Category Archives: Art

Hello Yupo

I first came across Yupo paper a number of years ago in a George James video from Creative Catalyst. I always wanted to try it but a combination of not seeing it in art stores and George James’ media being watercolour, it never came to fruition. Then, I found Yupo paper when I was at the art store on the COFA campus with Andrew. I excitedly bought some and then left it for a number of months – as you do!

Finally this week, I saw a video with Jodi Ohl: “Graffiti Grunge Art: Abstract Painting on Yupo“. OK. It was time to experiment!

Yupo 1st attempt

On my first attempt, I found out that it wasn’t as easy as it looked.  Yupo paper is not paper at all. It is polypropylene. The paint isn’t absorbed by the paper; it sits on top of it. Paint can be ‘lifted off’, a technique very familiar to a watercolorist but not as common for someone who works with acrylics. Yet the layering is very familiar and enticing. Not long after finishing my first piece (above), I was already playing on a second one (see below).

Andrew was instantly in love with this new paper as there was not a piece of collage in sight. No little pesky bumps where the paper joins, or the inconsistency of finish (matte / gloss). Much to my amusement these things that I love about collage are the very thing that annoys him! Still, there is something quite beautiful about the slick finish of the yupo. It reminds me of that sheen you get off photographs. To top it off the process is perfect for anyone who wants to defeat their perfectionistic side as it is difficult to control the paint on this surface. It invites happy accidents!

Yupo 2nd attempt

Paris

Paris 14 Nov 2015//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

A fine price

Andrew Sydney Contemporary and Fine Lines

This afternoon bidding on art works for the Fine Lines exhibition ended. The exhibition raises funds for a local community run organisation helping marginalised youths through creative writing programs.

Andrew’s donated painting sold for $3,000 after 32 bids. Much like people bidding for an item on eBay, there was a flurry all near the end.

I could not possibly be prouder than i was this afternoon. Not only was it a validation that there are people out there who like Andrew’s work; it raised funds for a good cause as well. I was more than a little chuffed. 🙂

Zentangle Deer?

This was completed up the other way. When I rotated it, mum thought she saw a deer. Andrew voted reindeer. What can you see?
Zentangle 22 May 2015

94 days of Zen

Zentangle Inspired Art 9

94 days of waiting for an answer. At the end of 94 days, the answer may be there, or it may choose to allude us for another 90 days. If it does arrive, the answer could be a relief, or an unwelcome intruder. After over 6 years of ‘waiting’ for an answer, another 94 days really shouldn’t be a problem. It seems quite a while ago that mum was given the probable diagnosis of ‘benign MS’.  Right now, I’d prefer ‘benign MS’ to paraneoplastic neurological syndrome with an underlying lung cancer but I guess we don’t get to choose these things.

One can do a lot of thinking in 94 days. And given my recent history of chalazions, I have the potential to get a few more lumps and bumps on my eyelids from the stress before this is done. So I am trying out a different ‘meditation’. It seems that Zentangles have been around for a few years now. The blend of art with a repetitive action could be just what I need. So I’ve resolved to do 1 a day until we have an answer.

The cats approve of this. It doesn’t disrupt their winter lap perching like painting does. One cat has even been Tangled!

Here are the first few (in order from my first one).

Zentangle Inspired Art 1

Zentangle Inspired Art 4

Zentangle Inspired Art 6

Zentangle Inspired Art 7

Zentangle Inspired Art 8

Zentangle Inspired Art 11

Zentangle Inspired Art 12

Zentangle Inspired Art 13

Zentangle Inspired Art 14

Entangle Inspired Art 15

Change in the weather

Change in the weatherSummer has arrived with its bloody hot days and super storms to end them. Everything is changing.

I have an updated OS system on my apple – and I don’t like it. My scroll bars seems to constantly go walkabout.

Flickr seems different – I’m not sure my artwork will embed.

When I text one friend, it now answers to my iPad.

Sometimes I want to take technology and throw it against the wall. A month ago everything worked fine! I blame Christmas. Most people get cranky about something at Christmas and it seems my technology is getting in early and getting cranky at me.

