Powertex Fairy Lights Bottle

Van Gogh Inspired Powertex Bottle

by Donna Mcghie

Van Gogh Powertex bottle
I was inspired by my favourite artist Vincent Van Gogh

For this month’s Powertex step by step article I was asked to use fairy lights to create a lighting feature. So it just had to be a powertex fairy lights bottle!

The thought that immediately sprang into my mind was a painting by one of my favourite artists, Vincent Van Gogh.  I love his style of swirling, vibrant colours, and thought this would work really well with Powertex.

The painting I decided to pay homage to was Starry Starry Night.  I loved the thought of twinkly fairy lights shining through a swirling Powertex sky. 

Where to start

I decided to use a bottle as my base, and to use Powertex Paperdecoration as my main medium.  I love how it organically has all the textures and swirls I was hoping to recreate.  Paper dec  would also conveniently give me lots of gaps for those starry lights to shine through.

Powertex bottle light project
Powertex paperdecoration is just perfect for this project

There were some challenges with my idea.  Such as how to keep the glass showing through the gaps nice and clear.  But a bit of thinking outside the box overcame these, and I am really happy with the end result.

I’ve always loved Van Gogh, but fell in love with him even more after reading a book of his letters to his brother Theo. He wrote, like he painted, from his heart and soul.

Materials List

Step by Step

Wrap your bottle in bubble wrap to ensure the glass does not get too smeared to allow the lights to shine through.

prep for Powertex bottle project
I also wrapped my paper decoration round to ensure it was wide enough. Be sure to leave a few strands of this separate to use later.

Carefully soak your Powertex paper decoration in blue powertex. Lay it flat and swirl some yellow ochre powertex over the top.

blue and yellow powertex fabric hardener
the yellow swirls are prominent in the original painting

Now gently wrap the coloured paper decoration around the bubble wrapped bottle and leave to dry.

powertex blue paperdecoration wrapped around bottle
Ideally leave overnight to harden

Once dry, remove the bubble wrap and place the paper decoration back over your bottle, along with whatever embellishment you have chosen for the moon.

powertex blue moon bottle
I used a fabric button soaked in Blue Powertex for the moon. Also added some material strips around the bottle neck

I made white swirls using tiny strips of paper decoration soaked in transparent Powertex, and also added my twisted willow securing in place with strips of material.

powertex twisted willow
the twisted willow fits in perfectly with this design

Finally I enhanced the whole thing with dry brushing, and also added some minute stars, gems and eco friendly glitter.

powertex fairy lights bottle
Back view of my Powertex Light Bottle

I’m really pleased with how this powertex fairy lights bottle turned out. The powertex pigments I used to enhance the design were Colortrix Silver, Powerpearl and Terragreen, Powercolor Titanium White and Pearl Pigment Sherbet Dip.

I chose to pay tribute to Van Gogh, but I do think there are so many other artists whose style could be used for these bottle lights. I’d love to see any versions you come up with over on The Powertex Studio Facebook Group. If you are inspired by this, you might also want to check out my last blog which also has a painterly theme.

Thank you so much for reading.

If you would like to see more of what I get up to you can follow me on facebook, or check out my website. I look forward to seeing you again in June. Donna ūüôā

Powertex Roses on Canvas

Designer: Donna Mcghie

How to paint beautiful roses with blended pastel colours using Powertex

Powertex painted roses on canvas
Painted Powertex Roses on Canvas

One of my favourite photos is of my daughter, face painted as a fairy and for this article I decided to incorporate this into a Powertex roses on canvas painting. (I do tend to use family quite a lot for inspiration, as you can see in my January blog for Powertex UK which was done in memory of my nan.

I achieved this by photocopying my chosen image onto a piece of plain rice paper and then adhered it onto a canvas using powertex easy varnish

Top tip

Other ways you can achieve a similar effect are by using Powertex Powerprint
or alternatively choose one of the gorgeous faces available in the paper selection

Materials Used:

Blue, Grey and White Powertex Fabric Hardener

Powertex Easy Varnish

Rasberry Sorbet Acrylic Paint

Mint Jelly Acrylic Paint

Black Powercolor Powertex Pigment

Powercolor Lime Green Pigment

Interference Red Powder Pigment

Colortricx Power Pearl Powder Pigment

Powertex Easy Structure Paste

Powertex One Stroke Roses

As an ex face painter, one thing that is guaranteed to bring the wow factor to any design is a rose painted in the one stroke style. This method uses different colours blended together on the same brush to create the effect of highlights and low lights. I love the pastel effect it can create on the petals.

