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Friday, 13 March 2015

Mixed Media on Paper

Have you ever found an object and just knew immediately that you would put it to a completely different use than what it was intended for? This blog was created around just such an item. Here is what we are going to make today.

When making the handbags earlier this month, I realized that a lot of my pins had become blunt and worn. Time for new ones. Besides, any excuse to buy these pretty ones when you come across them! When I took them out of their packaging (my pin 'cushion' is a magnet), I found this lovely flower shaped wheel underneath. Time to paint then!

I came across these metallic markers for a really good price at one of our big chain stores (read Game) and bought them as well. I found that the ink did not dry properly on most surfaces. Be aware of this when you use them. Even in this project, I found that the next day the ink still had not dried. This is why you will see slight smudges when looking at the photos. But I still love them at the price I paid for them and will continue to use them. I'll just have to use a bit more discretion with my selection of surfaces to use them on. It would have been a better idea to use Faber-Castell's Pitt Pens. But we had to try out the new stock, of course.

I worked on a surface I had prepared during a previous blog. In that blog I took a normal printer quality paper of 80 gsm. I painted it with two layers of gesso and left it to dry. This will strengthen the paper to be able to take paint. I then painted the whole page yellow, using acrylic paint and a flat brush. I put the flower wheels on this background and drew random flowers in a variety of colours, using the markers I bought.

I used a stencil to draw the inner circles, but there really isn't any reason why you can't do this free-hand.

Next step was to draw some detail in the flowers. Random lines of unequal length with little dots on the ends are simple yet effective for this purpose.

I finished the flowers by adding silly little stems and leaves that a six year old could do. The idea with this page is to keep it simple. We tend to clutter our lives by making it too complicated. Yet when confronted with sickness and death, we realize that those details we were so concerned with before, never really mattered in the first place.

With my main flowers in place, I wanted to give them a support base. My intention was to add a very passionate poem I had written to a friend who had died after a losing the battle to cancer of the brain. Her space was left empty, like the flowers I had just drawn, but she had left a beautiful impression. What is more, she lived a colourful life that contributed positively to many while she was here. This is why my choice for colours fell on the fluorescent range from Iris. Filbert brushes would work well for what I wanted to achieve.

I used the rounded end of the Filbert brush to make the petals of the flowers. I used the Fluro Rose Acrylic paint here.

I then dipped the same Filbert brush in the Fluro Orange and put it down flat in the middle of the flower, twisting it to make a perfect circle. Since the Fluro Rose was still wet, I managed to get a lovely marbled mix of the two colours.

I added some grass with a fan brush and Fluro Green. Dip the tips of the brush in the paint, working as dry as possible. Do not overload the brush. Lightly touch the brush to the bottom of the page and sweep up with a wrist motion.

I keep a file filled with cut-outs of pictures I've come across and loved. The best source for this is gift wrap paper. This selection of butterflies come from that file.

I select the ones I want to include and place them on the page. I then decoupage each one individually, using Acrylic Gel Medium and a flat brush. This proved to be quite tricky, since the marker would not dry and kept dragging along when painting the Acrylic Gel Medium. A flat brush was again the best choice.

Now it was time to add the poem. I used a fine point Staedtler tri-colour marker for this and added these words:

you stopped talking,you stopped eating,you stopped laughing. I watched you dying,painfully, slowly.It broke my heart when I encouraged you to go …my courage failed where yours prevailed. You went from hospital,to home care,to Hospice,to frail care,to dying. You stopped being.

This is the finished page.

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Remember to keep nurturing your TALENT for making PRETTY things.
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