Monday, 4 August 2008

Outside my comfort zone - again

You know how you coast around from blog to blog and suddenly see an idea that inspires you? The trick is remembering where you saw the idea so you can, (a) go back to it later and (b) give credit for where you took your inspiration from. On Friday at my art group I had a play with a narrow canvas and ended up with the textured surface you can see below. I had previously prepared the canvas with various textured layers, cobweb, tissue, torn doily, torn handmade paper, sand and acrylic flakes.


I'm still trying to decide whether it needs tweaking a little. I started out thinking it was going to be based on a seascape but my dear friend challenged me to use colours outside my comfort zone hence the red and gold theme!

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Getting back to the "where did I see that?" theme, I had a lot of paint left over from the canvas and didn't want to waste it. In the last few days I had seen a blog where someone (oh dear, I've forgotten who!) had made some monoprints using plant material from the garden, so I thought I would use the leftover paint in the same way. I used a little thickening medium to give the paint more of a printing ink quality.

I forgot to take a photo of the plate before I took any prints so this is the plate after the prints were taken. I had included strawberry leaves, grass stalks and grape hyacinth seed heads and sprinkled grass seeds over the surface.

I placed a piece of dampened cotton on top of the plate (plastic sheet) and gently smoothed the fabric down onto the paint. Some of the paint did seep through to the reverse of the fabric so once I felt it had soaked up enough colour I slowly pealed the fabric back to reveal the image above.

This is the second print from the plate, not quite as strong as the first.

The next step was to lift off the plant material as I wanted to see what marks were left behind.

I really like this print which came off the partially cleared plate.

Because I had still got gold paint on the palette I set another print block up and took another print. I used the grape hyacinth seed heads again and as they had retained some of the red paint a hint of red crept in which I really like.


I am seriously thinking that I will paint the fabric, particulary the red versions, with a loose green wash to offset the red. What do you think?


By the way, if you recognise this process from your own recent blog please accept my apologies and also leave me a comment. Many thanks.


artisbliss said...

Ooh, I love that out-of-comfort-zone piece! Those are my FAVORITE colors. Very nicely done whether you add anything or not. If you do, though, don't forget to post photos.

Judy Scott said...

Love what you've done here and I know how hard it is to work with colours that 'arent yours' the monoprints are amazing and I so want to have ago at this too ~ so its not my blog where you saw it :) thanks for the lovely words on my latest post ~ I still cannot believe the book is real ~ hugs to you ~ Judy xxx

DILLY said...


(MWEAH! Add gween! Gween be Dilly's UTHER fayvrit culler!)


Lesley said...

I love your painting Julie - it looks like rock strata to me. Those mono-prints are great and I think I may need to try some!


Purple Missus said...

Good heavens Julie, your work is just going from strength to strength. You have certainly pushed the boundaries since you first started. These are wonderful - fabulous colours. I am impressed :))

sharon young said...

Fantastic strong colours on your canvas Julie, and all the different textures work really well. I think it looks great just as it is.
I did see an article in the latest CPS mag about printing with foliage,but it looked very time consuming as they were suggesting that to make a flower, you should print each individual petal, their example was a daisy. hmmmm!
Congrats on a very well deserved award.

freebird said...

I haven't been to the blog you are talking about so I can't help you. Wonderful prints though. Be careful with the green mixing with the red and only use a little bit or a light coloring so it doesn't stand up and shout at you. So what will you do with these? Box covers, book covers? Quilting?

Gina said...

Love the painting - and great monoprints Julie.