Monday, November 21, 2016

You Looking at Me?

Well, CT Nan saying hi and introducing a couple of wary "friends" who don't quiet seem to trust each other not one single bit!  Grumbacher is our fantastic sponsor this month and also next month and I used their awesome water mixable oil paints called Max.  I used a 4 x 4 homemade canvas made for me by my dad which made me smile.  The Art Sherpa, Cinnamon Cooney, on Youtube did this type of painting with acrylics and it was so fab I decided to try with the oils.  Check her out and subscribe; it is a fun and weirdly wonderful channel!

And yes my spider has 3 eyes and was supposed to have more (they do in real life I think?) but I ran out of room.  They are eyeing each other closely to see who blinks first but I think that they will become great pals by the end of the day!

Plenty of time to get your entries in to the Frog and then we can run over to your blog and pop in for a visit to leave you some love!  Remember, Grumbacher paints are up for the winner of November and December and they are sooo much fun to play with!
See ya soon if you get busy right now!

Thursday, November 17, 2016


Halloween's over for another year, the witches are mostly out on the land,S harvesting strange herbs.  That means fewer broomsticks in the skies
 Jumping over the moon?

Oh yes, pigs can fly or at least the ones bred in the UK

Of course this was all started by having Grumbacher as our sponsor this month, and Naughty Nan forwarding 3 tubes of water-soluble oil paints amongst other goodies!  When they say say wash up in soapy water, they mean SOAPY water - they're still oil-based after all.
I have never used oil paints. In my librarian days  I’d been around fine art books aplenty, and in the “olden days” oil paint was pretty much the only thing around for artists to use.  As a “fibre artist” I’m also familiar with plant dyes.  And they're all "demanding" and smelly, or poisonous, to work with.  So when I discovered mixed media, I embraced acrylics paint with joy.  Now I’ve been given oil paints, albeit water-soluble, to try out.  In one of those cheapo shops I found another brand, so I grabbed a box of them, and they’re just like cheapo acrylic paint tubes – even I can tell the difference!  The cheapos have already separated, with a layer of binders/whatever at the top before you finally get some pigmented stuff out.  Take a swipe with both brands on the palette knife, and the cheapo goes on erratically, runs out sooner, and when you do some sgraffito, the cheapos don’t show it where the colour density is thin.  Try blending 2 similar colours from each brand, the cheapos go mud, Grumbacher creates a new colour.  I played with just how one can move the good stuff round, blend it into still-damp gesso (oops, thought it was dry!) .  Totally new product, and I’m enjoying the  play-experiment time.  Meantime I’m also enjoying the different consistency from acrylic paint.  Adding water is also fun with the Grumbacher, hopeless with the cheapo stuff.  So here are the tombstones, using only Grumbacher:
Then I dry-brushed some iridescent pearl acrylic over the bat body.  Tsk tsk - acrylic over oils which is the right way with house paints, but a no-no here.

Oh No!  One of the flying Piggies must have come afoul of some witch, hungry for bacon and leg roast!
In one small snap you can see almost all the ways I physically "texturised" the canvas.
A stencil with matt gel medium straight onto the canvas before any colour was used.  Various acrylic paints drizzled, sprayed, water-spritzed.  Die-cut trees given texture by applying Grumbacher's water-soluble oil paint, as are the mdf tombstones.  The witches broomsticks are blackboy peach prunings, with ends splintered.  Elsewhere stamps inked with Stazon went on.
I managed to re-capture my Grumbacher palette knives from the frogs long enough to enjoy the large sweeps with the big one to get the gel medium through the small gaps of the stencil, and playing with the oilpaint textures with another.  But as soon as my back was turned... I tracked the painty smears through the house, outside, but lost them somewhere under the borage plants.

Splatter Proof die - Seth Apter-The Altered Page / Spellbinders
Treeline die - Sizzix
Tombstones (mdf) - retrocafeart
Skull flourish corner - Creative Embellishments
flying pigs - Things To Alter
Wicked Witch feet under house - viva las vegas stamps (heat embossed)
Ink splatter - Cherry Pie Arts
Spinners set: Numbers spin because it looked like star constellations and their "gps" co-ordinates), Faded fragments set: Star, Screen print - Seth Apter-The Altered Page or Impression Obsession
Sept 2016 boho stencil - Stencil Girl Club
And of course, trawl the Grumbacher site, explore the whole range, the inspiration and the tutorials

Meantime Evil Froggy is being run ragged even though 31DoH is over - keep your off-beat, dark, weird makes coming here - remember, no cute wide-eyed girlies being sweet - the world is swamped with opportunities elsewhere for that!

