Sunday, February 7, 2010

Secret Sunday 12

A big thank you to everybody who participated in last Sunday's open house event. Nearly 60 people shared their favorite art secrets and many, many more people came to hear them. And you can too. See the comment section of this post to get the goods. And now...back to our regularly scheduled Secret Sunday posting.

Do you want to know a secret?

Welcome to the fourth edition of The Pulse -- The State of the Art -- a survey in words and pictures of the online artist community. The Pulse is a collaborative project that aims to introduce you to new artists, help you get to know familiar faces even more, and allow you access into the creative hearts and minds of a very talented crew of individuals.

Over 150 (!) artists have answered a series of questions which make up The Pulse. Their responses will be presented as a series of online and print projects. And the first continues right now!

Join the The Altered Page every Sunday for "Secret Sunday." Here the secrets of all your favorite artists will be revealed. It could be a technique, a product, a secret source, a little-known website, a hidden shop, an inspiration, just about anything! If you missed any, no worries. You can find links to all the secrets on the sidebar of my blog.

Today's secret.......HOW-TOs!

Chris Gray
Blog: Chris Gray Textile Art
Blog: Paper and Word

A few years ago I was looking to produce a large number of high-relief ceramic pieces for a body of “symbolic” work. As always, I wanted something that was not too time-consuming to make – so lino-cuts were certainly out. We were living in France at the time, and, being in the middle of house renovation, we frequently visited Castorama (large DIY stores). Here I found some large sheets of styrofoam that was designed for insulating lofts. Working outside (because of fumes etc) I cut the shapes I wanted into the foam using a soldering iron. The tip was wound with thin copper wire with a bit left sticking out as a hot-stylus. The styrofoam material is really strong, and can be used to impress into clay, or print with any waterbased paint. The copper wire allowed quite fine detail without melting the foam too much.


Christy Sobolewski
Blog/Website: Gulfsprite
Twitter: @gulfsprite

I doubt my secrets are really secrets since most of what I know I have learned from the amazing online community of mixed-media artists (many of whom will probably appear in this Pulse publication) but…

To achieve layers in painting I will smear matte (or glossy) medium (and gel) over the first layer (dry) with a credit card, then add my next layer. It isn’t that it keeps the paints from mixing, it does do that, but it lifts the two layers just slightly from each other so that you attain just a bit of dimension.

I also use a credit card to apply a few drops of paint over the wet gel medium and smear it around like a paint knife. The paint is applied very random and you simply cannot totally control it, which means the results are unpredictable. And unpredictable can mean great interest in the painting.

I use airbrush paints for glazing (I use Createx brand). They are more expensive but highly pigmented and very fluid. More fluid even than Golden’s fluid acrylics. I buy them in transparent colors and my favorites are actually the florescent colors. When used as a glaze they give a nice richness to the underneath paint colors. And the opalescent colors are amazing. Specifically the white, silver, gold and antique gold.

I buy my varnishes and glazing mediums from the hardware store in gallon containers to save on costs.

Add just a little bit of Golden’s matte gel, or glossy, to cheap craft paint to give it a smooth sheen (not chalky) texture when dry. Or apply a thin layer over dry craft paints to get rid of the chalky texture.

Use the house paint glazing medium to adhere down tissue paper/napkins to give a soft leather like appearance/texture (instead of using gel medium). It takes longer to dry but the end result is worth it.

Gail Pierce
Blog: Expression Studio

Coffee crystals, the cheaper the better. After a heavily textured layer of gesso has dried, I stain it with coffee crystals diluted with a little water. I love the rich base and additional texture coffee gives the piece. I often retain some of the stained areas in the final piece. See my blog, Jan 1-2, for two recent examples.

Tip: spray the coffee stained layer with workable fixative.

Diane Cook
Blog: Rosa & Josie's
Etsy: Rosa & Josie's

I have a new obsession, which can also be categorized as a great jewelry design tip! Re-purposing vintage ear bobs has become quite an exciting new challenge for me! I deconstructed a vintage filigree, rhinestone & faux turquoise ear bob for one of necklaces I design called Crystal Princess.

I will be demonstrating this technique and more at the class called Crystal Princess, which I will be teaching at Adorn Me! 2010, a jewelry retreat being held in Houston March 2-7, 2010.

Patti Sandham

Sewn text paper frames. I got the idea from something similar I saw in Somerset's new Journaling magazine. Start by sewing several pages of text paper together. I just did a square at first and I added a piece of cardstock painted with a few layers of paint and maybe some texture added. After you sew it you dig into the middle. I used tiny scissors to start it and then peeled back the text layers to reveal the under layer of coloured texture. I played with the torn edges to make them curl and ruffle. I also tried stitching simple shapes like a heart, and again peeled back the layer to reveal the heart.

You could try all kinds of twists to come up with something very personal.

Leslie Rosenberg
Blog: All My Art
Etsy: All My Art

One of my favorite techniques is using my inkjet computer printer with muslin. I read about this years ago and am constantly amazed at how easy it is – and how many people don’t know how to do it. It’s far easier than doing transfers and the results are always good. Here’s how: Cut freezer paper (the white kind with one shiny, waxy side) to 8.5 x 11. Take a piece of muslin (natural or bleached) and iron it onto the shiny side of the freezer paper. The wax will melt with the heat of the iron and adhere to the fabric. Be sure that the muslin is cut close to the 8.5 x 11 backing (with no threads hanging off) and then run through your printer. After it dries, you can easily peel off the muslin and use however you like.