Gorgeous Pastel Effects can be achieved by painting with Powertex

To achieve this look you will need a flat brush, Easy Varnish and a selection of colours in either Powertex Hardener or you can use the gorgeous Acrylic paints available from the Website.

How to Achieve the One Stroke Effect

Paint thick stripes in the colours of your choice onto a separate sheet of paper. Always have a thin edge of white to achieve the highlight effect

Carefully load up a flat brush with the colour combination, being sure to keep that crisp white edge. I like to dip my brush in Easy Varnish first as this helps achieve a smooth blend in the colours.


Step one. Do a circle of background petals. Be sure to let this dry before moving onto step two

Step two. Place the brush down, and then twist slightly as you move around to create the rose shape. It does take some practice, but once you get the knack you will love it

Once you feel ready to, move onto your canvas and have some fun. I also added some texture with lime green pigment mixed in with some easy structure, before dry brushing with Interference Red and Power Pearl Pigments.

I love the ethereal effect of the finished piece


That’s all for now folks

Thank you so much for reading. I would love to see your powertex paintings over on our facebook group The Powertex Studio

If you would like to see more of what I get up to, please do pop over to my facebook page or my website which gives details of all my workshops local to Southampton.

Powertex Art Doll MDF Kit

mixed media powertex art doll using rice paper
There are no rules for these Art Dolls, other than have fun creating!

Where to start with an Art Doll

If I am completely honest, when I first opened my new Powertex Art Doll MDF Template I was a little bit daunted. I had never even heard of the term Art Doll before. And was a little bit worried that I would not be able to do it justice.

I got in touch with Tracey Evans at Powertex HQ. And asked her if there are any rules I should be adhering to when it comes to creating an Art Doll. Nope, she relied, no rules whatsoever.

Well, that was music to my ears. No rules meant that I could absolutely go to town with my rather bonkers imagination right? Right Tracey confirmed. Within no time at all, my reservations morphed into excitement.

This was going to be fun!

Art Deco Theme for inspiration

I started off by gently removing all mdf cut outs from the template. And having a bit of a play around with them.

I used some Transparent Powertex to fix the square frame together. And thought that this would fit nicely over one of the faces, available in the Powertex Rice Papers.

I had some gorgeous turquoise feathers that I had picked up some time ago. As soon as I played around with placing these on my design, a vague concept started to form in my mind. I was going to go Art Deco. I wanted my Art Doll to look like something you would stumble across whilst rummaging through an old attic.

How to start your Art Doll

Using the turquoise as a base for my colour scheme, I painted all my mdf pieces with white Powertex. I then took my oblong backdrop and poured small amounts of blue Powertex and yellow in dribbles onto it. Whilst this was still wet I then sprayed with blue bister and blasted with a hair dryer. This created an interesting texture on which to base my design.


mixed media powertex backdrop
Although very little of this back drop shows through on the finished design, I’m pleased I did it, as it set the mood for the look I was aiming for

I used the same technique for the frame for the face. However, I left the inside of this white so that I could stick on my face and it would show up nicely. (I didn’t want the face to look too pristine. So when I was dry brushing at the end I purposely added a bit of white to age the photo slightly.)

Mixed media rice paper powertex art doll
I deliberately added some white powercolour to help with the aged photo effect

I added the same face but smaller to the mdf shape, then adhered to the top of the oblong template. Next I added a shabby halo made of a scrap of gold coloured metal. To adhere everything I used Powertex Transparent Hardener. I wanted to add some interest to the wing shapes at the top. So I used the negative shapes from the template I had taken them from. This formed a stencil which I could spray some bister through.

bister stencils for powertex mixed media art doll
I also added on some real white feathers to add even more texture

I left all my mdf pieces overnight to dry and ensure they were securely adhered in place.

The next day I dry brushed using pearl white, white and copper powertex pigments to add to the ageing process.

My final step was to add on some of my beloved bling. Especially those gorgeous turquoise feathers which had been the inspiration for the Art Deco look.

Powertex mixed media Art Doll
My finished Powertex Art Doll

I honestly cannot say how much I enjoyed making this. Once I had put my fears to one side and embraced the freedom of just going for it.

If you would like to share your own creations, the Powertex team would love to have a look over at our facebook page The Powertex Studio.