Rant over.

Quilt me a river

Detail of partly quilted piece Now that the disability standards audit is over (and successful), I have a long weekend to enjoy starting with finishing one side of my quilt. I wasn’t sure that any quilting was going to get done as it is not the best activity for 35 degree weather! Thankfully the room wasn’t too hot and with the opportunity to use Bev’s very large specialist quilting machine I couldn’t not! I’m just learning free motion so I went with a wavy and irregular pattern on the brown so you can’t really see any mistakes! It’s much faster doing it free motion than with the walking foot – which is how I’m doing the spirals as my accuracy is not good enough to free motion them. Detail of partly quilted piece 2 I’ve also attached below a picture of the most of the quilt. Part of the top is missing (as it was hanging over the fence). My next task is to quilt the other brown side and lose all those safety pins. IMG_6280

Fabric surface design workshop

Shiva Paintstick rubbing I’ve finally finished washing out all my dyed fabrics from last Saturday so have moved on to revisiting what I did last Sunday at the Surface Design Workshop with Lisa Walton. Yes, I had 2 days of fabric fun, followed by a week of very long hours. The audit to ensure my employer complies with the disability standards looms ever closer. I use the word ‘looms’ deliberately as I’ve been working towards this for months and it’s a bit of an unknown.

So given this is such a priority, I decided to go for a walk instead! I went in search of any interesting surfaces for some rubbings onto fabric. Unfortunately, this is a little tricky without tresspassing. Mostly I just found manhole covers 😦 (see picture above). Perhaps I need to go for a walk in a more stylish neighbourhood!

Dye Workshop fabric

Saffron (and a peek of Licorice) assisting with the photography

Since getting home I’ve been photographing some of the pieces I bought home from the workshops and some that I’ve done since. Of course, the girls have assisted as per usual. Pity they don’t help with policy writing!

Anyway, here are the photos of the fabric from the Dye Workshop. I have NO IDEA what I’m going to do with it. When I took the workshop I thought I would learn how to dye and possibly come home with a few pieces of fabric. There are over 24 fat quarters here (and no – they aren’t all orange, that’s just my camera not cooperating!)

Dye workshop - graduated set

Dye workshop with Lisa Walton – graduated set

I mostly used the more earthy pigments Lisa had available. When it came to my ‘graduated set’ I decided to use the fuschia mixed with something (I can’t remember what!) Anyway, I quickly discovered it was a little too pink in the lighter versions so I added black to most of the pieces and that’s why my fabrics are a little mottled. I’m still not keen on those really light ones. They scream ‘paint over me!’

I learnt my lesson and avoided the fuschia dye for the rest of the day. (I thought it would be more like alizaron crimson, or quinacridone crimson but clearly not. As it turns out I found that all my paint knowledge is fairly useless when it comes to dye colours – I really couldn’t predict what colour I was going to get (apart from the basic idea of hue). I did try to get an autumnal set and was quite happy with the outcome. Evidently there was a lot more staining power in the warm colours than the green as I ended up with 5 warm to 1 green but I’m not fussed. I like it anyway!

Dye workshop my autumnal colours

Dye Workshop – my autumnal colours

Finally, all the pictures below are either from the Surface Design Workshop or pieces I have done since using techniques from that day.

Lisa has just published the first in an ebook series called Creative Journeys. Last week she was very excited and couldn’t wait for its launch. Well mid-week, it arrived and is now available through amazon or from Lisa directly. It’s on Fun and Easy Textile Surface Design Techniques.

It includes many of the techniques we did last week and some more. Indeed, fabric painting is a lot of fun and pretty easy – especially when it comes to salt and sundyes.

Sundyed fabric with salt

Sundyed Fabric with salt

Sundyed fabric 3

Sundyed fabric

Sundyed fabric 2

More sundyed fabric

Using handcarved stamps on fabric

Handcarved stamps on fabric

Stencilling

Waste not! Stencilling on some of my clean up pieces

Handpainted fabric 6

Embellishing further with charcoal, inktense sticks etc.

