“January’s Ring” painting

Mixed media painting

Mixed media painting

The other day I shared with you a painting that I recently completed after reading Nancy Reyner’s Acrylic Illuminations. I ended up actually doing two paintings, (though I showed off the one below which I like better first).

Mixed media painting

Mixed media painting

I actually started this painting first, wanting to try out the technique in a different way than in the Silver Flow painting. This painting is done on gold leaf instead of silver leaf, and it didn’t quite turn out the way I had intended, but I still kind of like it.

Inspired by

Along with the techniques discussed in Acrylic Illuminations, I also was loving Carol Nelson’s Glowing Stones, but wanted something a bit more my style. While I was planning the painting, a local jewellery designer EV Stenroos was tweeting about garnets (the birth stone associated with January) which I love… so I kept to a red and copper colour scheme inspired by the stones along with the golden leaf and golden paints like a ‘setting’ of a garnet ring.

Mixed media painting

Mixed media painting

In the painting above I’ve tilted the painting a different way and you can see the different light from the gold leaf below and the way the different coloured glazes change and shift with the light.

Like my previous painting, I tweeted a sneak preview about this one as well – come follow me on Twitter if you want to see more!

The final painting is covered with acrylic self-levelling clear gel until I can varnish the final piece.  (As I mentioned in my last post, I have a few works-in-progress right now, and will just do them all at once once the paints and mediums are fully dry.)

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Painting success – Silver Flow

Mixed media painting

Mixed media painting

In my previous post I showed off a painting on silver leaf that wasn’t quite going the way that I hoped. (See below)

Silver painting work in progress

Silver painting work-in-progress

The colours just weren’t as intense as I really wanted, so I knew that I needed to switch up my plans… I did a little looking around online, and thanks to Nancy Reyner’s Acrylic Illuminations, I went with several layers of glaze instead of painting watered-down acrylic on the silver leaf. I also did a WAY better job of applying the leaf, and sealed it with the right sealer…

Instead of trying the same subject again, I decided to do something much more abstract, and was inspired by Carolyn Reynolds’ Still Waters. I am really happy with the result!

Mixed media painting

Mixed media painting

In this second photo you can see how the silver leaf shines through the glaze layers. The final painting is covered with acrylic self-levelling clear gel until I can varnish the final piece.  (I have a few works-in-progress right now, and will just do them all at once once the paints and mediums are fully dry.)

I love it – and I love the depth and intensity of colour!

Oh.. and for those of you who follow me on Twitter – yep – this is the full version of the tweet below!

Silver painting – Work in progress

In the fall I was out in Canmore and after my best friend ‘dragged’ me into an art gallery, I couldn’t help but purchase a beautiful painting from The Avens Gallery.

Can't Stop It on display in the window at the Avens Gallery.

Can’t Stop It on display in the window at the Avens Gallery.

The painting is called “Can’t Stop It” and it’s by a local Southern Alberta oil artist, David Zimmerman.

(I also totally loved Jo Ludwig’s glass vessels  which were on the ledge below – but they might just have to wait before joining my art collection!) 

The gallery staff explained that David started with a layer of real silver and gold leaf under his oil paintings, which brings an extraordinary shimmer and shine – a sense of brightness and light behind the colours. They also explained that the painting was coated/sealed with a clear ‘resin’ which would not yellow or crack with age, but left a smooth, glossy, highly-reflective finish. (Which really shows off the shimmer and light behind the colours.)  I was totally in love with the painting, and right now it’s hanging up proudly in my living/dining room.  (If only I had better lighting set up to show it off!)

Inspired!

Of course, I loved the look of the painting, and thought that perhaps I might give the technique a try.

Step 1 – applying the foil

The first canvas

I had two canvases (which I had actually planned on using for something else…) and the first I prepared by underpainting with black. I don’t work with oils, so I used acrylics…

Once the paint was dry, I roughly sketched out the basic outline of what I wanted to paint, and then coated the canvas with glue where I wanted the foil, and then applied the foil mostly according to the instructions.  (The shop where I bought the foil didn’t have any specific foil adhesive or sealer, so I had to improvise.)

Foil applied to the first canvas over the black underpainting

Foil applied to the first canvas over the black underpainting

I waited overnight, and then brushed off the loose silver leaf, and then put a glossy acrylic medium over the foil to seal it, ready for the painting I’ll be doing next.  The medium didn’t work as I thought it would – it puddled on top of the foil, since the foil isn’t absorbant in any way.

acrylic medium puddling  up on top of the foil

acrylic medium puddling up on top of the foil

The second canvas

The second canvas I underpainted with blue and red for a different painting.  Rather than waiting for it to dry and then coating the canvas with glue… I thought I was being clever, and applied the foil to the wet paint.  This really wasn’t a good idea, because the paint took a LOT longer to dry – and I started touching it too soon, breaking the foil.

foil applied to the red and blue painted canvas

foil applied to the red and blue painted canvas

The third canvas

Since the paint-as-glue technique didn’t seem to be working, I went out to a different shop and picked up the foil adhesive (which has a REALLY long ‘wet’ time and stays tacky forever!) and the foil sealer. I took my third canvas, painted it black like the first one, then applied the adhesive. When it was tacky (within half an hour) I carefully (way more carefully than the previous two attempts) applied the foil to the areas I wanted foiled.

Step 2 – Painting

The third canvas

Silver painting work in progress

Silver painting work-in-progress

Here’s the painting as a work-in-progress, where I have painted in the foreground hill, the background rock wall, the background trees, and the foreground tree. I love that in the photo you can even see the shine of the foil through the blue paints – though the colours aren’t as intense as I would like… This might require more work (on another painting…!)

Dachshund tunnel bed

On Facebook I’m part of a group devoted to people who are devoted to their dachshunds, and a while ago a fellow member posted about a bed with an attached blanket which created a bit of a cave for her dogs.  Dachshunds love to dig and tunnel, and one of mine seems especially keen on burying himself in blankets, with just his tail sticking out.

One of my dogs showing off his new bed while his brother looks on!

One of my dogs showing off his new bed while his brother looks on!

When I got a new pillow, I decided to make a similar kind of ‘tunnel bed’ for my dogs, mostly so I could have a little bed near my computer when I work.  (Of course, they still have their bedroom beds too! Spoiled dogs!)

It’s basically just a zippered pillowcase, with a lined blanket over top, and stitched down in the side seams.  The top blanket isn’t as tall as the pillowcase, but much wider, allowing for more wiggle room underneath.  I used quilting flannel (flannelette) leftover from the dog blankets I made last year for gifts, and from a quilt I’m making for myself as well! The pillow slips into the zippered pillowcase, but can come out easily for laundering.

One of my dogs showing off his new bed while his brother looks on!

One of my dogs showing off his new bed while his brother looks on!