Van Gogh Inspired Powertex

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. 

Vincent Van Gogh style Powertex
Swirly patterns reminiscent of Van Gogh often work their way into my art

“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.

Van Gogh quote with Powertex art
I incorporate some of Van Gogh’s quotes into my art using the Powertex stencils

“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.

paint brush incorporated into powertex journal
I added an old paint brush as it just felt like it belonged in this piece

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.

I had fun incorporating the twisted willow into this design

“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.

front and back of my van gogh powertex journal
The one journal I always keep safe and sound

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.

If Medusa could Stone Art you

Designer – Shell North

For my July article we are delving into ancient Rome and looking at incorporating Medusa and Stone Art. The Romans were renowned for their love of wine, both producing it and drinking it. So a wine Medusa jug is what I will teach you to make this time.

Medusa was a Gorgon and one of the most frequently repeated motifs in Greek and later, in Roman antiquities. The Legend has it that if you were to gaze into her eyes you would turn to stone. Or in our case…Stone art!

Powertex Stone Art Medusa jug by Shell North

Materials List

Powertex materials list for Medusa jug
Powertex item list

How to make a Stone Art Medusa jug

Make some Stone Art clay

To start I mixed my own colour using the Bronze, Lead and Ivory Powertex Fabric Hardener to make my own shade of stone art clay. I mixed it with equal parts Stone Art powder to make the clay.

Mixing Powertex

TOP TIP Leave some of the Powertex mix aside before mixing in the Stone Art powder as you will need some for the cotton later.

Making the jug shape

Insert the bottle into the large yoghurt pot, add foil to create shape and cover in masking tape. Shape foil to create a handle and tape as above.

Make the jug shape with foil

The messy fun bit

Using the Stone Art clay, smooth pieces over the base little by little until covered. Shape a spout as desired with the Stone Art clay.

Add Stone Art clay

Adding the motif

Cover the back of your plaster face with a little Stone Art clay and smooth around the edges into position.

Plaster face
Use a plaster face

Creating the deadly snake hair

To create Medusa’s hair use some tiny strips of cotton and work them into the Powertex Fabric Hardener colour mix you made earlier.

Making fabric snake hair
Making snake hair

Creating moving hair

Using the wet strands, apply one by one in a wiggly position, over lapping and layering to create movement like living snakes!

Snake hair Medusa
Medusa

To finish

Dry brush lighter shades of Grey and Red ochre Powercolor pigments and Easy Varnish, finishing with lighter colours last to give a worn/aged appearance.

Powertex Stone Art Medusa jug by Shell North
Powertex Medusa jug by Shell North

Handy tip

TOP TIP To get even coverage with stone art, why not use a pasta machine to roll out your clay all in one equally level sheet. I have found many cheap second hand ones for £5 in charity shops! Just make sure your clay is not sticky before rolling through.

Did you see Kore’s planet canvas recently? I was hugely inspired by it so if you missed it, find it here and you too may find inspiration.

Hope you enjoyed this article? If so please comment below or share your inspiration on the Facebook Powertex Studio page.

Well that’s all for me this month,

Peace, love and a little splash of wine from my jug 😉

Shell xxx

Recycled Bottle Powertex art

Recycled Bottle Art Mixed Media with Powertex – by Anne

I simply love to recycle, upcycle and repurpose so this project using a recycled wine bottle and a set of cheap cocktail glasses from the charity shop was a perfect project for me. I also used some of my old T shirts and fabric scraps too, to create  recycled bottle powertex art.

recycled bottle powertex art

This set is now perfect for any festive or celebratory occasion. The bottle could be used either as a decanter (by using with a bottle stopper or cork) or used with a slim candle to adorn the table. Using Powertex enables items to be easily washed too.

Materials used:

How it was done:

The bottle was actually a project that I started on my level 1 Powertex Tutor training. I was fairly happy with it but I had always wanted to take it a few steps further. I am definitely a ‘more is more’ type of girl and I wanted to add extra embellishments to complete it – but what? Sadly it got confined to the corner for over a year before the idea finally came to me when I came home from the charity shop with my set of cocktail glasses.

