Art du Jour 58

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Just before I went to bed last night I took a little stretched canvas and a couple of hard plastic stencils and some gesso and a pallet knife and mucked about applying texture with raised bits randomly placed.

If that was the beginning of a novel I believe it might be a contender for worst first sentence ever. But if you’ve ever worked with the above mentioned stuff I expect it made some sense.

The method to my madness was knowing that thick gesso would take a long time to dry, and sleeping through that process seemed like a great plan. In the morning, on all the dry bumpy areas I rubbed distress ink with an upside down raised stamp pad.

I am so happy with how this turned out! The predominant colour is rook red, and you can still see the canvas texture in a lot of places. I resisted the (always strong) urge to stamp bugs and butterflies everywhere.  I spray clear acrylic sealer on these things outside and let them dry out there, running the risk of real bugs getting stuck on them. That spray is probably lethal so who knows what I’m killing in the name of art. Hopefully not myself.

There is something very warm and relaxing about these colours, with all the brown, moss green and gold.

Anyway!  I’m done and calling it a success.  Happy mellow Tuesday.

Art du Jour 44

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Want to see how I got from a blank canvas to this?

I started off gluing miscellaneous weird things like magazine faces, tissue paper and printed pieces, using white glue mixed with water, applied to the canvas and both sides of the paper.  This ended up being too wet, took forever to dry, and made the canvas warp.  Live and learn.
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Next comes paint mixed with clear gel medium, so that nothing gets too obliterated and things show  through.  Sometimes I have a definite colour scheme in mind, but not this time.  When that’s dry I do some touch up to the faces with water colour pencil crayons, or oil pastels, or ink, or even charcoal sometimes.
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Then I start with the stencils and ink stamps. This is where the layers really begin. Add some, let them dry, come back later, decide what it needs, add more.
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This needed something to bring it together, so I did some leaves and some circles that look like bubbles.  Like everywhere.  Then it needed orange applied with a sponge.  And some bugs.

Knowing when to stop is good.  Walking away and coming back gives my brain a rest and I can be more objective.

Until VOILA!  Sign it, spray it, take a picture and blog it.
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From this one I learned how to darken a sort of border blending oil pastels.  I learned that next time I will take the paper pieces right to the edges so I don’t have to deal with the empty spaces there. And I learned that bug stamps when overlapped create a strange kind of lace effect.

Next I would like to do something fluffy in pastels.  Maybe without any bugs.   But that’s as far ahead as I like to plan, because my plans rarely work out and whatever vision I have in the beginning turns into something else entirely.    It’s  more fun to just go where the picture takes me.

Just Jazzy 156

“There is something in the autumn that is native to my blood—
Touch of manner, hint of mood;
And my heart is like a rhyme,
With the yellow and the purple and the crimson keeping time.”

(Bliss Carman)

jazzy 156 001

Good for you if you never out-grow the inclination to jump gleefully into a pile of autumn leaves. It’s a magnificent way to feel.

Compositions Circa 1928 (Part One)

I have a scribbler that belonged to my mother in 1928 in which she wrote stories for English Composition.  She would have been eleven years old.  They are done with a fountain pen, or with a pencil, or sometimes with a combination of both.  The pencil lead broke, the inkwell went dry – who knows.  The penmanship is sometimes exquisite, and sometimes a hurriedly scrawled mess with a careless spelling mistake or two.  I think these must have been assigned subjects, because some of them are less enthusiastically done than others.  No matter.   I’m just thrilled to be able to get a small glimpse of the child my mother used to be.

A Tramp In The Woods

“This is a very good year for nuts, isn’t it Marguerite?”  I asked one fine October morning.  “Let’s go to the bush after Saturday’s work is done.”  This was agreed to at once.

The Saturday’s work was done in a few hours.  And away we went after making up a small lunch.

The leaves were very pretty.  “If we would stand still or even sit here for awhile we would be covered in leaves,” I happened to say.  “Indeed we would”, said Marguerite.

We saw very many small animals and at last caught a small white rabiit that was lame.  It was a very nice pet.  After lunch we visited the Maple Syrup Camp, an old cave, and an owl’s home.

At last we were on our way home with the rabbit.  We were all as hungry as bears.  But as happy as larks.

*****

A Tramp Coming To Our Home

One fine summer afternoon mother asked me to stay at home while she went to town.  I said I would.  As my favourite pastime was reading, I sat behind the table and read a very interesting book called “Edna’s Escape”.  In a little while I heard a rap at the door.  It made me shiver for I had been reading about the awful time Edna had been having.  All I could do was to go to the door and this I dreaded.  But at last I gained courage and went.

There in front of me was an ugly tramp.  Mother often said that tramps are dangerous.  I made up my mind to take no chances.  “Well my girl, you are a regular housekeeper.  What are you going to do when you are big?” the tramp began.

“Well I don’t think that’s for me to tell”  I said.  The tramp frowned at me.  “But what do you want?” I said.

“A match, a piece of bread, and any other things you have”, said the tramp.  “What do you want with all these things?”  said I.  “I want the match to light my pipe, and the bread to eat, of course”  “But where is your pipe?” I said.  The tramp turned and walked to the other side of the door and then he said “Get me the bread.  Then I will tell.”  I went and got a loaf of bread.  He smacked his lips and said “Give it to me.”  I gave it to him.  He turned around very quickly and said as he went away “I’ve got the bread now.  I’ll come back for the matches another day.”  He then disappeared down the lane.

I thought he had played a good trick on me.  I never saw him again, nor he never came back for his matches.

Margaret Elaine Scott, 1928.