I’m naming all the stars

I'm naming all the stars - poured acrylic painting

I’m naming all the stars – poured acrylic painting

A few months ago an acquaintance started a Craft Swap – the basic idea is that every month a theme is selected, and we have a week or so to opt-in to that theme…. once she has all of the committed participants, she pairs people up randomly, and we have a month to make a craft (any medium) on that theme for the other person. We then arrange between ourselves where and when to exchange the craft (with the intention of it being near the end of the month).

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Painted heraldic banner

A&S display at Avacal Sergeant Trials, with my device banner on the end

A&S display at Avacal Sergeant Trials, with my device banner on the end

As I mentioned in my previous post, I made a banner with my device (which has yet to be approved…) for the Artisan’s Village at Sargeant Trials. I have a super-quick post today to show off the making-of.

First attempt – silk

Transferring the pattern to grey cotton canvas

Transferring the pattern to grey cotton canvas

I started off with the intention of making a silk banner – I had expected to have the “village” outside, and thought a pretty fluttering banner would be lovely. I used silk salvaged from a used blouse. This is the same silk blouse I re-used for my earlier Jorvik-style silk hood earlier this summer.

The design was enlarged on a photocopier and paper was taped together to make a large version. I transferred  the design using chalk transfer paper and a rotary transfer tool. It worked pretty well, and I hoped to cover all of the chalk lines with my gutta.


Painting gold gutta on white silk

Painting gold gutta on white silk

For my resist, I used gold gutta from a tube… I had thought I had black gutta at home, but I didn’t. After this point I actually went out to the art supply store and bought some black, but I figured I’d stick with the gold….

I used an embroidery hoop – having to move it a few times because my design was larger than the hoop.


Testing the gutta with plain water - lots of leaking :(

Testing the gutta with plain water – lots of leaking 😦

Once I had my design fully resisted – I tested the lines using plain water and my brush – but there was spreading on ALL of my gutta lines! None of them were going to hold back the dye! I wasn’t sure what was wrong – but thought perhaps there was fabric softener or something on my fabric, so I figured I’d gently wash it in the sink……….

Big mistake. I guess I needed to press the gutta first, because as soon as I washed it – all the gutta started to peel off!

So, I abandoned the silk banner project for the time being (I might try a silk meant for painting; hopefully that will work better too!) and decided to go for acrylic paints instead of silk painting.

Painted banner

Beginning to paint the grey canvas with acrylic paint mixed with fabric medium

Beginning to paint the grey canvas with acrylic paint mixed with fabric medium

I transferred the design the same way to some grey cotton canvas, and mixed regular acrylic paints with textile medium, and painted it on the canvas.

I didn’t totally love the look – it seemed a bit ‘soft’ without the gutta resist, so I took the black ‘puff paint’ similar to the stuff we used when we did the silk painting class at Coronation, and went over the lines.

I also made a soft linoleum block of the ermine design for the “counter-ermine” print in the black area.

I cut the device out with pinking shears to hopefully resist ravelling, and strung the banner up on a rectangular wooden “dowel” kind of thing, with eye hooks on either end to string up. Initially I thought it would hang outside my pavilion, but instead it hung off the end of my table. I realized with that – that it’s a bit small… but I think I’ll wait until the College of Heralds passes my device before printing up another, larger (and perhaps silk) version.

A&S display at Avacal Sergeant Trials, with my device banner on the end

A&S display at Avacal Sergeant Trials, with my device banner on the end

The finished banner on display at the Sergeant Trials in August to the left. The large banner hanging behind my display is the banner for the Emerald Rose – part of the regalia I have on loan as the current Arts & Sciences Champion for Montengarde.

Shrunken head

… a self-portrait on shrink plastic

self-portrait in pencil crayon on shrink plastic before shrinking

self-portrait in pencil crayon on shrink plastic before shrinking

When starting to work with shrink plastic I read that if I wanted to use coloured pencil, that it would be a good idea to lightly sand the surface before starting. I had NO idea what I wanted to draw, so while looking around my craft room my gaze landed on a self-portrait I had recently painted, and I decided to give that a whirl – mostly to try out the technique more than anything else.

I sanded down the plastic, and then sketched out the portrait pretty loosely (having thought that the colours would intensify, but also thinking that details would be lost) with two shades of blue, white, and a tiny bit of pink pencil crayon.

I ended up using a full sheet of plastic, since I couldn’t really figure out where to cut it… again – this was just to try out the technique.

When the end result came out of the oven, I figured I’d also test out bending the plastic around a form… and bent it around a can sitting on the counter – so it sort of is a portrait that stands by itself!

Some of the other projects I've worked on recently

The portrait after baking along with other projects I worked on at the same time.

While the colours intensified a great deal (I actually am a bit disappointed how much the pink came through) I thought that the detail of the shading marks would blend together – and they didn’t… I don’t really love how I can see every pencil line.. though it’s definitely a different kind of self-portrait!

Painted Mjölnir bowl

Mjölnir bowl

Mjölnir bowl (hard to photograph; it’s so shiny!)

I’m currently the chair of the Social Committee at work, and one of our projects is an annual event in April. Last year we chose to do a pottery-painting party which was hugely successful. We brought in mugs along with paint and tools, the staff painted their mugs, and then we took them to one of those “paint your own pottery” places to have them glazed and fired. Continue reading

A weekend of art

Just like my last post from the April 12th art show, on the weekend of April 26-27 I enjoyed another art show – a few actually!

Saturday, April 26 I started off at the Calgary Community Painters Society show at the Triwood Community Centre. 

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I really thought that the encaustic cows were great – but I don’t like cows!

From there I headed to the Calyx show

Here are a few of my favourite pieces:

(Oh. and I love how the bright lime vehicle was parked right behind the bright green sign!)

Then on Sunday the 27th, my friend and I went back to the Calyx show. They have different artists each day, so there were different things to see. Interestingly enough, there were several artists who had been at the Calgary Community Painters Society show the day before – though there weren’t too many duplicate paintings.

On Sunday I ended up purchasing two paintings. Interestingly enough, they were done by the same artist who I already have another painting by. Now comes the struggle of trying to figure out where to HANG them!

Hopefully there will be more shows coming, and maybe I’ll try to get some photos of my new acquisitions to share too!