Saturday, 16 October 2010

what Medium(s) do you work in?

I have never had a single preferred medium as an artist as I try different skills and techniques but I do enjoy painting in watercolour as I have only tried oils once and I mainly use acrylics (house tester paint bottles) on my sculptures.
I rather liked it when I was dabbling in a pottery course 3 years ago and before, when I lived in Australia I used to make and sell sculptures out of paper mache.
Now I make textile sculptures and mixed media collages, as well as most of the above.

Here is a hare I prepared earlier .....

Well, er, this was the very first pottery sculpture I made. It is a hare sitting on a forever secret box. It's a forever secret box because it will never open.

I made this hare from my vivid imagination and blindly used the pottery 'glazes' that were provided to the class. It was such a strange experience and such a brief course that I didn't take too much in.

I really enjoyed making the hare, amongst many other animals I fashioned and some penguin soap holder dishes.
Yes, my mum received 3 penguin soap holder dishes for Christmas that year! They are all alive and well, though a few wings have been clipped, and a couple of beaks have been shortened. Not that the penguins were ever going to fly away ....

I made this paper mache Zebra Trinket box well over 12 years ago here in Scotland. After I left Australia where I used to sell them, I made a few when I came here. They were published in some glossies aswell! Always exciting!

It is very light and fragile. I used my own version of paper mache. So that meant - flour (white), water, salt (lots) and some wood glue mixed into it all, to help the paste keep the newspaper strips together. News broadsheets were the best, I think they are mainly constructed from The Scotsman (long before I discovered the far superior Guardian paper - which I add, I only read online) and there may be a free real estate paper scrap in there too.

This box will be going into my etsy shop to find a new home where it will be loved and looked after.

and getting back to that pottery course - well, after the hare came a zebra secret-keeper-for-real trinket box, where the 'box' actually opened! The hare never opened because I realised too late that I had not made a cut soon enough to scrape out the insides.
But this one was done in time, before it started to dry out in my fingers.

and another thing I learnt, all too late, was that it was difficult to paint white onto brown clay, so you can see the red coming thru in parts, especially under the legs where it was hardest to dab on.

It's sure not like using paint on a brush! This was a sediment rich but thin, watery, blotchy medium that had to be stirred constantly to keep it consistent and as soon as it touched the red clay it immediately froze on the spot. There was no 'gliding on' as I had imagined in my pottery dreams ....

Inside are some very handsome huge round balls to stop the lid falling off as I did not know how to make a small classy egde.

This was also thanks to the fast drying clay and my panicking over how to make it exactly right as I never work to designs nor detailed sketches. I envisage ethereal designs in my imagination and then go straight to work.

Still, - edge, lip or balls, I rather like my small zebra friend.

As you can see I have rather a thing for these handsome beings! Here are some of my original watercolour zebra ACEOs - small artist 'sample' cards that I have displayed next to my minature 1/32nd scale plastic animals.
These ones are in my etsy shop.

and before I have the last word about rabbits I'll just mention one more zebra .....

This cut out is from a watercolour I painted in Australia then had printed up. I'm thinking of making some cut out and dispay / play cards with them. Could you just see a herd of zebra grazing at your acacia?
It will bring back memories of when I lived in Zambia and was surrounded by them! One attacked our Datsun - completely smashed the rear indicator with it's hoof, (as an after thought), as it slowly sauntered by!

..... and the last word about rabbits (ofcourse) - two raffles, 17 super prizes and lots of love to share - please see the two raffle links at the blog top, right hand side .....


  1. Amazing! You are so multitalented - I was surprised to see how tiny the hare was till I saw the second photo.

    The two Zebras in the tub papier mache is so adorable...I love it. I acttually tampered with papier mache before and want to get back into it as well as salt dough ornaments. I know it's not clay, but the cheapest and easierst version thereof considering my limited space and budget.

    I actually had to snicker over that Zebra in the Tarpit (just kidding)... it appears to be struggling to get out, but I know that's not what you intended. Funny thing about art, it often is in the eyes of the beholder, isn't it?

    I guess that Zebra didn't like the look of your car...maybe it was an Audi fan - LOL

    In answer to your question, as you know, I crochet, knit some and started an acrylic painting a few months ago that I really would like to finish before year's end. I like making salt dough ornaments because I like molding stuff with my hands AND papier mache, but that will take some practice since it's been a long time I did that.

    Have a lovely weekend ;-)

  2. tar pit! ha ha! I've not heard that one before Doris, but now that you mention it
    ... perhaps I should have painted that white further down!

    I've never used salt dough. I have heard of paper clay and it sounds rather interesting to use. There are so many materials out there, and I think it's good to give them a try, see what works for you, what calls your name.

    I am sure your painting will finish in it's own time. All of mine do!

  3. I LOVE that hare "trinket box"--it is so expressive and so sweet. If you ever decide you want to part with it, I'd be happy to give it a loving home. :)

    I have dabbled in lots of mediums; paint, beads, sculpey clay, yarn, felt, you name it. Unfortunately, my artistic skills don't always live up to the visions in my head. The one thing I have yet to really try is mosaics; I have two kits that I bought and a bunch of glass stones that I would like to use, but I just haven't had the time or the space to really work on something. I haven't given up hope yet, though--one of these days, it'll happen.

  4. I was thinking about this just the other day, I have worked in so many mediums over the years. I also used to make paper mache pieces (also about 12 years ago!)I made mirrors, little cupboards, wall sconces and photo frames etc. I also did a lot of glass painted mirrors and photo frames. I'm thinking of adapting the cupboard designs for textile....when I get time!
    Ceramics was my first love though. I took it as my specialty at art college although the course was changed that year and we were guinea pigs for the new 3D Design course. I didn't enjoy that at all and ended up doing ceramics as an evening class. The glaze is really tricky to paint with! I used to slap it onto paper towels and draw abstract designs into it then print it onto the ceramic surface. I used to go to pot fest every year and yearn to get back to making pots but now here I am up to my knees in textile and felting wool....never saw that coming at all!
    By the way, we have a family of rabbits in our garden. There's a burrow under a fir tree and the rabbits are having the run of the place since our poor old cat died.

  5. these are lovely, zebras are such wonderful creatures! (As are hares and bunnies of course!)

  6. How amazing it must have been to live where wild zebras ran free!!!

  7. I am not even remotely artistic so I admire your skills.

    Zebra story reminds me of a road trip when my nephew was young. We went thru Arbuckle Wilderness here in OK. It is a drive thru nature park and they have quite a few Zebra's. You can buy a cup of feed for the animals and they saunter right up to the car. There are signs everywhere warning people NOT to get out among the Zebra's. Oh course nothing challenges a redneck here like a sign saying not to do something. I watched a guy do it and get the crap kicked out of him. I didnt feel one bit bad for him. Not a lick of sense in some folks head.

  8. thank you Jade!
    one thing I have found with my art is that, no matter what visions in my head, sometimes the art turns out wonderfully in it's own way.
    (I am usually surprised on a continual basis :)

    Aileen that sounded lovely - your paper mache! maybe now there could be felt clocks or mirrors perhaps?
    and so nice to hear about the rabbit family, such a privilege!

    thank you Juliet!

    it was Lisa - but the spiders are enormous too :) so there are plus and minus to that one!

    Christina there is creativity in all of us :)
    and that's amazing that that silly person did that - zebras can kick incredibly hard, and bite.


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