Inspiration for an Artwork

Texture inspiration

Where to find Inspiration for an artwork

I am often asked where I get my inspiration for an artwork from. Well mostly the answer is, “it’s all around me”. Because I see inspiration when I’m out for daily walks with my camera. It might be in nature, in architecture, in the many working environment. In the weather, the clouds, a sound, a smell, a texture or a chance conversation. So these are all things that spark ideas in my head which lead me to the creation.

The images below were all taken within 20 minutes of one of these walks. I have worked in my day job for 8 years and never noticed this door before, but the light on that day was so bright that it drew me in. Just look at all that detail in the texture, layers of paint, rust and dust.

A hopper door that has lots of texture, years of dust, rust and layers of colour
Hopper Door – Look at the texture!
Layers of paint, rust and texture in a recessed door handle. Inspiration for an artwork.
Rusty inset door handle

Rusty Inspiration

The detail in this image is perfect for using Powertex Rusty Powder with lead and yellow ochre Powertex to recreate a rusty element.

This measures around 15cm x 10cm on a door that is around 6 meters high.

When you’re out and about be mindful, look out for the detail as well as the bigger picture. You never know what you might find to inspire a new piece of work especially a Powertex project! .

The image on the right is the bottom edge of the door in the first image.

Look at that luscious texture and rust. The tongue and groove in this piece have given me an idea for the base of my next Powertex project, can you guess what it will be?

All three of these images have inspired and will play apart in my March Powertex project.

Bottom edge of door with hinge and rust and lots more texture. Inspiration for an artwork.
Bottom edge of door with hinge and rust
Oak boule with deeply textured bark
Oak Boule with bark

This final image was also captured on the same day and is the deeply textured bark on an oak boule.

For those who don’t know and I didn’t until last year when these started appearing in our timber yard, a boule is the whole tree trunk that is cut into planks.

This too will play a part in my March project.

What will my inspired artwork be?

So have you guessed what my March step by step Powertex project will be? Can you guess what Powertex products I am planning to use to re-create these wonderful textures and colours? If you have an idea then why not leave a comment below. You might think of something I haven’t!

I hope you found some inspiration for an artwork in this article. Keep ‘texing and pop back in March for the finished step by step project. Looking for more inspiration. Do have at my look last project for more inspiration, which you can find here.

Bye for now, Fi

A Brace of Powertex Herons – Fiona Potter

Powertex herons

Well here we are at the start of a new year and for me a new challenge. I am thrilled to be back on the Powertex Design Team for a third year and this year I want to push my own boundaries further. I’ve never been comfortable with sculpting but have always admired my team mates and other artists who are and whose work leaves me in awe. We all have to start somewhere and this is my beginning and I would love you to join me on this journey.

I’m not alone in the concerns about the damage our environment is experiencing and the struggle much of our wildlife has in continually adapting. The Heron is an ancient bird that was around in fossil times, you can find more information here.

The photos follow my written steps left to right.

Step 1 – I have used a variety of materials, mainly cheap foil and masking tape to fill out the body of the Powertex bird mdf templates. These were to be mounted onto the large 2 pin metal base so I played around with both templates to get my layout. You will notice that I did make a change ending up with both birds facing forward. I removed the smaller bird so that I could work freely on the larger one.

Step 2 – I made up some Stone Art Clay starting with equal quantities of Grey Powertex and Stone Art powder. As I have quite arthritic hands, I find it easier to work in small quantities and I made a total of 5 batches of clay each starting with around 200ml of powertex liquid. I wrapped each batch in cling film to stop it drying out.

Step 3 – Once I had covered the armature including the leg I covered the wings with masking tape.

Step 4 – I pulled lilac Paperdec into strips that would be long enough to drape over both sides of the wings. I brushed Powertex over the wing area and worked Powertex into the pieces of Paperdec one strip at a time until both wings were well covered and looked reasonably symmetric. I also re-positioned the wings slightly.

