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

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

It’s always time for tea

Hi there, did you see Tracey on Hochanda? Have you got your Alice themed projects yet?
I had such a lot of fun creating this colourful piece.  I’m popping some photos below so you can see the steps I took to create it.
First I added rice paper using Easy Coat matte and did a loose layout
Next I covered everything in Ivory Powertex and sprayed with blue and red Bister,  and then left overnight to make sure it was thoroughly dry
I then washed back the bister to leave the nice soft blues and pinks
Next I used Easy Structure and some stencils to create extra texture  once that was dry I used the gloriously bright Secret Art Loft pigments and inks as well as some Powercolor

 

 

 

 

Finally I drilled holes with a 2mm drill bit and threaded through some paper string to hang my tea shoppe sign with
Hope you like it and have loads of fun and hope we are inspiring you to create your own unique pieces
Bye for now
Fi

Altered Time

WOW what a cold and long winter we’ve had here in the UK and it’s something we don’t get very often – Time just seemed to drag on and on … which brings me timely to my latest blog (Corny I know hahaha)!

Using the fabulous March  Project Pack  I had oodles of fun creating this Pocket Watch taking the Mad Watch scene from Alice in Wonderland as my inspiration.  I didn’t add butter or mustard! but I did use some of them to pull together my colour pallet.

So first I unpacked and laid out the ingredients from the project pack, picked out some PowerColors and mixed up the black bister from the kit.

I always like to get a rough layout even though I know it will change once I get started.

With this one I wanted a slighty deeper clock face so I used some MDF dropouts to raise the rim above the clock face.

First I used some Easy Structure and a cogs stencil (from my own stash)  to create some background texure that fitted with the theme.

Easy Structure dries really quickly and I prefer to let it dry naturally but if you are in a hurry you can blast it with some heat from a hair dryer or heat gun.

Once the easy structure was dry I coated the whole layer  of Ivory Powertex from the kit (with a generous amount where there was no stencilling).

I then placed some of the drop outs around the perimeter of the base, added the heart in the centre and the largest cog on top.

I added some Ivory Powertex under the outer rim of the top layer of the watch and placed on top taking care to line it up accurately.  I applied more Powertex  over the top layer and then sprayed generously with black bister.

I used a hairdryer to dry and create some areas with a  bister split creating more texture and interest.

This part was all done in around 10-15 minutes.

While this finished drying I coated the numbers, clock hands and a few circle mdf dropouts with ivory. I then did the same to the remaining cogs which I placed into position while they were still wet.

The image tp the left shows where I thought I would place them, but I did move them around a few times before I put the Powertex on.


Once the cogs, numbers, hands etc were dry I used Rich Gold Colorticx and Easy Varnish to richly coat the numbers and clock hands.

I applied Yellow Ochre, Red Ochre and Dark Green pigments randomly over the cogs and circles and applied with Powertex pressing firmly on each piece until they had started to stick.


I used bronze gold colortricx to dry brush the background of the clock face.

I then added washes of turquoise pigment as well as the yellow, red and dark green pigments to build up a rusty look.

I built this up over several thin layers.

I added a few flat back crystals to highlight where there were missing numbers and also popped some rusty circles to finish off the smaller cogs.

I did a similar finish to the stand using Ivory Powertex, Black Bister as well rich and bronze gold to give a cohesive look to the finished piece.

Below are some other close ups so you can see how it was all finished.

And here is the finished altered timepiece…

Have fun and don’t forget to share your makes with us over on Powertex Addicts or why not join our fab new group The Powertex Studio where Certfied Powertex Tutors as well as YOU can share your creations and we can inspire each other.

Bye for now
Fi xx
This is what I had left!!!!!

 

 

These are the pigments I used and below are some close ups…

 

 

 

February Ramblings from Fi Potter

Hi Fi here, can you believe it’s February already? I’ve been busy doing lots of arty stuff with Powertex of course but also mixed media art journaling.
I was asked by my friend Debbie Bulford if I would like to decorate some of her rather fab jewellery stands. Well I didn’t need asking twice. They are such a neat design both for displaying your jewellery at home and even more because they pack flat making them super easy to carry to craft fairs.
I did two sets, the first I used neutral earthy tones of Powertex Bronze, Grey and Ivory. I used sand and Stone Art to add texture and then highlighted the edges with Bronze Gold and Silver Colortrix and Powerwax. Once the wax was dry I buffed them up to give a satin finish.
The second set I used Powertex Ivory and Bister’s in Blue, Yellow and Red. I used the hairdryer to achieve some subtle cracking and left to dry. I then washed them back quite hard. I still have a little more work to do on this set to highlight the edges and also in the base of both sets.  More photos will be added to my Facebook and Instagram pages soon. Can’t wait to display my own Powertex Jewellery on these.
I’m in my second year of doing Tamara Laporte of Willowing Arts Life Book.  I love the way Tam puts these online workshops together. Week one we created a Garden Fairy and this gorgeous girl is of my own hand,  I love her so much and can’t quite believe that I did it.  Now watch this space because I am incorporating her in a new Powertex project which I shall blog in the coming weeks…join me as I create her fairy story “Once upon a time…”
That’s all for now
Have a fab week and keep crafting …
Fi xxx

