Sunday 15 February 2009

The house in the photo is where I live. Behind the house is a field with lots of tree stumps, the snow last week made it look very surreal.

I am making the post from Picasa, I had Picasa on my machine a couple of years back and found it frustrating because it insisted on showing me stuff grouped by date and I wanted them grouped by folder because I had already done my tidy filing. You can do this with this verison of picasa. You can use it to make collages, and it is also embedded in my windows explorer so if I double click a jpg, it opens nicely on my screen. I just used it to export 5 photos so I could post them to a yahoo group and it made them the size I wanted and the compression was perfect. Each picture was 21kb. So, Picasa is staying on my computer!

Update on March 2nd - Yes, Picasa is staying on my computer but I won't be using it to upload to my blog, it didn't work.

Sunday 8 February 2009

Inspired by Klimt

Whilst at Sommerhausen, I used the print gocco to create a silk screen of a copyright free image from Dover. It is part of a picture by Klimt. I believe that it is a portrait of Adele Bloch Bauer. The screen was used to print on a canvas "box".

Once I came home, I decided that I would like to add to it and make it more like the original, and wished that I had placed the image in a different place on the canvas.

The canvas was white, and I painted all apart from the lady black. I then looked for backgrounds that I already had and was lucky to find some watercolour paper painted with yellow and had gold spirals. I have recently started using gel matte medium as a glue rather than PVA. It makes the paper less susceptible to bobbling. Milliande alerted me to this.

I then used some watercolour crayons and thin felt pens to fill up the background. Willowing taught me to wet my watercolour crayons with my brush and then paint rather than drawing with the crayon and then brushing with water. It is surprising how well it works. It is a great way of carrying watercolours with you.

I also stuck some gold sweet papers on to the picture. They form the straps of the dress and the lighter part of the collar. I used bondaweb (wonder under) and my clove iron to do the fixing.

Finally, the collage was "joined together" by some galactica paint from Stewart Gill (it is clear paint with glitter spread throughout it) and my favourite spiral template and bright gold paint from Stewart Gill. There is also some gold embossing powder on it.

It isn't the best painting in the world but given my fear of painting, I am pleased.

Beginnings of an Altered Book

This is the inside of the book I took to Sommer-hausen with me. It is a guide from London, printed during the early 70's. I prepared it by cutting pages out and then using matt gel medium to join pages on either side of the cut.

I then used fancy scissors to trim some of the pages, and painted them with two layers of gesso.

Whilst we we at Sommerhausen, some printing was done in my book, some of which you can see here.

The feather is from a thermofax screen I purchased from The Klimt lady is from a Gocco screen I made using a copyright free image from Dover. The green is from a plate that TJ made using string.

A Book Cover

Whilst at Sommerhausen, I showed one of my book covering methods.

In a nutshell, I painted, scraped and drizzled acrylic paint on to some canvas fabric. I ironed on some bondaweb (wonder under) to the inside of the cover. I then ironed the cover onto the front and back of the book (not the spine), trimmed the corners and ironed them into the inside of the book.


Last week, I went to Sommerhausen in Germany to meet up with TJ, a member of my altered books Yahoo group. It is so nice meeting up with people in real life that you have met on the Internet. TJ and I have known each other for a bout 3 years but this is the first time we have met in person.

TJ organised the hotel and work room for us, we just had to bring some "toys" and turn up. I decided to travel by train. I have never been under the channel before. We travelled on Thursday January 29th and stayed in Brussels for that afternoon and the following morning. We then travelled from Brussels to Frankfurt and Frankfurt to Wurzberg. TJ picked us up and drove us the 20 minutes or so to Sommerhausen. Sommerhausen is in North Bavaria.

We had an enormous room for us to work in, there were only three of us most of time. TJ's friend Petra came on Saturday.

A lot of what we did was printing be it screen printing (I had taken my print gocco along with me), lino cutting - TJ brought along some fab lino and tools for us, polystyrene "stamps". DH saved some pizza circles for me and I took half of one with me and TJ made this most fabulous print. I also tried some pzcut but it didn't do it for me. Petra and TJ were both pleased to hear my tip for cutting lino, iron it and when it is warm it is a lot easier to cut. Sara, my first art teacher as an adult, taught me that.

Some photos about the area may appear on the blog in due course. The crafty ones which are about to come next are more important though!