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Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Things I have discovered recently

1.) I am really liking these kind of blog pots. You know, the ones I’ve been doing recently, where I cover several points/areas/events in one blog post.  All of them somewhat more on the short and sweet side!

So often, some of the smaller thoughts and events fall by the wayside because they don’t make up a whole blog post and in my case it often means, that I just don’t post!

They are also much faster to do, which seems to help me to post more regularly too!

I see more of those in my future!


2.) My latest finished painting for Lifebook 2014. I had so much fun with the inky, vibrant, splattery goodness!



3.) Baby wipes are my new best friend in the art studio! I might be the last to catch on, but they are awesome when it comes to cleaning brayers, stamps, stencils, general wiping of spills, drips and such.


{Oh, how I love it when even the cleaning rags are pretty!}


But not only that, I have recently discovered that they can assist me in the kind of blending I love.

When you use acrylics a lot, which I do, they become a little “plastic-y” when they dry. Meaning they create a slightly slick surface. Especially when you use extenders, then that can happen even more! Sometimes that’s a good thing, but often it just means that the consequent layers of paint can slide around a bit.

I also like to use colored graphite pencils for much of my “pull it all together” shading on a face. They are subtle, smudge able and allow me to build up nice layers. For the most part I use my trusty paper stumps for softening it all out, or just my fingers.

But, every so often, the above mentioned plasticy thing, that the acrylics do, gets in the way and the graphite settles unevenly and instead of looking subtle, it ends up looking streaky and just weird.

Enter the baby wipe! I discovered a few days ago, that a gentle, feather light smudging with a baby wipe on my finger tip gives me back that evening out power! It has to be really gentle, or you’ll take the whole layer off!  I love it!


4.) Gelli Plate Printing. I’ve been itching to try it, but I just haven’t gotten around to it. I like the idea, I’m just not sure that I will end up using it all that much. The other day I was reading something and “hectographs” were mentioned. So, that set off an aha moment for me and I did a search for homemade hectographs/gelli plates and low and behold, there are lots of clever people out there who have this figured out!

Here are some recipes, if you want to try it for yourself:

Shaz in Oz’s original recipe

The Frugal Crafter’s recipe (permanent gelli plate)

Cat Sadowski’s recipe  (for a stickier gelli plate)

I’ll be posting my little experiments at some point. I got a little side-tracked with some ladies that want to be painted!


5.) The current state of my work surface paper.



What you can’t see is all the glimmering  from the various mists that settled on the paper too. Intuitive collage paintings in the making, every time I work on there and wipe something, smear something, scribble with a pen to get it going, drip, overspray, test the opacity of a particular paint, roll the excess off my brayer ... it all goes on here and becomes it’s own component for future pieces of art! I love it!

Not to mention that hardly anything every goes to waste that way!


What have you discovered lately?

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Birgit Kerr