Monday, June 19, 2017

Miniature Landscape

I am going away in a couple of weeks to a week long Art retreat and workshop called Fibres West. One of the things we were asked to bring is a 15 x 15 cm (6 in square) artwork to donate. The idea is that all the donated items will be made available for sale for $15 during the event. It is a great way to raise funds for the next event and also participants get to take home a piece of art that will be a reminder of their time at the retreat.

I decided to make a miniature version of one of my textile landscapes. I am pleased with the way it turned out and will enjoy seeing someone else take it home. The hardest part of being an artist who gives away or sells work occasionally is parting with the pieces that I really like. When that happens I remind myself that my house is already full of stuff and it is a good feeling to let artworks go to a new home where they will be loved.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Creating with paper

I have been trying to keep up with the Colour me Positive art journal challenge this year and so far its working out well. I haven't been good at posting them here but I have been busy. 

 Week 14 - This page uses that crayon technique we all learned as kids. I used a white wax crayon to do the drawing and blue for the writing then sprayed over them with some dye sprays. I used watercolors to fill in the flowers and leaves. It was a quick page. 

Week 15 - This page was using the peeled paint technique on the word life. First you paint your image with acrylic paint then when it is dry you spread on some Vaseline or Aloe Vera gel in a few areas. You paint over the top with more acrylics, trying not to smear the gel underneath. When it is mostly dry wipe off the excess paint to reveal the color underneath. The word balance was done with crackle paint, something I haven't used for years. I like the way it looks on the page so I will probably use it more often now.

Week 16 - I wanted to do a doodle page so I could just sit and draw with the one good arm. It was fun to do but not something I would do often.

Week 17 - This week I wanted to make a 3D page so I used foil tape to make the blue door and embossed card to make the red door. It was a lot of fun doing something completely different. I am using this journal as a way to experiment with different techniques and ideas.

Week 18 - I had fun making a collage using previously printed papers this week. I think this page would make a great textile piece so you may see a similar design in the future.

Week 19 - Another mixed media page. I used embossing and paper piecing to make the background and clock. I did get a little carried away with the spattering but it is hard to stop once you get going.

Week 20 - I wanted to use silhouettes this week so I created a background for them using the insides of business envelopes glued to the page. I used the window for the quote and then used ink to stamp the circles for a grungy look. I used stamps for the flowers but also added drawing with a Pitt pen to add extra stems and grass. It is quite a messy page compared to the majority of my work which tends to be fairly neat. I love trying different styles because it stops artist block creeping in.

Several of these journal pages would be great inspiration for textiles. I can imagine week 14, 18 and 20 as fabric images and maybe some of my earlier pages too. That is one of the reasons I keep journalling, I can work out ideas on paper and use them to plan future textile works.

Everything you do has the potential for further exploration. If you are suffering a little artist's block I suggest you go back through your own work and pick a piece that you can see another idea in. Go ahead and develop your new piece using the old one to inspire you. It may be the technique you used, the colors or how they sit next to each other, the image or the composition. It may even be a piece that you think needs improvement and you want to redo it. Go ahead and get creating.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Making a silk screen with vinyl

A shoulder injury has kept me away from the computer for a while but now I hope it is on the mend. Recently I read an article in an old Quilting Arts magazine about making silk screens using fusible vinyl. It looked interesting and I had some iron-on vinyl so I gave it a go. It was so much fun that now I have made many more screens and some of the prints I did were used in the previous post. Here is a video how to I made explaining how I do it. 

The video can also be seen larger on YouTube here: 
There are more detailed instructions in the video.

Some of the designs I have made and used
 Step 1. Start with some iron-on vinyl or fusible vinyl. I have two brands here in Australia, Legacy and Thermoweb that I bought at Spotlight fabric store. You also need the screen fabric. You can use silk but any sheer polyester will do. You can't use nylon because it will melt when you iron it. The iron needs to be on the polyester setting to make the glue stick properly.

A large pattern screen, about 15 ins square from strips of vinyl
2. Draw your design on the paper side of the fusible. You do not reverse the design. Cut out your design and stick the vinyl to your fabric. I did several different types of designs but my favorites are the geometric patterns because I think I will use them more often.

I did some gold printing over some rough fabric painting.
This is the one that got dropped when the purple was still wet, oops!
 3. When you have the vinyl placed onto the fabric, iron it on. Don't start with your iron too hot or you could melt your vinyl. That is it. Now you are ready to use the silk screen. Sometimes I put duct tape around the edge of the screen to make it easier for me to handle but that is not necessary.

4. I tried a lot of different paints and screen inks. As long as it is thick and smooth anything will work. I even used tube acrylic paint when I printed onto paper and it worked well. An old credit card worked well for spreading the paint.

  Some card designs I printed as shown in the video.

A close up of the image where I used puff paint for the screen printing.

 This is the lily that was printed with So Soft paints by Decoart. You can see all the bubbles have gone when it dried.

 Printed using Lumiere paints. I will add machine stitching to this one and make it into a journal page later in the year.