It’s Owl a bit punky

Hi there Fi here having some fun with the January Owl project pack from Powertex UK.
This kit is a bit of Owl-right! Lots of luscious embellishments and a super MDF base kit that will be a great outdoor decoration once the spring comes and the owl has had time to fully cure (about 4 weeks).
So let’s get started!

First I tipped out the embellishment kit onto a plate, then did the same with the added mdf dropouts – I just have to say how much I love the dropouts! Lots of circles that will be ideal for steam punk and grungy styles and loads more that will help to give depth on other creations.

Next I laid out a basic idea for where I was heading.  I was given the challenge to go for a more steam punk look so I wanted to suggest a re-cycled re-used look and also went with the Owl being King of the Night!

Even if this hadn’t been for a blog, I would have taken a photo of my layout for reference – even though I might change a few bits as go ahead.

Once the photo is taken move your pieces off the owl.

Tip: When I removing my lay out, I laid them out in little groups so I didn’t waste time or get frustrated looking for each piece.

Next I painted both sides and all the edges of the main owl piece with Powertex Bronze.  I dried off with the hairdryer.

Next I ripped up a sheet of kitchen paper and separated the layers.

I poured some Powertex onto the body and worked in to pieces of the kitchen paper, moving the kitchen paper into position with my brush.

I then moved on to the wings.  I painted with Powertex, cut the narrow lace in half and worked Powertex into it. I then shaped the lace around the outside of the right wing and the inside of the left wing – I like mixing things up and felt it added to the theme.

Next I worked on the eyes and the crown of my majestic owl.

I raised the left eye proud of the base by placing 4 of the dropout circles behind the main eye circle using Powertex.

I added a metal embellishment inside the eye and then one of the glass pebbles, I moved on to complete the right eye and and the crown.

Remember Powertex is paint, glue, fabric hardener, pigment all in one so no need for additional mediums

Once this was done I completed the wings by adding layers of embellishments and referred to my photo when needed.

I used some more kitchen paper, that had Powertex worked in, under some embellishments to give it extra purchase.

Once the wings were complete, I worked on the main body, tail and branch areas.

I did change things around a little here from how I had originally laid it out.

Don’t worry about getting Powertex on the glass and resin embellishments as these can be wiped off gently with a baby wipe

Once I was happy with the placement of embellishments, I loaded my brush with Powertex and stippled over some areas where the embellishments were heavy for extra sticking power.  I then left it overnight to fully dry.

Once the night was over it was time to bring King Owl to life adding colour to enhance his gorgeousness!


First using Easy Varnish and Dark Green PowerColor I added colour to the lower sections of the wings, branch and body.
I then added a little white to lighten to a sage green and added this to some areas.

Next with a clean brush I added Yellow ochre and then Yellow Ochre and White.

I added highlights of Copper Colortrix to finish.

Because my owl is King and is altered with a nod to Steam Punk, I added an odd bit of chain and some Copper coloured glass glitter from my personal stash.

Here is my completed King Owl – I hope you agree he is a bit of an Owl right punky King of the Night!

Grab yourself and Owl project pack while they are still available and have some fun.  If you want to hang him outside, make sure all the edges of every piece of MDF have been well coated in Powertex and left inside for 3-4 weeks.

Below are some of close ups of my finished owl, left over embellishments and dropouts and a photo of my mixed up palette.

