
The trick is to make the layers smaller and more harmonious as it builds. Did you notice the silver? Yes I sprayed the undercoat on the butterflies right onto the background.

About now I did a little bit of a test placement. I got on with other things and went back a few times with critical eyes.

I've been playing a bit with sari silk strips and so I randomly bound each butterfly.
Then I beaded each using black cord. I like a touch of black in my art.

The butterflies are metal and they do not sit flat on the canvas. My solution was to layer and glue fine black fabric behind the metal. I trimmed this back and put another layer of paper over the back of the fabric, for improved adhesion.

By now I knew that a strong glue was required.

I had also determined that this piece was going to be perfect on the wall behind my bed.
I wanted a vine and leaves so I made them. For all sorts of wonderful braids I gather up sewing cottons, knitting wools and anything else that takes my fancy. I set the sewing machine to a wide zigzag and off I go. ( I always make more than I think I will need) This is a zen process for me!

The leaves are cut from felt and Kantha cloth scraps were machined on. The stitching added both colour and firmness. Again, I make a few more embellishment than I think I will use. In the case of this piece I ended using up all that I made.

I find old books really useful for weighing objects down after gluing.

Now it was close to being finished and a little glimmer was called for. Metallic colour, wiped on with fingers over the impasto worked a treat.

This piece, "How High?" goes right up to the roof. It's magical and sits so well with the Kantha bedspread.

My last scrap of advice - Experiment and have fun! That, I believe leads to true discovery and creative contentment.


June Macfarlane said...

My kind of craft. Such a fabulous creative canvas. Thank you for taking us through the process, it helps to know how it came to be.

Nan Bourdeu said...

Awesome Julie! It looks amazing I am scared of a piece that big but it looks so fabulous! xx

Jane Royston said...

Beautiful and looked like such fun to make!

Emma Sims said...

Oh wow - this is amazing!