Note: this is NOT waterproof, so don’t use this technique for wearable items – just displayable art.

Deborah Bohm
Blog: Deborah Dare Art
Blog: Outsider Artists
NING: Creative Souls
Etsy: Deborah Dare Art
Zazzle: Deborah Dare Art
Ebay: Deborah Dare

Crackle medium applied to a sealed piece of art. Warning - it does not
always work as you envision so experiment first on a couple of practice
pieces. I find that a carefully applied crackle finish has elevated more
than one blah or mediocre piece into a really interesting one!


Chris O'Brien
Website: Christine Marie Art
Blog: Christine Marie Art

I do a lot of image transfers and there are about a thousand methods of doing this. One I've used myself involves Knox gelatin and something no one else has mentioned, to my knowledge - Golden Absorbent Ground. I love the results I've had with this particular mix.


Website: Collage Art by AnitaNH
Blog: Collage & Life
Yahoo Group: Collage Artists

Arch punched dots as a design element...

and triangle mosaics using Thai unryu adhered with Golden's acrylic gloss medium.


Carmen Torbus
Blog: Carmen Torbus

One of my absolute favorite things to incorporate in my artwork is words. I love to type up a sheet of words and phrases in a bunch of different fonts, then print them on nontraditional papers. Graph paper, ledger paper, scrapbook paper, etc.



AnitaNH said...

Hi Seth, thank you for including my tips in this Sundays edition. I like that you added links to the series. It's an online feast of inspiration!

theresa martin said...

thanks for another great round of ideas and new blogs to visit!

Lisa said...

Lots of inspiration Seth! I'm heading over to Gail's blog now... i love her tip on gesso and coffee...right up my alley. Thanks again for the wealth of information you've been could publish a volume of secrets!

Caterina Giglio said...

Awesome post as always!

Numinosity said...

This is such a great feature, so many techniques and artist to get acquainted with.

Renee Howell said...

Secret Sunday is the foundation for Wikipedia-Art-Collage! Thank you Seth for the idea, thank you contributors. I had no idea all the ideas of how things are done. This I Didn't Know. Thanks for adding to my Artly knowledge.

Andrea Dixon said...

Great post as always! Can't wait to try out a couple of these tips...

Anonymous said...

Another round of great secrets and tips!

Commuter's Journal said...

Another great, inspiring Secret Sunday. You're becoming as inherent to my Sunday as the NY Times, Seth! Thanks for all the ideas.

Unknown said...

Thank you, Seth, for including me in this week's posting -- and for all you do every day to share beauty and art with all of us! I am honored to be part of this project.

fheathermoore said...

Some great tips again Seth! I particularly like the credit card idea. Not sure I'd use my card but I've other cards that aren't quite so important!

Kelly Warren said...

wow! these are all awesome tips!

MrCachet said...

Once again, I need to thank you for putting this together, Seth. Have no idea how you manage to 'do art' when it seems you spend a lot of time showing how others 'do'!

Unknown said...

Great Ideas and tips. More things to try! Thanks

Unknown said...

I just received a couple of really nice comments on my blog; made my day brighter. Thanks for including my tips, which reminds me, I need to finish those coffee stained canvas papers.

Mary Helen-Art Saves Lives said...

Our computer has been without power due to the snowstorm but this is a fabulous blog..I will read it more carefully tomorrow when I am rested. Imagine and Live in Peace, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart

Jill Zaheer said...

As one of my goals for this year was to learn new techniques and incorporate new processes into my artwork, this is another secret sunday to make it happen! Love the thought that reading the sunday New York Times is now coupled with reading your secret sunday post! That's the ultimate compliment to you! Really great ideas today! I'm thinking, if I can combine the coffee grinds, words and sewing layers techniques all together-that would be the best of every world! All of the time and effort you so generously take in putting together these Secret Sunday Posts is appreciated by all of us more than you can ever know!

Karin Bartimole said...

thanks Seth, for yet another talented group of folks! These Secret Sunday's are the gift that keeps on giving :)

Judy said...

Always a fascinating read on a sunday, or monday as it was here.
Thanks for all the jard work in presenting it all.

Marit said...

I'm totally into gel medium at the moment, teaching my online class how to use it, but some ideas I didn't know yet... thanks folks!!!

Anonymous said...

ooh, such fantastic tips and secrets! so very inspiring, seth and contributors!! thank you! i LOVE cheap coffee crystals and use them often but this is a new one for me -- can't wait to try it out along with the rest.

Diane said...

Seth~Thanks for adding my tip in Secret Sunday 12! I am always in awe of how artists are so very willing to share their knowledge!
This Sunday had alot of great ideas ~ as always =)

Sylvia Ballerini Jewellery said...

Generous offerings. thanks for sharing.

Thistle Cove Farm said...

Absolutely LOVE the necklace; it's fabulous!