Tuesday, 23 February 2016

The joy of Art in a Tin

I have been making and teaching Altered Tins for a few years and each time I do a workshop I'm so delighted by the work that is done by my learners.

Artwork in tins is a modern take on the little pocket Shrines of Ancient times.
These were the precious pieces that were used to store mementos and relics and were passed down through the generations to be treasured and adored.

In a nod to that tradition the tins become a hiding place for a treasure which has been worked by the artists hand. Precious slow stitches, a piece of a memory hidden within, a feeling from the artist's heart!

In April when I exhibit my work in France at Pour L'Amour du Fil I will be launching a small range of kits of tins with the inks to decorate them, vintage papers to decorate the inside of the tin and the beautiful textiles to embroider the artwork within.

The Heart kit will have a heart shaped tin and a very beautiful piece of Silk Brocade to embroider upon. It will come with the inks and applicators, beads, flowers and threads to decorate with.

The Circle Kit will come with the round tin and a piece of handmade silk and merino felt, the inks and applicators and a metal flower and leaf to decorate. It will also have threads and beads to decorate with.

It would be lovely to see you there or at another workshop soon. Pour L'Amour du Fil

Shiny and New: Coming up soon.

I've just got back from the Stitches Trade Show. Its been a lovely few days of looking at all the new products and talking to some of the designers and companies about all the exciting new ideas for the art and craft world.

Its a delight to be able to choose and bring some of these ideas back to you when I've had a chance to play with them and combine them in my own style to share with you.

I know some of you have been waiting for a while for the newsletter with the new workshops but I promise it will be with you soon with shiny new ideas and fabulous resources to work with. 

I will also have some lovely new things to sell. My new range of kits, new stencils, new kinds of paints and media for us to mix together to make all kinds of exciting art.

So watch this space and contact me if you'd like to be added to the newsletter and I will see if I can get it all together so that we can have some fun!

Friday, 19 February 2016

Pour L'Amour Du Fil

For the Love of Thread!

Click Here! Pour L'Amour Du Fil 

I have been invited to exhibit my work and teach workshops at this beautiful textile show in April at Nantes in the stunning Loire Valley in France. 

The show is run by Quilt Mania who publish the most wonderful textile books and Quilting Magazines.

There will be some amazing highlights at the show including exhibits from the Tokyo Quilt Festival, and artists from around the world including Yoko Saito from Japan, Linda Koenig from the USA as well as wonderful textile artists from Australia and Turkmenistan.

Representing the UK in addition to myself will be Karen Ruane and Val Holmes . There may be other names that will be announced nearer the time. There will be some fantastic suppliers and exhibitions.

I will be launching my new range of embroidery kits that feature heart and circle shaped tins which can be painted with alcohol inks and embroidered with hand dyed threads onto silk brocade and handmade felt. These will also be the kits that will feature in my workshops at the show. 

In my exhibition space I will be showing my Altered Books, Fabric Books, Altered Tins and sketchbooks as well as some of my other Mixed Media work. I will also be demonstrating some of the techniques in the Cut Shape Stitch book if there is time.

Paul my husband will be with me and will take lots of photos around the show to share with you so you can feel like you are there with me.   Paul Watkins Photography

Monday, 15 February 2016

The Moon!

I've been promising for ages to do a step by step tutorial on making and using circle stencils in an Art Journal.

If you'd like to follow along with this post you will see how simple it is to get some lovely effects with just a few circles cut from plastic and some black and white acrylic paint.

I started by cutting my stencil from Mylar and a Sizzix Circle Die but you could cut one from plastic by drawing around a cup, a small bowl or anything else in a variety of sizes. 
The thing that I like about this Sizzix die is that it cuts  3 perfect circles and that it is endlessly repeatable. You also get the perfect matching Masks. All very quick if everyone at a workshop wants to cut a set for themselves! Let me know in the comments if you'f like a post about using masks.

In my journal, I started by painting my page black. As usual, I had a  bit of white on the brush too so that I got a variety of shades of grey along with the black. This will give you a much more interesting background.

Now place the largest circle stencil in the top left side of the page and swirl paint around within the shape. It is good to keep the paint pretty dry on the brush to avoid the paint seeping through the edges. As you can see with mine, I didn't follow my advice! But all will be fine in the end. I never worry about these things. It is better to have some great texture than perfect edges. You can paint in the edges later if you go wrong.

I wanted to add some shading to the moon to give it more interest;
I stippled some black paint onto the moon with a dry brush and them used a scrunched up piece of tissue to take some paint off and add texture at the same time.

Next I added the water. For this I used the paint that was left on the brush to drag horizontal lines across the page.

And then dragged black across to add shadows, bring out the highlights and create the effect of the the moonlight on the water.

I then added a border with a stencil I made and a Stampendous butterfly stamp onto the moon. On the journal page at the top of this post you can see  that I have highlighted the details on the butterfly with a white gel pen and then used the same pen to add foliage to the foreground of the scene. I have also added stars to the sky with a tiny brush. You can also do this with the gel pen.

I will add the finishing details when this page is dry and add it to this page tomorrow. Happy Moonlighting!

Update! I've added the white pen details to he butterfly, water and added foliage to the foreground. Finished!