Wednesday, 9 May 2012
My First Canvas
At the March meeting of the Redditch Craft Club, Sue showed us how to do a canvas. As I had never attempted one before, I had no idea what I would need, so took nothing with me except tools. I planned to find out how to do it, then finish it off at home.
The canvas that Sue provided was 12" x 9" and was already gessoed. Following Sue's design, I painted the canvas brown with some emulsion paint, then stuck on some old music paper and some paper with text all over it. Luckily, I found some "titles" on the papers, to add visual interest. Sue very kindly cut out the bird and cage for me, by hand, as I didn't have that die at the time. She provided a length of lace, the key, the die-cut butterfly, some buttons, the heart frame and picture, and the papers for the clock, tickets and animals. She had brought some beautiful large artificial flowers, but I decided not to use them, as they were bright blue. Once I had stuck on the background papers, I decided that I needed more time to think about where I was going with the rest of the project.
I have a 12" x 12" pad of scrapbooking papers from Papermania called "Nostalgia Warm", which are in a lovely soft vintage style, mostly in browns and pinks, but with some toning darker colours. I had a fun day die-cutting the papers with my Tattered Florals die, then inking, stamping and sticking them together to make 12 very different flowers. I used buttons with the shanks cut off for the centres of the 2 largest flowers, and some beads and bling for the centres of the smaller open flowers. Two of the flowers are "grunge roses", made with 3 or 4 layers of the medium-sized 6-petal die-cut. To go with the flowers, I die-cut some Tattered Leaves from the green paper in the pad. Finally I smeared some gold RubnBuff over the flowers and leaves, to tie them all together.
I thought the paper and acetate clock looked a bit small and lost, and I wanted it to have movable Tim Holtz hands, so I decided it needed to be mounted onto something. I found some wooden "washers" in my stash, that I had bought because I thought they would come in handy one day. I painted one with a gold paint-dabber, then blasted it with my heat gun, so that the bubbles in the paint popped and left a lovely dimpled texture. I covered the gold paint with black acrylic, waited a few moments, then wiped off most of the black, leaving it just in the dimples, to accentuate the texture. I joined a length of brass chain into a circle, then stuck it on as a frame. I stuck on the paper and acetate clock, then added some game spinners as hands.
I didn't really like the heart frame, but I didn't have anything better to use, so I tarted it up with some alcohol inks, bling and gold RubnBuff, and added a "collar" made from a piece of plastic net that some cheese came in. I coloured this with alcohol inks and gold RubnBuff as well.
I used alcohol inks to colour one of the buttons, the key and the "screw" brads for the bird cage, and alcohol ink mixatives to colour the crystal stick-pins. I used some jewellery findings and chain to join the key to the bird cage, and to make the crystal bead "dangler". I distressed the lace with some pink and brown inks, stuck it across the middle of the canvas, and stapled the ends to the wood. I used some jute cord and a broken bead to decorate one of the buttons, and then everything was ready to be stuck on.
I couldn't decide which of the flowers I liked best, so in the end I used them all! I altered Sue's design a bit, putting some of the flowers at the bottom left, to try to make the canvas look more balanced. I moved the die-cut butterfly up to the top, so that it didn't hide the word "Remembrance" on the music paper, and I added the metal butterfly, but I mostly followed Sue's design.
The canvas was fun to make, and I do quite like the result, but I hope next time I will have more confidence, and be able to "do my own thing", instead of using someone else's design.