Sunday, 27 March 2011

A Catch-Up Post about some ATC Exchanges

This is a little bit of a catch-up post about some ATCs trades.  I belong to Surface Design Group and recently participated in a Metallic Theme ATC Exchange with a group of people located in the US, Scotland, the Netherlands and Australia.  Their ATCs have started to arrive and I think most have received mine, so I thought I would post about the ones I made.

This is a fabric-based group so it is generally preferable to use fabric as an important element in any exchange although there are no restrictions about what else is added!  The colours in the top photo are a lot more accurate than the photo of all nine of them

I had some stretchy very bright green stretchy sequin fabric (I think it is mostly used for dance costumes) which I toned down by painting it with a few coppery and olive shades of Lumiere paint.  It is layered with a felt and then cardboard backing and the metallic embellishments are beads on metallic wires and squares of copper sheet that I heated, cut, embossed and distressed with black paint.  I thought I would make the copper edges less sharp by folding over all the edges but it created a nightmare for my sewing machine when I came to stitch them on!  I eventually finished them although by sewing some of them on by hand because I got so tired of the thread being cut on the metal.

I also belong to a Beeswax Collage group and a small group of us are exchanging "bee" themed beeswaxed ATCs.  I had to join that one seeing as my name (Deborah) is Hebrew for bee.  My ATCs turned out quite a bit darker than I intended as I wasn't thinking about how much a black background would darken the dictionary book page once it was covered in beeswax and made semi-transparent.  I have stamped stencilled, coloured (with inks), machine-stitched, foiled the edges and added a little square sequin and seed bead in the corner.  The orange layer is just background to the scan!
I'll share the ATCs I receive back once they have all arrived.  And now I am off to paint - still inspired by last weekend's workshop and wanting to play while I remember Flora's techniques!

Monday, 21 March 2011

I've got a Whole Lot of "Flora" Love Happening!

Flora Bowley with her two paintings

This afternoon I got home from a totally wonderful two and a half day intuitive painting workshop ( in the Western Australian bush ) with the incredibly talented Flora BowleyFlora is a fantastic teacher and her love of painting just oozes from her. She has a beautiful serene way of encouraging each person to open up to possibilities and to have trust in themselves and in the process.  Seriously good fun too!  My camera was playing up so I only have a few photos but this one is last night when we were sitting out on the deck at sunset taking turns to talk about our paintings.  Flora is standing next to the two wonderful canvases she painted as her demonstration pieces during the workshop.  I don't think of myself as being drawn to the colour red but the red painting in particular was absolutely stunning!

Flora's paintings underway (on the easel & central wood pole)
I painted on 30 inch square canvases and it was the first time I have painted on anything that big (and although I haven't finished either of my two) I am surprised how much I enjoyed the freedom of big paint strokes.  Most of the group painted on even bigger ones and Flora reassured us that it was a case of the bigger the better with her painting style.  I'm looking forward (already!) to getting back to my two - maybe next weekend, with a bit of luck.  I had taken a photo of each of my canvases at some point during Saturday and I almost didn't recognise them today when I uploaded the photos as they changed so much the next day.  A good reminder to document the process occasionally!

Michelle, Dixie and Jayne on the deck taking a break from painting!
Donna Jensen organised the workshop and it was fabulous to meet her and all the other girls - it was one of those incredible situations where a bunch of strangers (only two of us had any sort of previous in-person connection) come together and have a wonderful time.  I've included a couple of photos that I took at one stage when nearly everybody was inside getting a cuppa so that you can see what a wonderful outdoor "studio" we had (although we all got a big lesson about kookaburra aggression!).

The setting for our painting workshop!
Special thanks to Flora and Donna - I had a wonderful time!