Monday, November 7, 2016

Time for October's Winner!

Thanks again for all the participation last month; we all saw and appreciated and were inspired by all the fantastic projects entered! 
And now without delay the winner is


Please email us your mailing info to
    with the information to receive your winnings!

CT Nan here with a delayed reveal of the outside of my book of potions and goodies all painted up with Grumbacher Max water mixables oil paints.  I stamped Tim Holtz's Halloween set with white ink that let some of the dark red paint seep through it in places.  A book binding from some Halloween paper and a vintage digital image from my Etsy store.  I added some Derwent water color pencils then went over them with a wet paint brush to the edges of the paper and the image.

 Please forgive the pink watermark, dear CT Anne! I have temporarily lost my white watermark...honest!  Please get those entries in for some fabulous Grumbacher Max water mixable oil paints and a secret happy!  The winner of November and December will receive winnings from Grumbacher, our fabulous sponsor this month!

Link Up with the Frogster HERE and share your wicked makes!

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

It's November and Grumbacher is Here to Sponsor Us!

Thanks to all who visited and commented on our projects for the 31 Days of Halloween!  We had a blast and enjoyed every spine tingling moment of it!  Now we are all a tingle over our brand new sponsor for November and December!  Grumbacher has given the team some wonderful paints and supplies to work and play with and that means that the winner of November and the winner of December's challenges will also receive Grumbacher goodies to play with!

Since 1905, Grumbacher has been a brand trusted by students, professors, art conservationists, and professional artists throughout the US.  Max Grumbacher established his company’s humble beginnings by hand making brushes at his kitchen table in New York City.  By the 1960s Grumbacher became an art materials empire offering artists nearly every supply imaginable. Today, the Grumbacher brand is owned by Chartpak, Inc., a creative products company committed to adhering to the impeccable standards set by Max Grumbacher.  Chartpak Inc. welcomes the responsibility for ensuring Grumbacher’s continued legacy as an American tradition. We lead the way by setting strict standards of exemplary quality and consistent performance for our materials. Our standards of quality and excellence have resulted in the Grumbacher brand becoming an American tradition.
We take great satisfaction in knowing that artists trust our brand when creating their artwork. Our multi-media products, educational services, and online artists’ community (thalo) exemplify Grumbacher’s commitment to growing and adapting to the ever-changing environment of the fine and graphic art industries.
We take pride in being an American art material manufacturer and a leader in the industry.

Now it is time for us to show you the fun we have had trying the some fabulous new products to us and some more traditional ones!  We want to start out with CT Granne's amazing utterly fabulous painting using the Grumbacher Max Oil Paints that are easily cleaned with water so no horrid fumes while working with it!

CT Nan did an 11 x14 canvas titled "Rivers of Tears and Tornado of Emotions" also using the wonderfully easy to work with Max Oil Paints by Grumbacher!

CT Kim is bringing us...

a snippet stolen from Evil Frogster's mangy claws...

CT Anne... is still suffering from all that pink, and Evil Froggy is having trouble getting her Grumbacher palette knives back from the real frogs.  He may have the bigger motorcycle, but those bigger palette knives are fantastic at spreading petrol through their engines in a hurry!

We hope you will check out the links to Grumbacher and see the vast array of supplies that they carry!  And of course, we want to see what you have to inspire us with this month!  As usual, the theme in "Anything Goes" just no cute but show us your oddities, weird stuff, dark, goth, steampunk, oh my, all the alternatives that are out there!  And remember we so accept 100% digital works, also!  But the catch is you have to enter to win.....not a real big catch but a necessary one!  The winner of each month will receive Grumbacher  supplies fresh from the store!  So once Evil Froggy is back with his accomplice CT Anne, we are going to let him handle all his inbox entries...sooooo, it is up to you now!