Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Let the dance begin

The next challenge has been announced at the Cubby Hole. The theme for June is "Let the dance begin", and I have given the honour of creating the inspiration piece.

This has been inspired by Yo-Yo Ma's version of "Libertango", and the fact that I find the Tango probably the most amazing dance form to watch. Libertango has been one of the ideas floating around in my inspiration book for quite a while, just looking for an idea to take shape.

The canvas is 8x8 and was layered with gesso and then a couple of layers of deep red acrylic.
The main image has been applied using gesso transfer (see below). Many thanks to Sue Allan for instructions.
Once the process was complete, the background was shaded with distress inks, poster image applied, and lettering added using stained grungepaper.

The challenge is open to all, not just Cubby Hole regulars and the creations will be displayed on the Cubby Hole blog at the start of July.

*Gesso transfer.
This is an easy technique, but needs a bit of trial and error.
Find an image from a magazine, or print out using laser printer (ink jet print isn't waterproof). The image will be reversed when applied.
Apply a layer of gesso to canvas, card or fabric. Experiment to find how thick you need the gesso.
Apply the image face-down in the gesso and ensure it is in contact all over, removing air-pockets. Allow to dry completely.
When dry, rub the paper with fingertips soaked in water. Remove some of the paper without rubbing through the image, or getting the work too wet. Allow to dry.
When dry again, work over the surface with a reasonably stiff paintbrush to remove more of the paper. Allow to dry. Repeat until satisfied with results.

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Tempus Fugit

The theme at this month's Altered Alice challenge is Time.

I spent ages trying to find a suitable quote about time, or come up with an idea, when I remembered a quote from a while back:

"Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana"

So here it in full, glorious technicolour :)

Oh, and for those who, like the Cubby Hole crew today, think I made it up, you might want to take a look here.

Thursday, 19 May 2011


Bought a new stamp at the weekend, so just giving it a trial run.

Nothing much to see here folks, move along please.

Images are Crafty Individuals - CI287

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Mann E. Quin

Today saw the unveiling of the creations for the last Cubby Hole challenge - 'Mannequin'

There are some truly amazing creations which will be coming to the Cubby Hole blog in the next few days, keep an eye out for the iron, complete with '3 pin plug'.

This is my entry, and as usual it's come from somewhere totally unexpected. The quote is fairly well known and is usually attributed to Mark Twain, but I have no idea what brought it together with Chairman Mao's 'Little red book'.

My mind is a scary place at times!

The next Cubby Hole challenge has been issued, and is 'Homage to White Space'. If you want to join in, details are here.

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Standing still

or should that be still standing?

I'm back (did you even notice I'd gone?)

Well, since my last post I've been to Scotland and Scarborough, and done some reorganising of crafty stuff (I'm sure it multiplies when you're not looking) with the aid of a new shelf unit. I've also done a little bit of creating (not much); a couple of basic cards, played with a canvas and then gessoed over it, and then there's this, which is my homework that's due tomorrow.

Once a month at the Cubby Hole there is an art class. We're mostly all self-taught, so it's handy to pick up some of the basics we've missed. Everybody is working at their own speed, and aiming at individual goals. We started with an ideas sheet on landscape, and then narrowed it down to a specific idea. Mine is standing stones (now there's a surprise).

The last couple of sessions have dealt with texture, and my task was to produce a textured stone. The background is acrylic on canvas and is there purely to carry the focal stone.
The focal stone is gesso on paper. The gesso has been layered to build up the texture. The circular texture at the top is produced by stippling the gesso to produce air bubbles which then collapse. The dark brown slash was produced by building up a line of gesso, several times over. The granular effect below the line is salt sprinkled into the drying gesso. Once dry it has been coloured with basic watercolours, and then smudged with a charcoaled finger to highlight the texture.

Once it's been shown off tomorrow it will be on the way to a friend as a house-warming gift.

Hopefully I'll get round to visiting everybody's blogs soon.