Sunday, December 25, 2016

More webs a-tangling, and a spider in a peach tree.

Well, I finally managed to retrieve my Grumbacher palette knives - I think the frogs eventually found more fun climbing the cherry trees overhead, as the cherries are ripening beautifully at last.
And I started using them, the biggest ones are great for slathering stuff through stencils over large areas, but I also had fun using them with their water-miscible oil paints.  Being me, a palette knife risks being not only a tool, but a part of my "stash".  But these are still too good to use, so I grabbed an old worn small-bladed one, cut 2 of the blade shape of the big one and glued to each side of the small blade.  The original trowel blade is at the top, the small one with one piece of matboard so far:
Knowing I wanted to do some stringing webbing, I used the crop-o-dile to cut nicks all round the cardboard (and tested the Original discreetly as you can see near the handle, for future reference).  I then started collaging painting and stamping both sides.  The "back" side also got strips of ribbon, washi tape, diecut skulls, stamps from Seth Apter, and the stamp phrase from Rubber Dance being heat embossed.
 This picture of the "front" side is at an unfinished stage, and my camera files AND paint edit programmes are all being as glitchy as me lately, so I can't even enhance the one pic I took of the front side progress.  But there are collaged elements, diecut offcuts, more of Seth's stamps and more paint.

 I added this chippie skull from Things To Alter after giving it a glaze (not a wash) using Grumbacher's Gel 531 Transparentizer, with a drop of van dyk brown acrylic paint.
I've been playing round with the Gel 531 medium quite a bit, and there'll be more in another post this month, but look at the different it makes to a very opaque colour, compared with adding water for a wash.  After stamping in Indian ink another Seth Apter stamp on a white ATC card, I painted the stripe down the middle in undiluted van dyk brown acrylic paint.  Being a very opaque paint, you cannot see the stamp underneath.  Dipped the brush briefly in water to do the wash top-right, then with a fresh brush mixed some Gel 531 transparentizer with a drop of the paint to do bottom-left area.  With the glaze you get a fuller sense of the colour, and the under-stamping seems to stand out better too.  After it dried, I inked up the worm and bee stamps (viva las vegas stamps perhaps) with indian ink again, and "framed" the card.

  The glaze stood out far better on the skull than a wash would have, without reducing the impact of the cut detailing.
The skull was glued over the collage with a couple of small peacock feathers as vestigial ears, the centre line of each feather crossing the eye sockets.  A mohair yarn was wrapped between the notches I had cut on the outside edges, criss-crossing the front of the blade only, like a spider's web.  I wrapped (covered) a wire, mixing a multi-colour yarn with another intermittent-bubble yarn, then coiled the whole lot, and glued round the outside edge of the blade.  Just because I wanted to.

After sending you off to hunt for Christmas decorations in Shelob's lair a few days back, there had to be a spider here too.  This came from Eye Connect Crafts, was painted with mica washes then wrapped.  The weird peacocky bit IS vestigial feathers off a peacock, still on the skin.  Limbs are attached with brads, so they can crawl further up to its web :)
Below it are some prunings from my blackboy peach tree and some uneaten bones, webbed (wrapped) around the handle.

Still on yet more medication myself after/with a bout of not-whooping cough, my camera is struggling to make sense of what I see, and can only give me this as an overall picture of a (faked/enhanced) Altered Grumbacher Palette Knife: 

If you're not dying from spider bites during decoration-retrieval, we challenge you to web up your weird, link your creations here.. and be in for a chance to win goodies from this month's sponsor, Grumbacher  

Merry Christmas 👼

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