Handpainted fabric 5

I didn’t bother washing my brushes. Consequently the ‘green metallic’ went more antique gold – but I like!

Handpainted fabric 4

Did anyone say autumn colours?

Handpainted fabric 3

Experimenting with rubbings

Handpainted fabric 2

More experiments with rubbings – mostly shiva paintstick

Handpainted fabric 1

Stencils and rubbings on handpainted fabric.

Dyeing Workshop

Note the all important “e” in the title of this post. When I arrived at the Dyeing Workshop this morning, one of the other participants recounted how her son had asked whether she really needed to attend a workshop on dying?

Dyed Fabric batches
With a major project due at work at the end of the month, it’s been a long week. I’ve clocked up 43 hours of work in 4 days and probably could have done without the weekend being booked out with fabric dyeing and painting. I had booked this earlier but due to circumstances the company couldn’t control they had to move it to this weekend.

Despite not being the best timing, I thoroughly enjoyed myself. What a magnificent spring day for dyeing metres of fabric in a stunning cottage garden. I’m terribly eager to bust the fabric out of their little zip lock bag batches and take a look at the fruits of my labour… but I’m told I must wait 24 hours! I have them all laid out – it reminds me of pictures from a police drug bust haul.

The workshop facilitator – Lisa Walton of Dyed and Gone to Heaven – was very friendly, had clear instructions and with it being in her studio, it had a lovely air of hospitality (including home baked chocolate brownies for morning tea).

I gravitated generally towards the more ‘earthy’ colour pigments – what a surprise! – with one of my favourites being the ‘tangerine’. Lisa has warned me that the colours do change once dry – another reason I want to take them out of the bags, wash them off and hang them out to dry.

I do need to put them in a washing machine. I’m debating who will be more receptive to freshly dyed fabric in their washing machine – the mothership or the man? (Yes, yes, I know. Quite ridiculous that after years of renting I still don’t have a washing machine but if I got one I’d have nowhere to put the cat litter trays!)

Did anyone say orange?
Looking forward to the surface design workshop tomorrow. Much more familiar territory but confident that I’ll still pick up some tips and tricks. At least with tomorrow, when I get paint all over me it will come off straight away. I have managed to dye a couple of fingers blue. Lisa says it takes about 2 days to come off. I do have a 2 day seminar to run at work Monday / Tuesday. Fortunately many of them are clinical people who are used to getting messy with kids so they probably won’t be bothered by my coloured digits!

There’s gravy in my ear

What big ears you have

Safffron & Licorice in a post breakfast snooze

One of these days I’m going to pour gravy down Licorice’s ear. Every morning without fail I supply breakfast. I am a loyal subject and feed my 2 furry masters a generous helping. Despite this routine and commitment, Licorice seems to feel that unless she sticks her head over the bowl with great gusto that the food will not land in it. I know the day is coming when gravy will end up in her ear and I don’t really want to explain that to the vet. Perhaps it is this vigorous activity she has each morning that has helped to reduce her substantial girth. The last time the girls both went to the vets there was much cheering when Licorice tipped the scales at only 6 kilos and Saffron at 5.5!

While the girls have been busy losing weight, I’ve been creating a new art quilt for them to distribute their fur on. The first quilt I made is at Andrew’s place. The second I gave to mum for Christmas (last Christmas that is). This quilt is mine. I designed it inspired by Gustav Klimt paintings. I wanted something which suggested a female form but was not pictorial.

While I dabbled in painting fabric for the first quilt I did, this one has had a more concerted effort. It’s been fun making ‘art’ on fabric and then selecting pieces of it to sew into my quilt , together with store bought fabrics.

Quilt Centrepiece

Above is how it looked last Saturday. I’ve left it with my sewing teacher who is sourcing some woven interfacing to help stiffen the piece before trying to attach to the background. Interfacing or not… I’m expecting there will be a few curse words trying to fit the background into those curves. Still, it will be worth it in the end. A one of kind lap quilt for me to snuggle under… next winter!