Need more inspiration for your Art doll kit, take a look at some of the other articles from Design Team members to spark your imagination here is Abigail’s and Anne’s interpretation.

Thanks so much for reading.

I’m Donna and you can see more of my work over at www.artandmurals.co.uk

Step by step to techniques used to create a Powertex Box – Donna Mcghie

Hello and a very Happy New Year to everyone.

One of my resolutions for 2019 is to try and catch up with the modern age by getting to grips with videos in my blogs.   As you can also see, my daughter has been very helpful in getting them onto my computer for me, hence the titles of the videos.

What you will need to create your button tin:

Step by Step Instructions and Techniques:

1) As the box I was using was plastic I covered the base section with masking tape and then painted over this with Powertex Hardener so that the material would have something to adhere to.

2) I painted the lid with white gesso

IMG_20181228_171807-01
I painted the lid with white gesso so that my art deco image would show up

3) Once the bottom section was dry enough,  I turned it upside down and proceeded to soak strips of material in the Powertex Fabric Hardener and after squeezing out thoroughly placed them over the base.  At this point I was keeping the material nice and smooth as I laid it on as I wanted a flat bottom for my tin to rest on.

4) I dried this with a hair dryer and once dry enough, turned it over and started to work on my sides.  I wanted more texture on the sides, so scrunched up my fabric and added buttons as well.

IMG_20181229_154032-01
This is  a photo of the side once it has been dry brushed

If you want to you can also do this on the inside of your box.

5) Whilst this was drying off, I started to work on my lid.  I gently tore around the image I wanted to use from the Powertex Art Nouveau Rice Papers.  Then, using a good quality brush I brushed a little of the varnish onto the dried gesso, before carefully placing my image where I wanted it to go.  I then secured this in place by brushing over with a couple of more layers of varnish.  (NB: It is worth using a good quality brush for this as you want the image to be nice and smooth, the Powertex Brushes are perfectly designed for the job).

5) Once my image was in place, I carefully built up a pattern around it.  I wanted the most texture on my lid, so have done a short video to demonstrate how I did this.

6) Once the lid was covered, I added pieces of jewellery from my junk stash.  I also liked the idea of adding a frame, so used a small mdf one, and then, in memory of my nan and her tin, added some more buttons as well.

IMG_20181228_170255-01
I couldn’t resist adding a choker to my lady

7)  I left my box to dry off completely overnight

8) The next day it was time for my favourite part, dry brushing.  I wanted to give the impression of a bronze tin, whilst also subtly incorporating some of the colours on the Art Nouveau image, so I opted to use pigments in Bronze Gold, interference Blue and Interference Red.  Dry brushing is simple once you get used to the technique which is this:

  • Dip your flat brush into a small amount of Powertex Easy Varnish
  • Then dip the same brush into a small amount of whichever Powertex Pigment you have chosen
  • Now wipe the brush off on a sheet of paper towel.¬† This may counter productive, but it really is worth doing as you will get the best results when the brush is quite dry and will only pick out highlights, rather than smothering your design with thick colour.
  • Now you are ready to very gently, sweep your brush over your design.¬† Being sure to keep it flat.¬† You will be amazed at how quickly your design starts to come to life.

My best tip for dry brushing would be to start off gently and gradually build up to the depth of colour you want.

9) I did this over the whole of my tin.

10) And voila!! A rather bog standard plastic chocolate box that was destined to be added to landfill is now a  beautiful button box, in memory of a lovely lady.

IMG_20190102_112733-01
My finished box

I really enjoyed making this, and obviously similar boxes can be transformed in so many different ways – to reflect the personality of whoever you are making it for, or in memory of.

I hope you enjoyed this blog (please excuse the amateur video techniques, I will get better, I promise).  If you create your own version of one of these I would love to see it, and you can post photos on the Powertex Addicts Facebook Page

If you would like to see more about what I do, and why I do it my website page is www.artandmurals.co.uk

Simple step by step to a cute Powertex Penguin

For this month’s Powertex Blog we were given the theme of winter crafting.

As we are getting towards the end of the year, and I have obviously got lots of lovely new Powertex goodies on my Christmas list (and I have been a fairly good girl) I thought it was a good opportunity to also use up some spare bits I had from previously in the year.

