A Gardener…. Another Mixed Media Painting

In conversation recently it was noted that I’ve been using blue greens quite a lot as that appears to be my latest colour crush.

Totally, I agreed, any colour associated with the sea seems to be my thing at the moment.

The conversation took an unexpected turn when it was mentioned that orange is a colour never seen in my work.  On quick reflection I had to agree, it is never seen…..  I didn’t even have an orange paint tube, though I do own a Distress Ink that is orange and it mostly sits unused at the bottom of the pile.

It was wondered if I use much of any of the hues from that portion of the colour wheel – the yellows through reds.

I use yellow quite often I said.  A quick hunt through current work and then photos of past work proved the point, I use yellow with blue very often and make lovely greens with them.

I use red I said.  By golly yes I do, a little is to be found in most paintings.  Whew!!

So I set out to do a painting that didn’t feature any sea type colours and did feature yellow and orange.  I even purchased a tube of orange paint!

As I worked I found the colour palette quite heavy [surprisingly – orange should be light and refreshing like it’s name] so I started to add in white which made a huge difference and when I had another of my genius ideas and used the edge of a rectangular paper doily as a frill on the bottom of her dress then things began to pop.

I had no idea what I was going to do when I started and was over halfway through before I could see where we were going – and this is what emerged:

A Gardener [c]

Half successful only, I couldn’t help myself the background just had to be what it is 🙂

I wish I’d chosen a longer canvas to work on so she could have been full length instead of cut off, but that’s what happens when you don’t have a plan!

As I was making the flowers, I  found I was thinking of my blogging friend Alys over at Gardening Nirvana and the words just popped into my head.

So what is your opinion of my attempt to use orange?

Thanks for coming by today, I love that you did!  🙂

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Gift Bags from Newspaper

I love to recycle and re-purpose – if I can figure out a way to make something that would normally be trashed into something useful or beautiful – or both – I’m up for the challenge.

I’ve been thinking about this project for a while now and finally committed myself to actually having a go.  It came about this way…..

Do you remember I made a bunch of small gift bags a while back.  I wanted to make some really big ones, you know, the size of a good shopping bag and I had figured I would need six 12 x 12 sheets per bag.  Using quality specialist paper would have made the cost prohibitive – I mean $24 just for the paper and I haven’t even put the time in yet …. you can buy big gift bags at the moment for $2.50…..

With my creative mojo firing on all cylinders I had the genius idea I could make them from newspaper – the big giant ones.

I used the Otago Daily Times that I stole from YD’s place when I was cat-sitting the lovely Stanley.  [I stole it for this purpose, I don’t read papers – they rarely have anything good or uplifting in them and I don’t want to live with images of all the horrible stuff that the media calls ‘news’]

An open double page measures 80 x 57 cm – I’m sorry I can’t convert that off the top of my head for you non-metric folk…… perhaps someone else might in the comments 🙂  Anyhow, it’s big!

So a couple of evenings back, I covered the floor with more bits of newspaper and hunkered down with a container full of blood red poster paint, a brush and a water jar:

XmasBag1

I painted two double page spreads with a thick layer of paint and left them to dry overnight.

The next day I turned the paper over and ran wrestled a length of contact paper over the page.  [Contact paper is used to cover books and shelves – sticky on one side and a plasticky / wipeable finish on the other.]  I used this to give the newspaper some strength and durability.

XmasBag2

I worked out my score lines for width and depth and top and bottom ……. ooooh headaches!!

And made a pair of bags:

XmasBag3

I like that you can still see the newsprint showing through – but the photo is not true to the red I used – think blood red and you’ll be closer to the truth of it.

With the basic bag hanging together quite well it is embellishment time – Hurrah!!

I rummaged through my paper stash and found a 12 x 12 vintage collection that I purchased in a sale a year or two back and have never known what to do with – I chose two different pictures and roughly cut out around the images and stuck one on each bag.

XmasBag5

Using white, black and gold pens I highlighted the edges of the cut outs, faux stitched outside the edges and outlined different aspects of the woman.

Lace was hot glued all around the top edges and red organza ribbon employed for the handles

XmasBag6

Next I punched out some hearts using off-cuts from the vintage girl paper and shiny metallic gold and layered some:

XmasBags4

And stuck ’em on both the front XmasBag5a

and the back of the bags

XmasBag7

The hearts were given faux stitching in black pen.

So, looking good you say – finished?

Nope.  Remember, if a little embellishment is good, a lot is better…

XmasBagDetail

The fabric flowers are made from organza and curtain netting – great fun to make as it involves a lighted candle and charring melting ….. 🙂

The beaded flowers I learnt to make from someone on the internet two or three years ago and I’ve completely forgotten who it was – but they too are fun to make.  It’s just beads and twisted wire and they hang freely and move about which adds another layer to the whole thing.

I think they are finished – but there is still three weeks til Christmas, you never know what might happen to them between now and then…..

GiftBag Finished

I think they came out quite well for a first try  – I learned lots and know how to do it now….

Thanks for coming by today – I love that you did 🙂

Smallest Things

It’s raining today – still warm, but wet and grey.  Typical spring weather really, yesterday I found I had a tinge of pink on my arms and shoulders after an hour sitting in the garden – medium rare 🙂

I’m been working on 180 gsm water colour paper – but from now on will move to 300 gsm – I don’t like the amount of buckle and curl on this lighter paper – you’ll see it in the photo.

It’s because of all the different mediums I’m playing with.

Acrylic paints, papers, stamps, pencils, pens and inks.

It makes for an interesting texture, there’s loads of ‘layers’ so the eye has a sense of depth.

As so often happens with me, I thought I was painting one thing and ended up painting something else – but I quite like her:

Smallest Things1a

The legend is a quote from AA Milne – it’s in one of the Winnie-the-Pooh books, but I can’t remember which one ‘Sometimes the smallest things take up the most room in your heart’

Painted on A4 paper, ready for framing – she is going into the shop today!  🙂

You will have noticed the watermark?  I’ve been warned that there are people out there who steal your work and pass it off as their own.  I knew this before, but didn’t think that anybody would bother to help themselves to mine – but apparently they have and so now I have to do this for anything I load onto my blog or pinterest .

On the up side – I am flattered that my work is considered good enough to steal.  Thank you for the compliment 🙂

Thanks for coming by today, I love that you did 🙂