Thursday, 30 January 2014

' Mermaids and chocolate'

 So what do mermaids and Chocolate wrappers have in common?

 Well I will explain...

My mermaid base is a large plastic serving platter, collaged with book-papers, painted and stencilled with acrylics and inks.

The Mermaids? I made several, so she has mermaid sisters.

They were  made with air drying clay.

 Back to the Chocolate wrappers...
I twisted them round and round to make hair tendrils.
(She is firmly attached to the plate with heavy moulding paste)

Glued the wrappers to her clay painted head and added some little shells.

Her face is given a coat of crackle medium.
I also added some moulding paste to the plate surface to add lots of texture.

I'm going to call her Co-co. At the moment she is on my mantelpiece.

Until I find her a home. :)

Linking to Paint Party friday
And The Artists playroom

Tuesday, 28 January 2014


 This is what's on my work-desk this Wednesday!

I've been making mermaids out of air drying clay

On Friday I'll introduce you to one of the mermaid sisters!

Linking to WOYWW

Friday, 24 January 2014

Little pieces of Skye

Mixed media on re-cycled wood

This week I have been making more Dragonflies out of waste acetate packaging, the see through panels that so often front cardboard boxes.  After cutting out the shapes I painted them lightly in iridescent medium and then after gluing them to a small collaged wood panel used a heat gun on them to gently bend the wings.( if you try this do it in a ventilated area as plastic fumes are not good)

The above photos show a side close up which gives an idea of the 3D effect. I painted the edges of the panels with black gesso.

close up detail
I have been working on a number of small collaged wooden pieces. I thought it would be nice to call them 'little pieces of Skye' as they use colours and forms evocative of the landscape of the Scottish Island of Skye where my family have a small croft house nestled between the sea and the mountains.

Now of course the landscape lacks the bright heather and soft greens, but I am usual am dreaming of warmer weather.....
........When the breeze from the sea bends the stems of the wild flowers bringing bright beautiful dragonflies out from their hiding places.
I have used lots of iridescent medium to make the emerald greens really shimmer like leaded glass. I also used some cosmic shimmer mist which is a favourite product of mine at the moment.

Linking to Paint Party Party Friday
And The Artists Playroom

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Little treasure chest

Last week I linked up for the first time to 'What's on your work-desk Wednesday' and am doing the same this week, It is a great place to share ideas and visit some great new creative blogs.
Over the weekend I completed my first little decorated box. I have been collaging bowls and dishes recently and wanted to try my hand at a little treasure chest.
I found some little plain plywood chests from the craft mill in sets of five. They are very small and have magnetic catches to hold them fastened.

I covered them with various mulberry handmade papers and paint. I finished it with several coats of acrylic gloss medium to seal the surface.

The little Scottish sheep are made by layering texture bead gel over white gesso. This gives a raised rough surface to the woolly fleece.

It was one of my very dear friends birthday at the weekend and my little sheep box made a perfect gift.

Linking up to WOYWW

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Dragonfly dish

Collaged Plastic

 You may remember my mermaid bowl I completed a couple of weeks ago.

Well I loved the idea of working in 3D and creating little 'objects of desire' which I could collage. The bamboo bowl was bought plain and then covered in paper and paint. Over Christmas I kept a lot of packaging I would normally have thrown away into to the re-cycle bin , I really wanted to use an object which would otherwise be discarded; Plastic seemed the right choice  as I had loads of it..but....
.......can you collage Plastic??? 

I thought I would find out.....

I first of all covered a clean empty plastic pate container in tissue paper and PVA glue making a base for paint. It also created an organic crinkly texture.

I then cut  a few little Dragonfly from more waste plastic packaging.

 The transparent cellophane was perfect for the translucent wings.I painted a metallic medium onto the wings to make them glisten.
I used violet acrylic to cover the tissue paper base.

I then went over the black body in textured silver paint

 The organic tendrils were made with a hot glue gun. When dry and cool I used bronze acrylic paint over the raised surface.

small beads were used for the eyes

So YES!! it is possible to collage plastic and make something out of nothing!
 Linking up this week to The Artists Playroom
 and Paint party friday

Also for the first time WOYWW ( what's on your work desk wednesday)

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

The vintage birdcage

collaged papers,acyclic, pebeo liners, modelling paste, embossing powders

This is a little tale of the magical colour-changing songbird!

It was a commissioned piece I finished over Christmas. As you can see below the little bird started off yellow, but something was wrong. He gazed out from behind the bars of his silver cage and wondered....

first he was yellow!

What if I could sing...
What if I could sing so loudly the bars would open and I too could fly with the butterflies....
And he did..
He sang, and he sang, and slowly he changed, from yellow to a warm golden peach,
The clear blue air began to surround his silver cage, melting the bars and setting him free.

Detail ( mixed media on canvas )
                                                                            The freedom to fly

This piece is a very good example of how my collaged paintings change and evolve. I often decide colours don't quite work together and change things after a coat of gesso, I like working with textures and layers so another layer just adds to the fun :)

Linking up to Paint party friday
and for the first time moo-mania now the challenge is accepting larger formats of art

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

The mermaid bowl

A very Happy new year to you all!
 This is my first post of 2014 and I wanted to share a little piece of what I have been up to over the past few days in between the seasonal revelry and mince pies.
I love a type of pottery called Cloisonné. It uses enamel and wires on top of a formed base, baked in a kiln to produce fantastic vibrant effects. It is very ancient form of art used as far back as ancient Egyptian times.

File:Cloisonné Teller makffm 11420.jpg
18th century cloisonné Chinese plate ( Wikipedia commons )
 This type of work uses metal and ceramic and as you know I am more at home with paper and glue, so this is my attempt at a collaged cloisonné style bowl.

 I bought a plain bamboo bowl, painted it metallic blue and collaged a little mermaid onto it using left over scraps of Christmas paper. ( always looking for a way to cut down the excess waste of Christmas!) On Christmas morning I did annoy some by insisting they unwrapped their gifts carefully and fold up the discarded paper carefully but there is method in my madness.....

 I used lots  of the shiny gilt pieces for some shimmer.I am a bit of a magpie when it comes to shiny paper!

I then gave it a wash of deep ultramarine and added the mermaids hair, again cut from gold wrapping paper.

Being collaged the bowl isn't usable it is really only for decoration, but practicality and me are not always the best of friends :)

I like the result, and although not cloisonne I think it has the feel of enamel.
 I am trying other projects using re-cycled bits and bobs and I am hoping this year as my resolution to get my etsy shop finally up and running so anything I make can go straight on there. When I do I shall pass on the details.

 may your new year bring lots of creative light!

Linking up to the Art share website Paint party Friday
And as a post script linking very happily to the Artists Playroom Newly opened for artists to show and share what the week has brought in terms of creative fun.