Step 5 – Before starting in this bird, I pushed the leg of the stand up into the armature to ensure there was a cavity without risking squashing the clay. I then worked the clay onto the smaller bird. As with the first bird, I painted a little Powertex onto the base before I worked the Stone Art Clay started with the far side i.e. the side that would be nearest the first bird.

Step 6 – Spread a generous amount of Powertex liquid onto the base and then press dry Stone Art powder into it. Repeat in patches until you get a nicely covered base. I also added some Paperdec onto the body to give an indication of the wing area.

Step 7 – Spray the base with blue Bister. Then spray the black Bister to create areas of shade. Leave the sculpture to dry overnight or until the clay is firm. I left mine for 2 days.

Step 8 – Using Secret Art Loft Clotted Cream and Secret Art Loft Liquorice Twist acrylic paint and a 1″ Powertex Flat Brush I started to give the birds character with a close nod to their true colours. I started by dry brushing the Liquorice Twist onto the lower wings on both sides. I then added some Clotted Cream into the black and continued over the top sections. Lightening several times until the wings had an ombre effect. At the same time I worked on the body of the birds. I also dry brushed some of the colour onto the base to bring out the detail.

Step 9 – Finally I added Colortricx Bronze Gold and a mix of Colortricx Silver with Powercolor dark Blue to tint the top outer edges of the wings and the legs. I also used Secret Art Loft Clotted Cream and Secret Art Loft Liquorice Twist acrylic paint and a Powertex No.4 round brush to add the eye detail.

I hope you like my interpretation of both the fabulous template and the Heron bird. If you are inspired by my blog to create your own, please acknowledge me. It’s great if we can help each other in the continuation of our craft. If you would like to learn this project with me please do get in touch.

Don’t forget to share your work n the Powertex Studio on Facebook. Find more of my work on Facebook. Bye for now, Fi

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star – Powertex mixed media – Fiona Potter

Wow can you believe it’s the end of another year. What a year we had with the best, hottest, longest summer the UK has had in a good few years. If you have been following me on social media you will know that I’ve had quite an astral year and to end the theme I have created this rather cute Powertex Stone Art Star. Here’s how I did it…
You will need a star base with hanger, Powertex in Ivory or White, Stone Art Powder, Extra fine snow glitter, fake snow and iridescent glitter flakes,Secret Art Loft Interference Lilac or Interference Blue Pigment, Powertex Easy Varnish and some flat back crystals with AB coating.
Working on one star arm at a time, brush on some Powertex Liquid Medium then gently press some stone art powder over the painted area. You might see some Powertex oozing out and if you do just press more Stone Art Powder over it. Once you have coated the star on both sides it will look like this:
Now dab on some more Powertex Liquid Medium and repeat the first step until you have completed three layers. This will give you a good strong finish. Let it dry. Next paint on a very fine layer of Powertex Liquid Medium on one full side and press the fine snow glitter into it. Repeat on the other side until it looks similar to this
Leave it to dry and clean away the excess glitter.
Top Tip: Keep a separate box for the left over stone Art powder, glitter and flake from this project – you can use it with Powertex in another project!
Once it is dry, use some Powertex Easy Varnish and Secret Art Loft Interference Lilac or Interference Blue pigment and add along the spine of each of the star arms. This will create highlights.
Once this has dried, add a light layer of Powertex to the outer edges of the star arms on both sides and press in some of the fake snow and iridescent glitter flakes.
Once this is dry add the final touch of some tiny AB coated flat back crystals. These will really catch the light. Leave it to dry well before adding to your festive house.
All that leaves me to do is to thank you for following us here on the the Powertex Blog and on Hochanda. I look forward to seeing your festive makes in The Powertex Studio and Powertex Addicts United.
I wish you all a very Merry of Christmas and may all your dreams come true!
See you in 2019 for lots more Powertex Fun!
Fi xx

Northern Lights

Well here we are Autumn is almost over the dark nights are with us. I love crisp cold dark nights when I can see lots of stars twinkling in the sky after the stunning colours of the setting sun. Here in the UK there a only a handful of places where, if the conditions are right you might spot the Northern Lights. Going to Norway or Iceland to see the Northern Lights is high on my bucket list but until then, I have created my own abstract Powertex painting to stir or feed that dream!