Meet Quentin

Quentin (made using bronze powertex)

Priscilla

Priscilla (made using grey powertex)

and Paulio

Paulio (made using black powertex)

What I used:
Small amount of Powertex Stone Art 
Small amount of Powertex Fabric Hardener
Powertex Colour Pigments
Small amount of Powertex Easy Varnish
Small scraps of fabric
Small Polystyrene Eggs

How I made my Powertex Penguins:

I had a few small polystyrene Easter eggs left over from Easter crafting workshops and projects, and when I looked at these, the image of a cute little penguin appeared in my mind.

Having just finished a unicorn workshop I had a small amount of stone art clay left over, (which was made using bronze powertex) which was just perfect for covering the egg to create a penguin shape.

I had my stone art clay already mixed left over from my previous workshop (if kept in an airtight container it will last for quite some time once mixed up).  But if you are mixing it fresh it is very easy to do (it always reminds me of making pastry)

Simply pour a small amount of your hardener into a tub, and gradually add stone art, little by little, mixing with a pallet knife until a dough like subtance forms.  Roll it into a ball, and keep kneading and rolling until it comes away cleanly from your hands.

I made up three small balls, as I find it easier to work in this way

mix up small balls of stone art clay using Powertex Fabric Hardener and stone art

From here I simply rolled small bits out and covered my egg shape with the clay. I like to create textures in the clay so I used a small stamp to do this as I went.  Be sure to make the base of the egg quite flat so that your penguin is able to stand steadily.

I rolled a smaller ball to create a head shape, then added small rolls flattened out to indicate the wings, and molded a beak which I added to the head.  For eyes you can use any small round beads.  I was making it up as I went along, and had some Powertex sand balls handy so used these, painted black which worked just as well.

Starting to look vaguely penguinesque

It is when you add the colour that the penguins start to come to life.  I used black, white, tequila sunrise and silver, but basically you can use any colour that takes your fancy.  These are fantasy penquins, so use your imagination.

I was quite pleased with Quentin, but something was missing.¬† My daughter had the solution.¬† ‘He needs a little scarf’ she told me, and she was right, he did.¬† So I simply cut up an old scarf from my stash of material, soaked in transparent powertex and wrapped it round him to keep him nice and snug.¬† The final touch, and purely optional was some frosty glitter.

I was so pleased with him, and with how easy it was to make, that I made up some more stone art clay using some black powertex that had been lingering in the bottom of a bottle, and also some grey and made him a mum and a dad, so now I have my own cute little Powertex Penguin Family

Quentin, Priscilla and Paulio – keeping as snug as possible against that cold wind

These were genuinely quick and easy to make – and a great way to use up any last bits of stone art clay or powertex that you have lying around.

If you decide to make a Powertex Penguin we would love to see your photos over at the facebook page  Powertex Addicts United

You can see more of my makes on my website www.artandmurals.co.ukwww.artandmurals.co.uk 

Step by Step Powertex Zombie Hand

Apart from the time my daughter made me sit through Dawn of the Dead with her, I have never watched a zombie movie in my life, but this for this Halloween I decided to embrace my dark side and have a bit of fun creating a Powertex Zombie Hand.

 

What I used:

1 x Mache Hand (I got mine from Hobbycraft, but they are available in most craft stores)
1 x Powertex Wooden Base
1 x torn off cotton shirt sleeve
Masking Tape
Tin foil
Powertex Fabric Hardener
Various Powertex Pigments
Powertex Easy Varnish
Powertex Bister I used the ready made sprays of red and black, but again any colours will give a good effect
Bag of Halloween Spiders (or whatever else takes your fancy)
Small Tiles if you want to add a bit of weight to the base

What I did:

I made a hole in the base of the mache hand, and placed it over the top of the Powertex Wooden Base, securing it with masking tape.

I then bulked out the top of the base with tin foil so that there was not a sudden edge where the hand met the pole, and covered with masking tape and Powertex.¬† (It doesn’t matter what colour Powertex you use for this as it will all be covered up anyway.

I painted the hand with Red Powertex Hardener, and then went to town with dribbling Black, Red and Green Powertex on top of this, spraying with my bister and blasting with a hair dryer to create lots of bubbles and textures.   

Top Tip: I keep my old Powertex containers that just have a few dribbles left in them for this purpose, I love a the effect of dribbling and spraying with bister, so absolutely nothing goes to waste by doing this.

I then soaked my torn sleeve in Black Powertex – being sure to keep the edges nice and raggedy, and also turning it inside out to make sure all of the inside of the sleeve was also thoroughly coated, before sliding it on over the base and playing with it to create lots of interesting creases in the fabric.

