Time just seems to be flying by, weeks disappearing into months. One happening that remains constant are the cycles of life and also natures ability to recover. Back in April, the lady who owns the place we live asked if I would like to build a vegetable garden where some old decking lay. An unusable part of the garden that needed a facelift. One thing I seems to do is bring back old gardens and give them new life wherever I have lived, be it here in Ireland, in Spain and in Morocco. I was up for the challenge. While the space was being cleared and new soil added, it was time to decide on a plan. The property was scoured for reusable resources. old fencing posts, old decking, tree rings, stones etc. Willow twigs were cut to make fences and plants were bought from garden centres. Hopefully my choices will grow into an amazing colourful feature. Continue reading Green fingers…again
I have been super busy these last weeks and months diverting time to a collaboration between myself and my daughter. Her long time dream of creating one of a kind handmade hats and masques has become possible with all the at home time given to us during the pandemic. Combining our skills seemed the most beneficial route even though we didn’t know if we would be compatible creators. Seems we had no need to worry. Wildly Created will soon come online and our beautiful accessories will be available to browse and purchase. Exciting times. Continue reading Wildly Created
Shibori dates back to the 8th century in Japan where traditionally indigo was used to dye fabrics. There are different forms which with folding, stitching, compressing, binding and twisting the fabrics, form an array of designs and unique patterns. I adore working with silk and have been making hand painted scarves for many years. I like to explore new ways of applying dyes and came across the Arashi Shibori technique a few years ago. Arashi means storm and the patterns formed using this pole wrapped method create designs like driving rain. It is at its best when used on long pieces of cloth. Since the late 19th century, Japanese artisans working 2 together, could wrap up to four 12 yard kimonos on 12 foot poles saving a lot of work on older methods and techniques. This is perfect for silk scarves. Once I had got the gist of the process I played around with it, twisting and folding the fabric as I wrapped it, this created amazing feather like patterns. I try to keep to no more than four colours which in turn when blended will form other colours, these must be thought about too so they are all compatible. Continue reading Arashi Shibori silks
I am sure I am not alone in this timelessness…no idea what day or date it is and the days seems to swirl by as weeks disappear into months. My idea to do a weekly blog post doesn’t seem to be reachable at the moment as other things take over. That really isn’t a big deal as I set that goal, and goals can be stretched and changed. After more than a year of lockdown, there are some really challenging issues that seems to come in waves of mental torture. Nature is my usual escape route, thankfully spring is springing which gives lots to marvel at. I find it difficult to settle to my creative pursuits. New goodies to play with helps though. I have some luscious silk tops and merino wool which I may incorporate into my textile works. I would like to try felting and use them in that, but that’s for another time… I found a UK supplier for silk fabrics and dyes instead of one in the US and I am happy with the quality. Continue reading For the love of Silk
It has been a super busy time here with gardening so little else has been done. A disused old greenhouse got a facelift and a veg garden planned. A bit late I know but the lady we rent our apartment from asked if we would give her garden a facelift. We live on a corner of an old demense with native woodland around us and a view to the sea. Delighted at the challenge and a few gorgeous day’s weather, we charged headlong into it. I sat down this morning and photographed a few finished pieces of mixed media work as promised in my last post. I have a few new ones started too using both modelling paste and marble paste. Continue reading Mermaids and more
Last year I decided I wanted to delve into more textural and sculptural effects for my mixed media work, it has taken until now to gather sufficient supplies to have a range to experiment with, to research and to decide what works for me. I can tell you, it was a minefield initially as there are just so many mediums out there and they all differ with brands too. I also am a bit of an alchemist (especially in the kitchen) so I liked the idea of making my own mediums from the raw minerals etc. To do that, one really needs to go back in history to see how things were done by the masters. Hence, marble powder was on my hit list. That arrived with my order from Germany last week. So I now have modelling pastes, texture pastes, crackle pastes, gesso’s, marble paste and air dried clays. All rather delicious!. Continue reading Acrylic pastes, gesso and texture
My parcels arrived from Germany and I am super pleased with the service and products. Over the last few days we did some product tests and experiments and I have almost finished the mixed media works from a few weeks ago.
We taped up some mixed media boards and used one for gels and one for pastes. Acrylic paints in neon, pearlescent and opaque were used along with acrylic inks, some were used under the mediums, some over and some mixed in to see how they behaved.
These are the gel mediums: Golden Soft Gel Matte, Galeria Black Lava Texture Gel, Liquitex String Gel, Impasto Gel Mat and Impasto Gel Gloss, Galeria Glass beads and Golden Glass beads also the Iridescent Medium. Continue reading Testing acrylic gel mediums
This week I have been working on a collaboration project which we hope to start to bring online in a month or two so keep an eye out for Wildly Created’s amazing products coming soon on a device near you…and in an Etsy shop. Also, I have been busy with my mixed media pieces. After the 60 x 20 cm “Fishing for Compliments” piece I posted about last week, I decided to go much smaller and incorporating a range of foraged and found materials and embellishments. I have some 10 x 10 cm canvases and some mixed media boards. I am using my new favourite mediums… modelling paste, crackle paste and glass bead gel until I receive a delivery of other products. Everything is of course taking much longer these days and increasingly harder to source with shipping costs and Brexit, plus Covid changing guidelines and related costs. Those of us living in Europe are looking to other European countries more than the usual UK favourites. If I find any websites I feel worth recommending, I will share. Evans Art in Dublin have been wonderful, a family fun business, reasonably priced and shipping times. Currently looking at German sites, but a lot depends on the VAT which I am noticing way more sites than before are not including VAT with prices, and shipping costs are by quote only. Many have reasonably high minimum order limits too which can be prohibitive for the smaller businesses and creatives. Yep, the struggle is real folks. Continue reading It’s often in the little things
So here is the finished first experimental piece combining modelling paste, glass bead gel, crackle paste, home-made air dried paper clay, acrylic inks, iridescent medium, acrylic satin varnish and found objects from the beach on stretched canvas 60 x 20 cms. The piece is more vibrant than the camera shows with a lovely shimmer from the iridescent medium and inks. Continue reading Fishing for compliments