So grab a coffee and relax while I take you through some very simple steps to create your own version.
First I took a canvas that had been part used on a demonstration and it already had some texture at the bottom. I had created the texture using a mix of Easy Structure and Powertex sand balls which I put down on a white 30×30 cm canvas.
I then made up some Easy 3D Flex with some white powertex and using a metal artist pallet knife I spread the 3D Flex mixture vertically on my canvas. As the base texture was already dry, I painted over a good coat of White Powertex.
Next I mixed up some blue bister granules using a teaspoon of granules to 30 mls of warm water from the kettle with 30mls of white vinegar. This gives a crisper look when sprayed on your canvas as can be seen in the image below. I also sprayed some standard black bister at the top area of the sky section
To give more depth I sprinkled some blue bister granules onto the area representing water and rocks and sprayed this with water.
I then left the whole thing to dry and crack over two or three days.
Once it was dry I washed back the black area of bister using a damp sponge. I then used a mix of the Aqua blue and Deep Sea Secret Art Loft acrylic inks to create the dark water and sky. I then used Secret Art Loft acrylic paints in Key Lime, Blueberry Pie and Plumb Pudding on a very dry brush to create the colours synonymous with the Northern Lights.
I then added some metallic highlights using Golden Metallic and Viola Metallic inks as well as Green Ginger, Limoncello Gold and Colortricx Pearl pigments mixed with Powertex Easy Varnish.
I can’t tell you exactly how I added the pigments and colours as I use loads and loads of very light layers, just experiement and have fun!
Here is the finished piece

 

Here is a short video tour of the painting giving closeups on my colour blending.

 


See you in December where I have created a Powertex Christmas Ornament!

Bye for now
Fi

Halloween Nightmare or how not to make a craft video!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I bet I am one of the few people who have a dread of Halloween. It’s not that it scares me or that I don’t like the art of it all, it’s just that for some reason every time I try to create what’s in my head, it turns into a Halloween Nightmare!!!

I had this grand idea that I would use Powertex and some of the super Secret Art Loft bright acrylics and the Gothic Arches.
It has all worked out just fine except I had it all planned in my head that I would create my very first Craft Video!

As you may know that as well as being on the Powertex DT I am also a Resident Tutor on the Mixed Up Creative education platform, so in my infinite wisdom and being filled with oodles of enthusiasm I got myself all set up to create the video for them.  Bearing in mind I also have lots of experience demo’ing on TV craft channels this should all be so easy…well believe me it isn’t!

In a TV studio there is a crew, superb lighting and a presenter who asks the questions viewers want answers too; you have your step pieces prepared and you have everything laid out ready to head in the order you want to use them. Oh and with filming, all you have to think about is product placement and which camera to look at.
Hmmm this is where it all goes belly up!  I didn’t have steps planned this was going to be a one shot product.  I had just one small light; I had to operate the camera in my very small studio – just 3 meters by 1.5 meters but every mm is packed tight rather tardis like!
I had it all planned though so it would run like clock work.
I made sure my long suffering other half knew what I was doing and he was primed to stay well away.
OMG it was a total nightmare!!!
Not at all the slick professional looking video I had imagined, planned for and not at all fun! It was my Halloween Nightmare and then some!  Dropping various bits, forgetting I had wrecked the first arch and the second had sticky tape on etc. etc.  Worse still is that that what you don’t see or hear at the end of the video is my husband walking in on me, talking loudly about tea, apologising profusely, then me slinging the paintbrush and who knows what else across the worktop and sighing so loud I have every expectation even a Ghost would have shrieked in fright!
After all that I decided while it was a rubbish video I would share my experience with you because at the end of the day we all have to start somewhere.  Hat’s off to all those highly polished artists and crafters who have mastered the intricacies of video, I am learning, I will not be defeated and I will master it.
In the meantime have a laugh with me, share my pain and I hope the resulting Powertex Halloween tag is slightly OK.
Bye for now, Fi xx
ps Here’s the link to the video

 

Scarecrows in September

Wow, it’s September already! I love September the start of autumn and all those fabulously rich warm colours.  As a farmers daughter the harvest was always such a special time, I loved helping dad bring in the harvest when the whole countryside appeared to turn rich rusty gold, snuggly nippy nights, warm mellow days…oh and scarecrow trails!

