This article is about how my favourite artist influences what I create with Powertex. Gosh, making this choice was as tricky as choosing a design from one of my fellow Powertex design team members. The main three artists I whittled it down to were Vincent Van Gogh, Lucian Freud and Frida Kahlo.
“I want to touch people with my art. I want them to say ‘he feels deeply, he feels tenderly’.”
Vincent Van Gogh
All three have very different styles, but each of these artists work, move’s me on an emotional level. To me their work has a kinaesthetic quality to it. I almost want to dive right into the painting and feel the textures of paint they have layered on. Obviously I hold myself back from doing this as I’m not a fan of getting thrown out of art galleries.
“If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint’, then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.”
Vincent Van Gogh
Looking back on my Powertex work
When I looked back over my Powertex work, the style of Van Gogh seems to have influenced me the most. Maybe it is because the textural aspect of Powertex works so well for creating those swirling patterns of colour, that can carry add such emotional clout to an image.
A while back I did a step by step on how I created a Van Gogh inspired bottle, complete with starry starry lights which you can find here.
“The heart of man is very much like the sea, it has its storms, it has its tides and in its depths it has its pearls too.”
Vincent Van Gogh
I have also created a journal using the same techniques.
“It is with the reading of books the same as with looking at pictures; one must, without doubt, without hesitations, with assurance, admire what is beautiful.'”
Vincent Van Gogh
I stumbled across a book of Van Gogh’s letters some years ago, and was blown away by the beauty of his words. He used words just as beautifully and just as brutally honestly as he used his paint brush.
I am a doodler and a scribbler, and never keep my journals clean and tidy. They tend to get lost in the chaos of my studio, and resurface when the time is right for me to use them. But this one is precious to me. This one I never lose.
Who inspires you?
Here at Powertex UK we love to see photos of your creations, and to find out who you have been inspired by. Please feel free to share them over on our Facebook group.
If you would like to leave any comments here, they are also very welcome. You can see more of what I get up to over on my own Facebook page.
That’s all from me for now folks, keep on Powertexing and I will see you in December.
The acrylic inks are on special offer in October with 10% off to celebrate Tracey’s birthday. The gorgeous colours available are Raspberry, Aqua, Palm, Viola, Egg yolk, Tangerine, Deep sea, Lava and Damson. There’s also 5 metallic inks in Aqua, Golden, Copper penny, Silver sixpence and Coral pearl.
Shop now to take advantage of this offer. If you have any questions about using the acrylic inks you can always head to the Powertex Studio Facebook group for advice.
The story behind my Powertex dreamcatcher. I will always have a bit of a soft spot for dream catchers. When my daughter was young she suffered awfully from night terrors.
We tried many techniques to get her to have a peaceful
night, and spoke to many professionals as well.
One of the things we tried, hoping that it would help her even if just a
through a placebo effect was a dream catcher.
I’d be lying if I said she slept perfectly once we hung up her dream catcher. The thought of it catching those bad dreams and holding them at bay definitely had a calming effect on her before she closed her eyes at bedtime to go to sleep.
Thankfully those days are long behind us now, and my daughter is now a young woman. But she has seen the dream catcher shown here and I know this is something she would still hang up in her bedroom or living room.
For this dream catcher I used the gorgeous ink sprays now available from Powertex UK. I just love how vibrant and easy to use these are, and how they automatically blend into each other to create almost an air brushed effect.
I soaked some crochet in the Ivory Hardener and secured it into the mdf circles. Once dry, I sprayed with my inks and added flowers
Glue the pieces together
Glue the dream catcher into place and add feathers to the design.
Finally I dry brushed my whole piece using the interference pigments and the white Powercolor.
The interference colours were gorgeous to use with this project, as I honestly do think they have a dreamy quality to them. I also used a sponge to add just a touch of the aqua ink to the tips of the feathers. I felt they needed something extra to help them blend in.
TOP TIP: I was slightly concerned about the dream catcher adhering to the square, but found by putting glue on both the top of the dream catcher, and also the larger feathers it secured on nicely.
That’s all from me for this month. If you’ve enjoyed this Powertex dreamcatcher, I would be really grateful if you popped over to check out my Facebook page as well. You can also see my last design team project that’s great for Halloween.
Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be a Powertex tutor? Our tutors come from different backgrounds and have built creative businesses that suit them, from weekend crafty meet-ups to full time, social entrepreneur. Read their stories and if you think you have what it takes to be a Powertex tutor, get in touch.
Building a dream
Abigail from Curiously Contrary says “Being made redundant was the push that I needed to properly consider developing my part time creative practice into a business. It has been a lot of hard work and a steep learning curve but it has also been fantastic fun and infinitely rewarding. I still have to pinch myself to make sure it isn’t all a dream and I have absolutely no plans to go back to having a ‘real job’ any time soon!”
Does this sound like your dream come true? Find out more about becoming a Powertex tutor by emailing Michele at Powertex UK.
Training in the different products and techniques is available and you can succeed with hard work and supported by Powertex UK and fellow tutors. Every tutor runs their own unique workshops, allowing them to be creative with the products and offer something personal. There are now Powertex Academies across England offering tutor training too.
Supporting and encouraging others
Jaxs from Vintage Crafts by Jaxs says “I discovered Powertex and loved it straight away and I’ve been a tutor just over a year. I’m also a Slimming world consultant and a Zumba instructor. My Saturdays are free so that’s usually when I’m doing workshops. I’d say to anyone thinking about becoming a tutor, Go for it!!!! It’s that moment when your students see the finished item and their face is saying wow, it makes me think yep, I’m glad I did this.”
Do you love watching others create and succeed like Jaxs? Take a look at Powertex UK on Facebook to see what we’re about.
Giving back to the community
Donna from Art and Murals says “I love running Powertex workshops because they enable me to make a contribution to the Royal Papworth Hospital Charity. I call my workshops Art 4 A Heart Workshops and a part of my profits gets donated to the hospital as my way of saying thank you for giving me back my husband when he had his heart transplant.
I get the freedom of running my business as an independent business woman, with the added bonus of the support and advice from my fellow tutors and the guys at headquarters if I need it. Win win really.”
Would you like to run a socially minded creative business like Donna?
Dawn from Daybreak Crafts says “I have crafted for a number of years, right back to the 1980’s when I used to create cross stitched items to sell at craft fairs. One of my friends owned a well known craft company and offered me a job. Whilst I was working on a stand at the NEC, I met Tracey Evans and loved what she was demoing. I mentioned to Tracey I would be interested in becoming a tutor and did my training. I am currently in the process of selling off all my ‘clean’ crafting items as I have concluded I am not a clean crafter and much prefer mixed media type crafting.”
Are you looking to share your crafting experience like Dawn?
Getting creative and making friends
Bridget from Magic Garden – Lyddle Folk says “During the week I’m a meticulously tidy, organised accounts assistant. At the weekend I’m up to my elbows in Powertex letting my imagination run free and helping others to do the same. I do the workshops in my dining room with groups of 3-4 or one to ones. I’m able to do one or two a month, with the odd commission thrown in.
Most of my customers just want the chance to get out, have fun and meet others. The fact that they are so delighted by what they achieve is a bonus. Whether I do a whole day or just a half day, the workshops are always something I look forward to.”
Do you want to get creative and connect with other like minded people like Bridget?
Find out more about becoming a tutor
If you’re passionate about Powertex and would love to share it with others through your own creative business, we’d love to hear from you. Email Michele at Powertex UK if you think being a Certified Powertex Tutor is for you. You can also find us on Facebook. We’re looking forward to hearing from you.
For this month’s articles the Powertex Design Team were asked to look back over the archives and put our own spin on a previous creation by one of our colleagues. What an inspiration it was going back over past Powertex sculptures and creations. I was spoilt for choice. However, the one creation that stopped me in my tracks was the Powertex Halloween Ghoul from October 2018, by the very talented Anna Emelia Howlett, of Rosehart Designs.
I have to admit to have never having watched a Harry Potter film in my life. I was unsure what a dementor was, but I liked the challenge of doing something so outside of my comfort zone.
However, this was not to be an exact copy of Anna’s brilliant
design. My take on it was to create a
smaller one, who could be worn on the shoulder to watch over me as Halloween
approaches. Whether he is friend or foe remains to be seen.
“Where there is no imagination there is no horror” So says Sherlock Holmes in Arthur Conan Doyle’s book A Study in Scarlet.
Anyone who has ever watched a horror film with me will testify that I have a very vivid imagination. It was still great fun creating this little Powertex dementor though
I poked some wire in the base of my skull for a neck, and then built shoulders using wire, foil and masking tape.