Until next time…
Fi xxx

 

 

 

Getting to know you – Powertex Design Team 2018


Wow! 2017 Just seemed to fly by for us I don’t know about anyone else. Hope you all had a fabulous Christmas with Family and friends. So with the new year comes a mix up for the Powertex UK Design Team. Some are familiar faces the newbies are part of our Powertex family of tutors whom we wanted to give the opportunity of bringing their unique projects to the table.
Anna Emelia Howlett of Rosehart Studio

Yep that’s me! I am Design Team, Blog co-ordinator and Press Office for Powertex UK.  Fully certified Powertex UK tutor. I am a busy little bee, when I am not creating artwork in the form of drawings, sculpture and journals, children’s book designs, stamp designs and teaching workshops, you will find me working at the hobby shows with Powertex UK and so much more. I love using Powertex for mixed media or altered art projects particularly. I pretty much throw everything at it as I love detail! More is More!!
I have four cats and would definitely have more if I could. On my time out I love hanging out with the other half, going to comic conventions, singing at Rock choir, riding horses and helping with girl guides. I am inspired by wild life, nature and mythical creatures to name but a few. My favourite word is Toodles.
 Abigail  Lagden of Curiously Contrary
Powertex tutor and the creative team leader based in Bishop Auckland, County Durham.
These days, my life pretty much revolves around my two crazy rescue dogs (Benson and Daisy) and all things Powertex (not really a bad life!). When I have a bit of spare time (not as often as I’d like), I volunteer as a props maker for the outdoor spectacular, Kynren.
I absolutely adore the rich, intense colours and the amazing depth and textures that you can create with Powertex. I draw a lot of inspiration from nature, but I also love all things magical, mystical and fantastical, and find this influence has a tendency to creep into many of my creations!
 Annette Smyth Creative Adventurer

Powertex Creative Team Leader, stockist and Certified Tutor
I live in Leamington Spa with my husband and 3 fur babies Harvey, Travis and Flo. I like to reuse found items in my work and get lots of inspiration from car boots, charity shops and recycling stores. I love lazy lunches, feel good movies, coffee cake and snorkeling in warm seas. I’m looking forward to sharing my ideas with you this year.

 Donna Mcghie of Arts and Murals by Donna Mcghie

I am passionate about my art 4 a heart workshops, as a percentage of these goes to the Papworth Hospital Charity as a thank you for the life saving work they did when my husband needed a heart transplant.
I get inspired by the seemingly mundane every day things that are all around us, which is why I love working with Powertex, because it can and does transform the most basic of things into something beautiful.
Fi Potter of Fiona potter Artist and Jewellery Maker

Powertex UK tutor, design Team 2017 and tv guest presenter. Based in Warwickshire.
I made my mark in the jewellery world demonstrating lots of techniques on tv shopping channels. Since 2007 I’ve dipped my toes in lots of mediums discovering which would best bring my design ideas to life, from creating backgrounds for designing projects to use with resin jewellery and home decor, wirework, polymer clay, mixed media and more.
Having discovered Powertex in November 2015 I was hooked. I became a member of the Hochanda TV team for Powertex UK in 2017 and a member of the Design Team. I am thrilled to be back for another year to show you my spin on Powertex.I thoroughly enjoy sharing my love of Powertex with my grand daughter Sophie, we have much fun making fabulous creations.
Jinny Holt

Hello, my name is Jinny I am a wife, Mum to three and a Nanny to two Grandsons. 
I am a full-time Support worker and arts and crafts coordinator for young adults with additional needs. 
I have always enjoyed making and creating things since I was a child. 
I love to recycle things whenever I can and have been known to rummage through skips on the odd occasion, you know what they say “One mans junk is another man’s treasure” 
I am inspired by everyday life and nature. As well as creating with Powertex I also enjoy Polymer clay and jewellery making and when I am not creating I enjoy gardening and decorating.

Kore Sage of Sky Sage Studio

I’m Kore, Mixed media crafter and arty experimenter. I believe in the healing power of creating art. If I’m not painting and layering to a background of Eighties hits and rock classices you might find me by the waves on Brighton beach or learning tai chi. My superpower probably involves orange paint.

Fi Potter’s Powertex Hat

Hi there long time no see!

I took a nice break and enjoyed 2 weeks in Cornwall in September and October just seemed to disappear!  Then November came along with a fabulous Hobby show at the NEC and I had a great time with the Powertex UK team demonstrating all kinds of texy things.

There was a lot of interest in the hat I bought along to alter with Powertex and so as promised here is a quick step by step photo story of how this old felt trilby was transformed into a bit of goth type magic.

I started with a selection of fabrics and added MDF, Plaster and sand embellishments.

 

 

Once it was dry I added a variety of pigments to give it colour and to bring out all the fabulous textures.

 

 

It really was a great project to make and I wore it the following weekend at Ministry of Mixology, Coventry and here is the finiished hat.
Products used were all Powertex:

 

Have fun and happy ‘Texing
Bye for now
Fi