Did you know that scarecrows have been around for over 3000 years? The Egyptians were the first to use Scarecrows along the Nile River to protect wheat fields from flocks of quail (see link to a great source The  History of Scarecrows). The Greeks, Romans and Japanese all had a form of scarecrows.  I think the scariest story of scarecorws was from medieval Britain who use living Scarecrows!!! 9-year old boys and older patrolled wheat fields carrying bags of stones to pelt the crows if they landed in the fields.

I hope you find my interpretation a lot friendlier!

To get started I needed to make an armature, now forgive me here because I was doing it all in a rush and didn’t remember photographs until it was made ready to StoneArt.  I will try to explain…
First I used a wooden base and some 2mm aluminium wire.  I pulled off around about a meter and starting from the centre I made a circle for the head by wrapping the wire around a jam jar. I extended out each side to made shoulders and arms and then wrapped the tail of each around the pole on the wooden stand.
Once this was done I used masking tape to secure it in place and padded out the body, arms and head with a lot of cheap kitchen foil.  I then masked the whole thing with masking tape.
I then made up a quantity of StoneArt Clay – around 150ml of Ivory Powertex – once this was made I painted Powertex onto the masking tape to give the StoneArt clay something to key onto and then added pieces of clay that I had flatted between my fingers.  Once it was covered I used the end of a paintbrush to mark out eyes, mouth and nostrils.  I then painted a thin layer of Powertex over the clay and gently rubbed in more dry StoneArt Powder.  I left this quite rough as I wanted a rough weather work finish. I then set aside to dry.
Now it was time to dress the Scarecrow.  I used Transparent Powertex which I worked into some ivory paperdec to cover the the arms and head to give the impression of being stuffed with straw.   Next I used two similar sized pieces of natural paperdec and worked transparent Powertex in. Tip: it uses a lot more than you think but once dried it is clear and hard.  I draped them over the shoulders and about two thirds of the way down on both front and back.
I used additional pieces to cover the wooden pole and base to give the effect of a tree trunk.  I also covered a little mdf mouse that was left over from another Powertex MDF kit. Finally I added some more ivory paperdec to make a scarf.  I then left it to fully dry, it took about 3 days!
Now to add colour! I could fill the whole blog with the very many colours and layers I added. However I wont but I will say that i started with Powercolor ultramarine blue and a tiny spec of black pigment mixed with Easy Varnish.  to colour the blanket coat.  I used dark green for the base, orange and red for the scarf.  For the straw, I used yellow and red ochre in varying degrees and used red ochre on the mouse.  I then built more layers of colours to get a well weathered look on his coat using Colortricx in pearl and copper.  I coloured the tree trunk with Secret Artloft Pigment in Golden Olive.
I then made up a small quantity of StoneArt Clay using Bronze Powertex Fabric hardener. I used a golf ball sized ball of the clay and pressed onto the top of the Scarecrows head
 I rolled this with a craft rolling pin and shaped into a circle and draped over a yogurt pot to shape
Then I layed it over the powertex ball on the head and finished the shaping.  I also pressed a little butterfly into the hat that was left over from some other project.
I added two mdf ravens which i painted with Powercolor Black mixed with Easy Varnish. Once they were dry I used Secret Art Loft Pigments in Interference Lilac to add some shimmer and Tequila Sunrise to colour the beak. I stuck these on using some matte gel for speed and added some tiny rhinestones for the eyes on the mouse and ravens.

 

Hope you like my rather friendly but scruffy weathered Scarecrow!
Have a fabulous autumn and don’t forget to share your makes with us over in The Powertex Studio and Powertex Addicts United.

Being a Powertex Tutor

Hi everyone hope you are having a fabulously creative summer!  I have and I’m so inspired I have lots of ideas that I will be working on as we move into autumn.