The sleeve took a bit of persuasion to stay in place, so I wrapped some clingfilm round it and left it overnight so that it would harden in the position I wanted it to be in.

Once the sleeve had set in place, I added some plastic spiders to really spook it up.  The spiders I used were plastic ones so I secured them in place with superglue.

I also wanted to add a bit more weight to my sculpture so I painted a couple of small tiles with Black Powertex and placed my Powertex Wooden Base on top of these.

Now it was time to add the final touch of colour.

I chose to use Red and Burgendy to give the effect of dried blood and fresh blood, along with the Golden Olive for the zombified hand.

The shirt I dry brushed with White and did the Spiders in Silver before going over the whole thing with the Wonderfully Spooky Terragreen to finish it off.

This was definitely out of my comfort zone, but great fun to make.  The Powertex Team would love to see your Halloween makes so please do post them on our Facebook Page Powertex Addicts United

You can see more of my makes on www.facebook.com/artmuralsbydonnamcghie 

or my website www.artandmurals.co.ukwww.artandmurals.co.uk

 

Step by Step Harvest Moon in Powertex

My Design Team Member challenge this month was to create something representing Autumn and Harvest. Immediately in my mind an image of a gorgeous Harvest Moon appeared, with vivid autumnal colours framing a simple  sillhouette.

Having a look through the Powertex UK website I was drawn to the large Styrofoam Circles and metal base as the perfect shape to work with.

To start off, I covered the entire circular base with yellow hardener, which I also sprayed with mahogany bister before drying with a hair dryer to create my first layer of texture.  I think it looks like a cake at this stage.

Now it was time to gently add a layer Stone Art to one side of the circle, to create some moon like texture.  I also added a bit of stoneart to the edges of my circle. Now it resembled a cake with a dusting of icing.

From here, I did one of my favourite things to do with Powertex, swirl it on.  I swirled on Red and Yellow, gradually adding more Stone Art as I went, to create some beautiful patterns on my sculpture.  After adding each swirl, I very gently rubbed in more stone art, building up lots of crater like textures in differing shades of colour.
I used some Powertex 3D Sand  to add some more subtle texture to the edges.

 

I was fairly happy with it so far, but wanted it to have a really deep sheen, and the best thing to help me achieve that was PowerWax
I dipped a small sponge in some of the wax, then into my Autumnal Pigments (I chose Copper, Pearl Red, Clear Gold and Pearl White)  I gently rubbed in a circular motion all over my sculpture.  Making sure to work my way deep into all those lovely little crackles and crevices.  The Copper, Pearl Red and Clear Gold worked to enhance the swirls I had created, and I then went over the whole thing again with the Pearl White to blend them all in together.

My finishing touch for the front of my sculpture was to Paint a very fine lined image of some wheat sheafs in Black Acrylic for the sillhouette

 

 

To create the back of my moon, I simply swirled some more Red and Yellow Powertex over the layer I had already put on, added some bister and blasted with a hair dryer to create lots of beautiful textures.  Once this was thoroughly dry, I repeated the same process with the PowerWax and Pigments
I am really pleased with how this turned out, because it is so close to the image I had in my mind’s eye.¬† It was really easy to do, and you don’t even have to be great at painting because the wheatsheafs really are just very thin lines of black paint with a few whispy sheafs at the top.
I would love to see what creations you come up with with an Autumnal theme – if you don’t already know there is a facebook page dedicated to seeing all your lovely makes www.facebook.com/powertexaddicts
If you fancy seeing more of what I get up to, my facebook page is www.facebook.com/artmuralsbydonnamcghie
and my website is www.artandmurals.co.uk

Who Let The Powertex Out?

 Meet Englebert, the naughty Powertex Afghan Hound

 

I love dogs – so was delighted to open up my Powertex Design Team package this month and find this handsome chap waiting for me.

Also included was a handy stand so that my finished sculpture can be displayed as a standing feature anywhere in the house.

I love using Powertex Powercotton in my sculptures, so decided to change him into an Afghan Hound, named Englebert (as you do).

After a quick google search I discovered that as well as having all that gorgeous hair, Afghan Hounds are quite different in their build.  They have completely different shaped back legs, and a different shaped nose and stomach as well.  Luckily this not a problem with powertex, I simply molded some good old tin foil over the parts I wanted to change, and then covered with masking tape. Once I had done this I painted the whole thing in Bronze Powertex universal medium.

