Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Winter's on the way.

'November Beech Trees'

I have been living in the summer over the past couple of months, working on summer inspired pieces using photographs I took during the warmer months as my inspiration. This week  however I thought I would take a more seasonal approach and use some Gelli printed mulberry paper I made while the fallen leaves were still dry and crisp.

Autumn leaves
 I collected  Autumn leaves and used acrylic paint to print them onto the paper with my Gelli plate.  I then used the paper to make an abstract woodland.
 The trees were splatter painted with an old toothbrush after I blocked off the surrounding areas with masking tape. The copper red reminds me of the shiny glistening bark of the Beech tree. It seems to stand out so prominently when there is not much colour around, The background of collaged bookpaper text was going to be covered more heavily in gesso, but I like the way the text contrasts with the bark so I left it. I often feel I overwork things and my new challenge is to know when to leave things alone!

Gelli printed mulberry paper
Collage obsession have a Haiku Theme this week so here is my woodland abstract with a little 5/7/5 Haiku.

Still,quiet,sharp frost.
Sweet smell of Autumn Decay
winter's on her way.

Time to light the fire and wrap up warm!

linking to Collage Obsession  and Paint party Friday.

Friday, 22 November 2013

Crossing the sea

You can't cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water.

This weeks collage obsession team have asked for a quote inspired piece, so here is my mixed media canvas. It is made up of paint, textured bead gel and torn citrosolve papers.

The sea looks deceptively calm, the crossing will not be easy, but that is the challenge, to give it a go....


As you can see I intensified the colour to fit in with the Artists Playroom very interesting challenge to look at complimentary colours.
 I really should plan my work beforehand. I should study the colour wheel and work out what colour goes with what, but in reality things just evolve. This piece uses mainly golden orange and blue tones which if you look at the wheel are complimentary.I have written before of my dislike of orange, yet when it is teamed with blue I love it!


The complimentary colours lie opposite to each other on the wheel. Purple green, orange blue, lilac and yellow for example.
Earlier in the year I worked on a Blue/orange piece


It is the view from the Uffitzi Gallery roof terrace in Florence of the famous Cathedral. It made me realise that colours I didn't usually use really worked well when used in the right combinations.

Linking to collage obsession and the Artists playroom

And of course Paint party Friday!!

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Thistle blanket


'I want it said of me by those who knew me best, that I always plucked a thistle and planted a flower where I thought a flower would grow'
Abraham Lincon

It may be cold and wet outside but I am using some of my Summer photographs as inspiration at the moment. This piece 'Thistle blanket' is collaged paper scraps and paint.
 I love thistles, and have spent the last few months painting and collaging  them in celebration of their tough hardy nature.
Such beautiful flowers standing proud and strong, growing in places other flowers fail to flourish. They are the embodiment of resilience and determination

I thought I would take a few WIP shots to explain my process

I begin by painting a fluid acrylic wash over the canvas.I don't always do this but with this piece I wanted a soft background to collage my paper scraps on.

The pieces are glued down with an acrylic medium. I build up the texture by adding more layers of paper, sanding down some areas with sandpaper if needed,

If you look to the side you can make up a print of the photograph I took and used as inspiration.

I use pebeo liners to add texture and outline to foliage. It was mentioned a few weeks ago that this gives a stained glass effect, I hadn't thought of this but I do love stained glass.
I used a crackle medium over the thistles and then rubbed dark violet acrylic into the cracks.

I covered the sea in bookpaper and then gessoed over the surface. I then rub off the excess with baby wipes. They are my must have product!!

Then once dry a thin wash of acrylic mixed with an iridescent medium for some shimmer.

Linking up with Collage obsessions open challenge this week.

Monday, 4 November 2013

Rowan berries

Rowan berries ( torn paper collage)

Autumn is here and this collaged canvas is inspired by this lovely view of Eilean Donan castle I took last week.

 Rowan trees are so beautiful at this time of the year. The scarlet berries plump and bright against the cold pale sun. Rowan is a small deciduous tree found all over the highlands of Scotland it is sometimes called ‘The Lady of the Mountain’ as its other name is Mountain ash.

The Rowan tree is one of the most sacred trees in Scottish folk tradition. Rowan is one of the trees associated with Saint Brighid, the Celtic patroness of the arts, healing, spinning and weaving. Spindles and spinning wheels were traditionally made of Rowan in Scotland and Ireland.

 Rowan twigs were placed above doorways and barns to protect the inhabitants against misfortune and evil spirits.

 Rowan trees planted near stone circles in Scotland were especially powerful. Scottish Fairies were said to hold their celebrations within stone circles protected by Rowan trees.

I like to think the fairies are preparing to hold a celebration around my lochside trees soon.... ;)

Collage obsession have chosen the theme of black and white plus one other colour. I thought it would be fun to change the colour digitally adding just the red berries to make a strong contrast.

rowan trees ( Collage obsession )
Linking up to collage obsession this week.

Also linked to Paint party friday