I’ve had a few times this summer when I have looked back at my journey with Powertex and how it really has enhanced my life in so many ways. I have met so many talented artists and crafters in workshops I have led, through magazine articles I have written, at the NEC, Hochanda and best of all at the training and tutor retreats.  As a tutor we are so well supported and encouraged to progress on our own journey,

The highlight of the year so far for me was the annual Tutor Retreat which is held at Powertex HQ. I love every second there and these first two images are from the first day which was led by the superbly talented Rosie Casselden.  This was right out of my comfort zone because I cannot draw to save my life! However Rosie made it so easy breaking it down in to a series of flowing shapes, then textures and colours that I was completely lost in the whole project.

On day 2 we enjoyed a fabulous day with our leader and Powertex UK guru Tracey Evans.  I love abstract art and deep interesting textures so this was right up my alley as they say. These are a close up and a full shot of my finished project. Again I was lost in building the colours and levels and both paintings are on my walls at home.

 

We were joined at the Retreat by international artist Abyssimo (Maria Grausbaum-Fondler) who many of us follow and admire for her love of colour, texture and sparkle.  She is the most beautiful generous soul and having the opportunity to get to spend time with Maria who I am so happy to call my friend was amazing.
To top the Retreat off perfectly Maria led a full workshop on day 3 when members of the public were also able to join us.  Maria led a class with paints as vibrant in colour as her personality and her use of multiple layers of subtle colours building to rich depth and dimension was superb.
We were able to build our own composition and I have been very influenced by space, the moon, planets and stars this summer so mine materialised as a nod to the galaxy.

If you have ever thought about being a Powertex Tutor I would just say go for it, if you put the time and effort in to develop your artistic skills and your knowledge of the products who knows where you could go.  I’m so glad I did!

Keep Creating and share your makes with us over in The Powertex Studio or on Powertex Addicts.

Here’s to the rest of 2018!
By for now
Fi xx

Bister Mister Spray Tray

A crafter can never have too much storage and what is nicer than decorating your own?  I’m making quite a few bits at the moment in an effort to make my tiny weeny art space more colourful and more organised.  My latest piece is done with Powertex.

I made the kit up and then coated all over with Ivory Powertex.  I then added a texture paste, made up from Powetex and 3D flex. I roughly spread it over the two ends and in patches on the top of the storage caddy.
On the longer sides I used Easy Structure to push through two of the artist quote stencils.  I then sprayed with blue bister and left to dry.
I also stencilled one side of the carry handle and on the other I roughly spread some of the 3D flex texture paste and pressed a plaster piece into it.
Once dry I washed back removing the surface bister and leaving a nicely stained base.  The bister had encouraged some great crackles on the ends and some nice fine ones on the top.
Next I used Acrylic inks from The Secret Art Loft to build up layers of colour and to bring out the crackles.

I used Aqua, Viola, Palm and Deep Sea which I applied randomly with a brush, wiping back with a wet wipe. This enabled me to build a colourful piece with a nice splodgy arty vibe.
Over the handle I added the colours and let them drip down, this gave a nice deep colour in the corners where the handle met the top of the tray.

Finally I mixed up some Bronze Colortricx with some Easy varnish and dry brushed the art quotes.

I also used some Secret Art Loft Blueberry Pie acrylic paint and dry brushed over the rough textures to add further depth.

That’s all for now
Fi xx

 

 

 

 

 

Frame it with Love

We have some really great challenges on the Powertex Design Team and here’s another back to basics one from me using the May Wedding Theme Project Kit.  I have to say I love the challenge of working with minimum materials and as you will find out, this one really did challenge me!
As I always do, first I unpack the kit and play around until I get a good idea of what I want my finished piece to be.  I’m clearly heavily into the beautiful bluebells at the moment, well it is spring at last in the UK and our woodlands and hedgerows are full of them.

This is the layout I came up with originally and I used every part of the kit.

As you can see from the finished piece I did make a few composition changes and as I hinted at, there was a stage when it didn’t appeal to me…read on!

