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Posts Tagged ‘art’

This may not look like much but it’s the start of making a new batch of walnut ink. I made the last one around 10 years ago and it ran out this year. It’s not a complicated process. I just took the hulls off a whole lot of walnuts and added water. You have to take the time to remove the nuts because if you don’t squirrels will chew into the tub to get them. (yes, I did learn that one the hard way) It’ll soak for a few weeks. Then I’ll strain it and ditch the hulls. After that, it’s just a matter of letting it evaporate to concentrate it down. The last batch never completely hardened, but was a very thick sludge, right to the point where it ran out.

ink1

The warm brown tones of the finished ink are a colour range I’ve found it to be very useful for both writing as well as antiquing paper and fabric. To keep it that way I’ll have to be careful not to expose it to iron since that will oxidize it and turn it black.

This is a much larger amount than I’ve ever tried so there might even be enough to try some light fabric dying, but we’ll see how much is left after the straining.

Due to the number of nuts I ended up with, I’m also going to see how they are to eat. The nuts have been washed and are spread out upstairs to dry and cure for another couple of weeks and then I’ll get cracking!

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IMG_6940It has been quite a while since I made a new batch of masks. I shouldn’t have taken so long a break, but kept getting distracted by stuffies and jewellery, since those are the bulk of what’s needed for shows. At any rate, a new group just got finished! They were done to use up the last of the edging lace. It makes beautiful crowns and is the best accent for the feathers I’ve found but, because it was salvaged, it was in limited supply. All the full crown masks made with it had found homes, so I decided it was time to just go ahead and use what was left. I stuck to most popular colour combos so there is one gold and black, (pictured), a gold and white and one silver and brown. The silver one also used up the last bit of the long natural coque feathers. It’s always hard to reach the end of a favourite supply, but I should look at as a chance to do something different. Either way, it’s going to be hard to see these ones go.

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tentafterThis is the last of this group of altered paintings and was the one that I felt a bit bad about using. It is the strongest of the group and I think it might have been a students piece or study. I even did some googling of the signature, just in case they had gone on to become a known name, but nothing came up. At any rate, it had come into my hands and was fair game for being “improved”. My first thought had been to alter the people but decided the better option was to explain their situation a bit more. (and putting clothes on him would have made it far less funny) Now they have something to look at and the painting has much more of a narrative going on. It was also the hardest to match the brushwork style of, but I think I got very close. The reflections were especially challenging, but worked out. The colour mixing and paint texture also matched so well that the fact it was altered is surprising most of the people who’ve only seen it in this state. It’s acrylic on canvas, and nicely stretched, so I opted not to frame it but to simply go with the black wrap around the outside. Keeping it down to only it’s modest original size should make it easier for someone to find a spot for this bit of slightly creepy fun. (and that person might be me since I really do love how it turned out) tentbefore

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This is probably the simplest of the altered paintings. Finding pieces to work with isn’t actually as easy as it may seem. Part of the hunt is choosing ones that are just bad enough. Georgian bay "after" I don’t want to be painting over works that have any real artistic merit but also am not interested in the truly terrible things that are so often what’s available at the price they need to be. I also only want to work with actual oil or acrylic paintings. With those, it’s possible to properly blend in the overpainting but with prints, it just sits on top and while you may be able to get a decent photo of the finished piece, they tend to look awful in person. On top of all that, it also has to have room for the changes. I like ones that have a sense of incompleteness about them. This was one that worked really well, from my perspective. While it is clearly Georgian bay, and not completely bad, (even with it’s abundance of “happy” trees) the large, empty expanse of water in the foreground came across as boring and unfinished so it made a great canvas for the addition of a “Nessie” style beastie. Georgian bay "before" Painting in the white water ripples around it took almost as much time as the beast, but I think they help tie it into the original artwork and look less like an add-on. (the down side of that is people thinking I did the whole thing, which has happened a couple of times. I think big “altered painting” signs are the way I’ll have to go)

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pen1I’ve been trying to get better about taking photographs of more of my work. Since almost all of the jewellery tends to one-of-a-kind, it’s good for me to keep some sort of record. This was one of the ones where I was good about getting it recorded before putting it out for sale. Not that I got the photo up or anything like that. The main design drive for it was the large, salvaged piece on the top. It was paired to the watch body first and then the antique image, jewels and drops were picked based on it’s look so the whole thing works together. I love how it is so much more vibrant that I typically dare to go, but still has a very cohesive feel! It’s gone off with it’s new owner and it always makes me happy when people like my stuff enough to wear it right away.

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sgaftThis was another of the altered paintings. Once again, not a piece that had much in the way of artistic value to start with so it was a great candidate. At first, I couldn’t understand what was going on with the circular stone gate, but someone explained that they apparently are quite common in Bermuda. No matter why it was there, it had an extremely obvious solution! While I thought converting it to an active Stargate would be fairly simple, it turned out to be the most complicated of all the painting alterations I’ve done so far. There was just so much detail to it and I was trying to keep within the style of the original painting as well. (and the existing stone gate not actually being round didn’t make it any easier) It was necessary to use a dark enough grey to cover up the base picture, but that came out darker than anything else in in the original painting. As is, it stands out a bit more than I would have liked. Even with the various complications, it was still fun to do and at least I’m pretty happy with with how the event horizon came out.sgb4

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flying saucers

flying saucers

I’m not sure that it was the best idea for me to have shown my mother the altered art painting I did. It gave her some motivation to find me even more terrible paintings for use as canvases. This was one of her “finds”. Even with oil painting not being a medium I’m all that familiar with, I’m pretty happy with how well the additions match the colour and “style” of the base picture. (Not that it set a very high bar in terms of required painting skill) While it didn’t impress me much as art, it is in excellent condition and well stretched around a good quality stretcher. I also liked that it has the “gallery” wrapped edges. (the painting wraps around the edges of the stretcher so no frame is needed) The only hard part is how big it is. It’s 2′ by 3′ so someone is going to want/need to fill a large space with something funny for it to find a home. If it’s still around, I’ll probably put it in the booth at some of the summer shows! I’ve got a few more not-great-painting fixes underway, so might have several on offer.

oil painting

oil painting

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