As you can see, I also used masking tape to adhere my dog to the stand.

I love the effect of the crackles that form in Easy 3D Flex so decided to use this on the nose, mixing it with my bronze Powertex until it formed a clay and then shaping this around my template.   I used some wooden balls as eyes.  I was working in the garden on a hot sunny day, so I left it for the afternoon so that the heat would really start to bring out the textures and crackles in my clay.

I like the weight Powertex stone art can give to sculptures, so I then made up some stone art clay (by mixing powertex and stoneart to form a clay again), to cover the rest of my dog.¬† If you don’t have any stone art clay no worries – the whole body gets covered anyway so you could just as easily cover it using material soaked in powertex.

Once this was dry enough, it was onto the part I had most been looking forward to – using the powercotton to create Englebert’s coat.¬† I am a notoriously messy worker, so my one tip when using powercotton would be to cut it up into manageable segments and lay it out in small batches so that you can pick them up easily.¬† If I don’t do this I end up with a whole bunch of powertexed powercotton from my messy hands before I am ready to use it.

I started off with smaller batches of powercotton by his feet, and then layered up with longer and longer batches.  Finishing off with really long sections for his gorgeous flowing ears.  I used a small strip of thin rope as his collar.

I think Englebert is beautiful, but also rather naughty. I like to imagine that he had jumped into a river to cool down, so is not quite up to Crufts standard of blow dry.  He also loves smelling flowers, so on the base I used an old tumble dry sheet soaked in Powertex (you can also obviously use a strip of material, but I am trying to recycle as much as possible), and some material flowers.

Once he was dry, it was time to pick out all the highlights using Powertex colours and dry brushing.

To dry brush you simply dip a flat brush into a small amount of Powertex Varnish, and then into the powder colour of your choice.  Wipe the brush off on a sheet of paper towel, and then, keeping the brush very flat, gently glide it over your sculpture, building up the colour as you go.

I used bronze colortrix for Engelbert’s coat, and a small amount of black shaded in for his nose.¬† I wanted the collar to stand out so opted for one of the gorgeous new Secret Art Loft powders of Green Parrot.¬† I also used this colour for the leaves of the flowers.¬† For the grass I used Golden Olive, and¬†¬†¬†¬† for the roses Berry Sour, before also giving these a very light covering of the bronze powder to tie the whole thing in.

Here is my finished Engelbert.  I hope you like him, and would love to see what you make with any of the wonderful templates available from Powertex UK

Don’t forget you can post your makes at our facebook page Powertex Addicts United.¬† We love to see what you come up with.¬† If you’re interested you can check out more of my makes on my website www.artandmurals.co.uk and my facebook page www.facebook.com/artmuralsbydonnamcghie¬†

Thanks for reading and see you next month ūüôā

Products used are as follows:

Powertex Dog MDF Template
Powertex 2 Pin Base
Powertex Bronze Hardener
Powertex 3D Flex
Powertex Stone Art
Bronze Gold Colortrix
Secret Art Loft Pigment Powder Green Parrot
Secret Art Loft Pigment Powder Golden Olive 
Secret Art Loft Pigment Powder Berry Sour
Powertex Easy Varnish

 

This Boot Was Made With Memories

How Powertex Can Be Used To Create A Beautiful Memorial Boot

 

One of the things I love most about being a Powertex Tutor are the wonderful stories that unfold as people get totally absorbed in creating something beautiful and meaningful.

I have been priviliged to hear many really moving accounts of why people are making their sculptures, and who they are making them for, or, as is often the case, who they are making them  in memory of.

Obviously these are very personal stories, and I think the very fact that people feel comfortable to open up and talk, either within a group, or on a one to one basis speaks volumes about the therapeutic nature of creating with Powertex.

I have been given permission by one lady to share her story here.

S’s dad had passed away recently.¬† He was a keen gardener, and she contacted me to ask if I would be able to do a Powertex Workshop using an old boot, which she could use to keep his ashes in.

Of course I said yes. It would be an absolute honour.

I love doing boot workshops anyway, but knew that this one was going to be something rather special.

We wanted to be sure that there was a suitable place within the boot for S’s father’s ashes, and we did this by covering a small plastic seedling pot with masking tape, before lodging it into the opening of the boot, and then putting a covering of powertex soaked material over this.¬† Ensuring that there was a good sized place for the ashes to sit in, but also ensuring it would be weatherproof as S thought she might want the boot to sit outside in the garden.¬† One of her father’s favourite places.