AW Glasses 1

The lemon coloured glasses inspired citrus, the blue coloured glasses inspired berries – yay – off we go!

 recycled bottle powertex art

Starting with my bottle: Blue Powertex medium was used to coat recycled T shirt fabrics and hessian which was draped around the bottle to give texture. Kitchen paper was separated into single ply and blue Powertex was used to glue it around the neck of the bottle to give added texture. Blue Powertex was also used to paint and glue the plaster face.

Eeeek – I was freaking out a bit this stage as it looked awful. I will say that this was part of the training. We were given a few challenges! The blue is a gorgeous colour but not necessarily the easiest for your first ventures. If you are a beginner I would recommend starting with Bronze Powertex and colouring as I did for the blue glasses as given below; achieving a similar final result with less palpitations – tee hee.

 recycled bottle powertex art

Spritzing with Brown and Red Bister gave a nice purple muted effect which was lovely, and also blended in the darker T shirt material nicely. Powercolor and Colortricx Pigments were mixed with Easy Varnish and dry brushed over the piece to highlight textures. The dry brushing really does make so much difference! Ooooh much happier now, but as I said – it needed more work in my mind.

AW Fruit 1

Now for the embellishments: With fruit embellishments in mind I mixed up some Stone Art with Ivory Powertex to make a clay and used silicone moulds to make citrus slices, nuts, leaves and berries. Once dry I used Secret Art Loft Acrylics to paint them.

AW Fruit 2

When painting the fruit slices the outer ring of pith was left unpainted. Dry brushing with Ivory Powertex was used to highlight the central pith texture and make the lemon slices look more realistic.

AW Fruit 3

The same with the orange slices.

AW Fruit 4

The berries and nuts were also painted with Secret Art Loft Acrylics. I mixed colours to give a more naturalistic look.

AW Fruit 5

Varying colour mixes and depth.

AW Fruit 6

Purples, pinks, oranges and green mixes were used to colour the berries. Once coated with varnish (last steps) they looked quite realistic.

recycled bottle powertex art

Various fruits, nuts and leaves were used to embellish the bottle.  Items were stuck down using Transparent Powertex. Where needed 3D sand was mixed with Bronze Powertex in order to make a 3D glue to stick down shaped embellishments on the textural surface.

Yay – fulfilling my ‘more is more’ – ha ha.

 recycled bottle powertex art

Secret Art Loft pigments were mixed with varnish and were dry brushed over textured areas and over the berries to give extra pearlescent sheen.

Coloured Powertex is weatherproof and therefore washable. Acrylic paint layers were further protected by painting with Easy varnish to ensure that the bottle was fully washable. The varnish also enhanced the painting and gave the fruits and berries a lovely sheen. Happy bunny.

AW Glasses 2

Next to decorate the glasses:  I collected together varied textural fabrics. The blue background is my plastic shower curtain that I use to cover my bench – joyous messiness evident!

AW Glasses 3

The glass stems and base of the bowls were painted with a coat of bronze Powertex. Any drips were removed with a damp cloth. T shirt fabric was cut into strips and stretched to make a ‘cord’ for wrapping the stems. More fabrics and T shirt strips were coated with Bronze Powertex and wrapped around the glass bowls. The T shirt cord held everything in place around the top of the glasses while drying. I applied the main 3D texture just to one face, leaving the backs flatter (otherwise they might get in the way when drinking from the glasses). The smoother stems made them easy and comfortable to hold.

AW Glasses 4

The blue glasses were embellished with berries and textures enhanced with dry brushing using the blue/purple toned Secret Art Loft Pigments.

AW Glasses 5

Oooh yummy.

AW Glasses 6

The yellow glasses were embellished with citrus slices and textures enhanced with dry brushing using the citrus and gold toned Secret Art Loft Pigments.

AW Glasses 7

More yummy.

recycled bottle powertex art

I hope that you like my celebratory table set. I really enjoy making these – and using now them – special glasses seem to make the contents more special too.

recycled bottle powertex art

Do join us over in the Powertex Studio over on Facebook and share with us your recycled bottle powertex art. Happy crafting, Anne x.