I added on long bony fingers with some extra wire.
I painted him in black Powertex and added kitchen roll for texture.
I soaked thin cloth in Black Powertex Fabric Hardener for his cloak.
I decided to enlarge his mouth and eyes by making holes with scissors.
Once my ghoul had dried I added the final touches of dry brushing, using Anna’s choice of pigments.
Getting it to sit upright on my jacket was a challenge.
Initially I had planned to use velcro, but decided I didn’t want his company on
a permanent basis, only on spooky nights.
I compromised by using big safety pins. As I had only used thin material I was able to push pins through his cloak, and also hook them over his bony hands. This ensured my ghoul stayed in place and looks over my shoulder as long as I want him to.
I hope you have enjoyed my take on Anna’s Powertex ghoul. Any comments you wish to leave would be greatly appreciated. You can see the original ghoul over on Anna’s blog here. We’d love to see your take on a Powertex Ghoul, over on our Facebook page The Powertex Studio.
You can see more of what I get up to over on my website or my facebook page. That’s all from me for this month. Until September take care, keep on creating, and may all your ghouls be friendly ones 🙂
For this article I was asked to create a 3D animal using Powertex and recycled materials. As anyone who is familiar with Powertex will know, the possibilities for this are endless. My brain was buzzing with ideas. However, it was when I was sorting out stuff to take to the dump, that inspiration hit for a Powertex giraffe.
I was loading a broken floor mop into my van that I settled on what I was going to create. The mop was speaking to me, and what it was saying was one word. Giraffe. As I turned it round in my hands, a picture started to form in my mind. I even had a ready made pose, with the head lifted high, as though nibbling on leaves. Yes I thought, I’m going to make you into a giraffe’s head sticking out of a plant pot in my garden.
A strange thing to think? Maybe, but I’m willing to guess that anyone who is into Powertex will have had similar thoughts on a regular basis.
We have a plant that overhangs our fence and I decided to turn this into a feature by placing my giraffe so that it can decoratively nibble on the leaves. I opted to only make the neck as I thought it would look quirky sticking out amongst my plants.
I soaked some of this fringing in Bronze Powertex to create the hair for my giraffe’s neck, and left the whole thing to dry off completely.
The finishing touches
The final step was to dry brush the whole thing in Bronze Gold Pigment. This create a contrast to the Rich Gold that was on the Clay underneath the 3D Flex patches.
I wanted to be sure that anything I used apart from Powertex was recycled. Hence the stones for eyes, and the toothbrushes for horns. I had thought of using old corks for the horns, and toyed with using hessian for the patches, but my love for Easy 3D flex won out.
If you decide create something similar, to ensure it is weather resistant please be aware that Stone Art Clay needs to be kept indoors for 6 months initially.
Gerald will stay safely inside until next year. Just before putting him outside I will give another couple of coats of Easy Varnish, especially on the Easy 3D Flex patches.
Obviously if you choose to make your own Giraffe you can do it on as big, or as small a scale as you wish – using anything that is available to you at home. If you decide to make one please do post a photo over on our Facebook page as we love to see what people are inspired to create.
If you are unsure about how to create Stone Art Clay, my fellow design team member Annette has great instructions in this blog.
Easy 3D comes as a heavy powder that is mixed with Powertex Fabric Hardener to create a clay. The clay is like dough and can be applied to canvas art as well as sculpture. It’s designed to crack as it dries which can leave deep cracked textures in the surface.
If you would like to try some Easy 3D Flex for yourself you can find it at Powertex UK. Need a little help to make up the clay? Just go to the instruction sheet at the bottom.
Powertex Design Team examples
The Design Team love to use this clay. Here’s some examples of how they’ve used it in their creations.
This planet art project by Jill has a tutorial in the Magazine, click on the image to open.
Shell’s beautiful Mandala art also has a tutorial, click on the image to see her step by step blog.
This art doll kit is highly textured. You can see how Abigail puts this together in her tutorial, click on the image.
Tags are really popular in the crafting world at the moment. For my stormy sea tag, I’m using the A5 tag from Powertex UK. They are great quality to work with, whatever your style of crafting.
Don’t you just love the fact that we all have our own individual style? Obviously style evolves as we experiment and learn new techniques. My own style I would describe as rather haphazard. I’ve never been one for over thinking a project.
