Sunday, 27 February 2011

The Soul Bird & the Swan

This is the main outcome of yesterday's creative efforts - the birthday card was just a quick diversion. It is a page in one of my art journals, but I'm hoping it will eventually make it on to a canvas.

The inspiration for this came from a forum post over on UKPagan by a friend and it intrigued me enough to investigate and find out more.

Soul birds, or sielulintu originate from the Karelia region of Finland. They are believed to bring the soul to a new born baby, and to take it away again when the person dies. Birds were considered holy, and the holiest was the swan. With it's long neck the swan could look at all levels of the world, including Tuonela - the land of the dead. The Finnish composer Sibelius produced many works based on Finnish Mythology, including the Karelia suite, and the Swan of Tuonela - the swan which glides eternally upon the river Tuoni.

That was a couple of months ago, and these ideas have been simmering away at the back of my mind since then, waiting for the idea to form, but mostly waiting for the soul bird to take shape. Finally it all came together, and yesterday it took form on a blank journal page. Unfortunately it was too late to get a decent picture yesterday, and it's still gloomy out today, so the picture still isn't that great.

Background is Black Soot DI over gesso. Soul bird is Stewart Gill White Mist over acrylic. Swan is white acrylic base, with watercolour to give shading. Hills are black marker!

Saturday, 26 February 2011


LinkA quick birthday card, and my entry for this week's Play Date Cafe

Stencil by The Crafters Workshop

Stamp by Inkadinkado

Friday, 18 February 2011

And some fly by day

This is my entry for the latest Play Date Cafe challenge, and as they've joined forces this week it's also my first entry for a Case study challenge.
This week's colours are black, red & green. Unfortunately when I saw red & green, my brain automatically said "Holly", so I had to give myself a stern talking to - we don't start those sort of cards until at least the 1st of December.
The next combination is red & black and it quickly brought to mind something from my childhood - Cinnabar moths & their hairy tiger striped caterpillars.
Sadly it's a long time since I've seen one of these stunningly coloured moths, or their equally striking caterpillars, mainly because the council in it's 'wisdom' decided that the scrub areas we played on as kids would be much better if they landscaped them and built a nice safe playground for us. I'd better stop now before I get the soap box out, or I'll be needing the dried frog pills again.

Moths are painted in acrylic over a watercolour wash. Grasses are by Artemio.

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Inspired by satnav

Well not really inspired by, it's more a case of serendipity. I was wondering what to call this post when an advert for Satnav came on the radio and that was that.

This is another piece that came about from me playing and experimenting. It's also my entry for this week's Play Date Cafe challenge.

The arrows are just basic cardboard shapes that I had lying around. To get the lovely marbled effect apply a fairly liberal coat of gesso and then stipple it quite vigourously until it goes bubbly (like the inside of an Aero). Leave it to dry naturally, don't heat it. As it dries some of the gesso soaks in, but the bubbles collapse to leave the the white marbling. Once it's dry apply colour. I used Tattered Angels Glimmer Mists (Sunflower & Copper). They were then given a coat of UTEE.
The letters are grunge board with a coat of acrylic. Apply 2 coats, but while the second is still drying add UTEE and heat. The result looks almost like plastic as the paint mixes with the UTEE, rather than having a clear layer over it. Be careful, there seems to be a fine line between the UTEE melting and the paint bubbling (here speaks the voice of experience).

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Art from the heart

or should that be the other way around?

This is my entry for this week's Play Date Cafe Challenge, and the inspiration comes from two talented ladies.

The first is Sarah Anderson who led a luuurve collage workshop today at the Cubby Hole and got us very messy with inks and paints, especially the spray inks. I think my T-shirt could now be classed as altered art!. We even managed to get some of it onto the cardboard.

The second is this post from Jaine Drake, which gave me the idea to build up the cardboard layers and create a niche for the heart.

Also I'd like to say thank you to those who've left comments about my blog entries. Apparently they lead some of you to fits of giggles & laughter. I'm not sure if that's good or bad ;)

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Birds of a feather

This is just me playing and experimenting, something I don't seem to do much of recently.

It's a postcard sized canvas board which I decided to try and stamp onto using tissue transfer. The process goes something like this:

Prep canvas with gesso, paint blue, add torn page from bird book and wording printed from PC, stamp image on tissue and apply with diluted PVA.

Allow to dry, decide it's not right, apply a liberal coat of gesso. Paint blue, add a bit more bird book page and a couple of bird postage stamps, apply tissue image again.

Allow to dry, decide it's still not right, so apply another coat of gesso and paint it blue again. (Does this sound familiar?). Stamp image onto thinner tissue and apply with dilute PVA. With a damp scourer scrub away layers of gesso/paint in the corners. Apply wording with fine brush, photograph, then stash away quickly before the urge to reach for the gesso strikes.

Paints are Stewart Gill. Image is unknown as it was bought second hand.