Once we had done this, under my guidance, S covered the whole boot with powertex soaked fabric, scrunching it up to give lots of interesting texture and character.  S added a few appropriate bits and pieces from my ever ready stash of goodies I collect from charity shops etc, such as little material roses, and a heart taken from a piece of jewellery.

Then she added the piece, that I think makes the boot really stunning.¬† A small ornamental bird that she had brought along, to symbolise her father’s love of birds.

We left the boot overnight to dry completely, before dry brushing, which really makes it pop as a work of art.

Although I had been keen to help S make her memorial boot, if I’m honest a part of me was also really nervous, about whether it would be a sad experience for her.¬† As it turned out the opposite was true.¬† It was a joyous workshop, with lots of laughter and memories recounted about a man who was obviously someone who lived life to the full.¬† And I although I didn’t know him, I do think I got a feel for the man’s character from S’s fond and happy recollections over the weekend.

I think, I hope, that his boot is a fitting memorial of a man with a real  joie de vivre.

S tells me it caputres him perfectly, and that she smiles every time she looks at her boot.  Which in turn makes me smile as well.

If you would like to contact a tutor to help with making your own memorial for someone special get in touch with the guys at Powertex UK, or head over to our facebook pages powertex addicts united and the powertex studio

You can find out more about my Powertex workshops on my facebook page   or my website www.artandmurals.co.uk

 

Venetian Dreams

For this month’s blog I was given the Venetian Masquerade Project pack to work with, and my goodness is there a lot to play with in this kit.¬† No less than three MDF masks, oodles of mdf embellishments, and some absolutely beautiful venetian rice paper.

How gloriously decadent.

I’m not lucky enough to have ever been to Venice, but I always imagine it to have a slightly surreal air about it.

I decided to create a triptych using three long canvasses.¬† Because of my perceived idea of what Venice is like, I was aiming to create a dream like feel. I don’t know about you, but I always find Venetian masks gorgeous, but also slightly ominous, and I also¬† wanted to convey this in my final piece.

To start off with I laid out my three canvasses, and placed my Powertex goodies on them to get a rough idea of how I was going to do this. I always do this in the full knowledge that my ideas will change once I get going, and I’m absolutely fine with this.¬† Go with the flow is my motto.

Once I had a rough plan, I set about creating a watery feel by pouring ivory powertex and blue powertex onto the canvas, and swirling them together with a scraper.  I then added some blue bister in patches to add a feeling of depth.

Now it was time to add the absolutely beautiful Powertex Venetian Rice Paper, which I did by tearinground the bits I wanted to use, and then carefully adding them onto the canvas using easy varnish.

I then painted my mdf masks in the Secret Art Loft Acrylic Paint Blueberry Pie, before adding some Easy 3D Flex on top of this.  I like to add a bit of colour underneath 3D Flex so that you get glimpses of it coming through once the cracks start to appear.  To make 3D Flex I mixed in in with Ivory Powertex to create a clay texture and then put this on top of my masks.  I left them in a warm place to dry overnight, which is when the cracks develop.

Now it was time to start putting the whole thing together.  I used the gorgeous inteference pigments to add an ethereal sheen to my masks, and for the lips I used red powertex sprayed over with brown bister to create an end of the night decadence to them.

Ages ago I had picked up the black lacy masks knowing that at some point the perfect opportunity for using them would arise, and here was just that opportunity.  I soaked these in transparent powertex before adding them to my masks.

I wanted my smaller mask to have a bit of bling to it, so added some chainmail junk jewellery I had in my stash to the beak. I then made a headress using more jewellry and the mdf feathers.  I  toned the whole thing down by spraying with brown bister before using my fingers to rub in more interference pigments and also turquoise throughout the whole piece where I felt it needed a bit more light and shade.

Finally, I felt the need to add actual feathers to my smaller mask.  I always know once I get my feathers out that it is time to stop, so I downed tools at that point.

 

 

 

If I’m perfectly honest, I did find this project a bit of a challenge.¬† But I’m really pleased with the end result.¬† I’d love to see what you do with your project pack.¬† Please do post them onto our Powertex Addicts Facebook Page.
You can see more of my work on www.facebook.com/artmuralsbydonnamcghie  and   www.artandmurals.co.uk