I started with the back.  Using Ivory Powertex I joined the three spacers and the back of the aperture.  I also gave a nice coating of Powertex over the entire back.

I also added on the hanging pieces. Now unlike me, think about this before you add them!  There is a spacer bar that you snap off the bottom of the hanger, this means you can completely hide the hanger, which I didn’t do.  My excuse was it was the hottest May Bank Holiday for 50 years!!!
Once it was on, there was no getting it off so it is what it is!  Leave it to dry before turning your attention to the front.

I used the textured paper to form the background of my composition, I also added a very small length of leftover lace from my stash to create a bit of interest in the heart aperture and also on the top right of the frame

I coated the base generously with Powertex, then added the various embelishments a layer at a time.  Each time coating them well with Powertex.

When everything was in place I checked all over adding Powertex where I felt it needed it.

This is how it looked once I finished this stage….
After leaving the piece overnight to dry (you can speed it up using a hairdryer) I started to colour using Powertex Easy Varnish with Ultramarine and White Powercolour from the Powercolor Pigment Tray. I built up the colours using the dry brushing technique until it looked like this….
….oh boy I hated it so much I was ready to bin it!!!!
But Stop! Wait! This is Powertex you can change it completely with a bit of patience!
So after gathering my composure, drinking a nice cuppa and cooling off , I got out the Ivory Powertex and took it right back to this stage
But now I had a better plan. So this time I used just Ivory Powertex and Powercolor Ultramarine Blue.  I carefully mixed a little Powertex into about half a tsp of Ultramarine pigment adding more Powertex until I had the colour I wanted.  Starting from the bottom I painted the Powertex mixture onto the bottom third of the frame, I then added more Ivory Powertex to the blue that was on my pallette and painted the middle section, I added more to the pallette and painted the top third.
Now it looked like this and I was happy at last!
I walked away and left it to dry.  Later I added a further layer of blue pigment with Easy Coat Varnish to the bottom before adding a pop of Easy Varnish with Bronze Gold to highlight some of the top layer which added a nice bit of dimension.
Here is the finished piece
I hope you like it and if you ever get to the “I hate it” stage with your Powertex piece, you now have a bit of an idea of bringing out the otherside.
Happy ‘texing!
Fi xx

 

Sweet Beautiful Music

Hi there, as I write this blog we are having the most glorious weather for the first May Bank holiday in the UK and it is fabulous!  I’m listening to the Peaceful Guitar play list on Spotify and there’s a lovely breeze wafting through the house….mmmmm… to top it all I love this guitar project pack!

Powertex has taken this one right back to basics to show how you can create some really super projects by using just the magic of Powertex, a nicely constructed kit and the basic pigment kit.

So first I joined the 2 main pieces together with Bronze Powertex and added the hanging bracket as show in the two images below.


One the back was dry I used the textured paper to cover the front of the guitar, again using Bronze Powertex – there’s no need to use any other mediums as the magic of Powertex covers so many uses.
You can see how I made two pieces to cover the body if the Guitar.  I also laid out the main design of my piece.  The only parts of the kit I didn’t use were the two paper flowers. I used more of the Bronze Powertex to stick the embellishments in place, the only thing I added was some jute string. Once everything was in place I left it to dry overnight.

Next I used PowerColor Pigments and Easy Varnish  to build an Ombre shading moving through from Yellow Ochre to Red Ochre.  I repeated this shading several times until I got the effect I was after.

To build the colour and shading I also added in some Titanium white in the latter layers.

I coloured the embellishments as well.

Once I was happy with the main colour I mixed up some silver Colortrix and cloured the strings.

I then added Burgundy PowerColor to the heart/flower embelishment and finally added some Rich Gold Colortrix to the centre of the two main embellishments and a faint brushing over the textured paper.

Below are some close ups to help you see the effects.

Hope you enjoy the Powertex Design Teams take on this project and we inspire you to have a go yourself.  Don’t forget to share your makes in the Powertex Studio on Facebook.

Happy Crafting
Fi