Once many years ago an art tutor declared my work to be very ‘organic’. Initially I wasn’t quite sure how to take this, but I think I know what she was getting at. As an artist I like to allow my paint, Powertex, or whatever medium I’m using to have a life of it’s own. You could say I’m a ‘go with the flow’ kind of a girl.
Go With The Flow
What do I mean by ‘go with the flow?’ Well, according to the artist Jenny Holzer “Going with the flow is soothing but risky.” I find it soothing to allow Powertex to take on a life of it’s own. I also love the sense of risk, the excitement of never quite knowing what I will end up with.
That could be why I love stormy seascapes. How wonderful that everyone’s storm will end up slightly different.
Sponge Powertex White over MDF pieces and set aside to dry.
2: Blue Bister
Spray Powertex Ready Mixed Blue Bister on the top third of the tag. Use a damp sponge wipe away spaces for the clouds.
3: Adding fabric strips
Soak denim strips in transparent hardener to for sections of the lighthouse and paint the top. A blast of ready mixed black bister gives a rugged effect.
4: Pouring Powertex
Fun Time! Pour blue fabric hardener with smidgeon of white for the wave. Whilst still wet spray with green bister and blast with dryer for movement and crackles.
5: Place the lighthouse
Place the lighthouse into position. Almost there now, just a couple of final touches and your picture will be complete.
6: Adding texture
Steel grey pigment with some easy structure paste create a rock for the lighthouse to stand on, and 3D Sand with Yellow Ochre Powertex form a shoreline. If you wish to add a few more wild white touches with a pallet knife, go for it.
Although this is only A5 in size, I think it packs a punch. As I stated above, this was very much a ‘go with the flow’ project.
Of course does help to have a rough idea of composition to keep the image interesting. Being a fan of the so called rule of thirds so, I placed my focal point (the lighthouse) to the left of the scene.
I also roughly directed the white foam on the wave to guide the eye up towards my focal point.
Please do post photos of your own stormy sea tags over on the Powertex Facebook Page, we love seeing what you create. Also feel free to leave any comments on here.
I’m the Powertex tutor for Southampton, so if you are interested in a workshop please pop over to my website where details can be found on the blog section. More info on Jenny Holzer can be found here.
That’s all from me for now folks. Keep on going with the flow and see you next month.
In this article I will show you how to recreate my interpretation of the Northern Lights using Powertex.
The Northern Lights, or Aurora Borealis have always fascinated me. Like the ocean which was the inspiration for my last blog, they have that ethereal, slightly unworldly quality. They are a reminder of just how wonderful nature can be.
The lovely Tracey Evans at Powertex HQ asked if I could use lots of colour and texture in this article. I used the gorgeous pigments to create the fluorescent greens and pinks for the sky. Textured stone art clay was added to signify water.
One thing I hadn’t realised before doing some research for this article, is that the Northern Lights also occur during the daytime. However the human eye is unable to see them at these times as the sun is too strong for them to show up.
I roughly covered my canvas using a mixture of Sherbert Dip Pigment and White Powertex for the sky, and White and Blue Powertex for the sea.
After spraying with Black Bister I blasted with a hair dryer to create crackles, and used a palette knife to scrape back and allow the yellows to shine through.
Stone Art sea
I used segments of Stone Art clay to create the illusion of a choppy sea. Powertex pearl pigments reflect the colours in the sky.
Putting a cluster of trees fading downwards, I painted some corrugated cardboard with acrylic and used a stubby brush to indicate branches.
I liked the way the Stone Art clay waves were curling and decided to highlight this using Powercolor Titanium White Pigment.
Finally I added some extra depth to the colours in the sky using Powerwax and pigment. I dip my finger in the wax, then the pigment and gently rub on in a circular movement.
Using the Powerwax in the final stage really helped to bring the picture to life. I was able to create beautiful swirling patterns in the sky using the amazingly vibrant Pearl Pigments which gave just the ethereal atmosphere I was hoping for.
Northern Lights in Powertex
That’s all from me for this month. I hope you have enjoyed this step by step article, and would love to see any Northern Lights inspired artwork you create over on our Facebook page. Please feel free to leave any comments, (especially nice ones).
If you are in the Southampton area and fancy coming along to a workshop you can find all my upcoming events on the blog section of www.artandmurals.co.uk. My Facebook page also has my events listed.