My Favourite Artist? …Nature!

Designer: Abigail Lagden

This month, I was asked to write about my favourite artist and how their style inspires/influences my work. Surely this should be quite easy, except the more I thought about it, the more I realised I don’t have a favourite ‘artist’ or even any one particular style I like more than another.

I see art in so many different things, made by many different creative people who may be makers, designers or artists, but may also be architects, engineers or builders. In fact I’m often more impressed by a dry stone wall, a knotted rope or a window display than by traditional art.

However, more often than not, the things that truly amaze and intrigue me, the things that make me stop and think are the things created by Nature. These are the things I feel the need to surround myself with, the things that make me smile and the things that feed my imagination.

I love all things magical and whimsical, and who does magic and whimsy better than Nature? Twisted tree roots and holes in tree trunks; magical waterfalls and still pools of water; mysterious caves that can only be reached by sea…

Hardraw Force, nr Hawes

Texture, pattern and colour

I love textures and who does texture better than nature? Velvety soft catkins; smooth, rounded pebbles; jagged, grooved tree barks…

I love patterns and who does patterns better than nature? The symmetry of snowflakes; the perfect spirals of shells; honeycomb made by bees, the scales on a snake…

I love colours and who does colour better than nature? The bright, fun colours of flowers; the warm fiery colours of autumn; the endless hues, shades and tones of green, the magic of a rainbow…

I love smells and nature does some of the best smells (although it does some of the worst too). The smell of rain after a long dry spell; the smell of wild garlic in the woods; the wonderful fresh smell of honeysuckle…

So, after a great deal of thought, I have to admit that my favourite artist is simply Nature.

Nature feeds my imagination. It makes me think of secret, hidden worlds with mysterious creatures and strange plants. These magical, secret worlds are where my creations come from and I hope this is where they will take people.

See my creations in the Magazine, or come and join me in my Curiously Contrary world of creativity.

Until next time,

Abs xx

Fabulous Frames

By Annette Smyth

Hello there,

Did you catch Tracey Evans on Hochanda on 27th September? if not click here to go to the Hochanda site and watch the shows on rewind at 11am and 3pm. If you did then you will have seen the amazing frames and panels now available from Powertex UK.

The frames are constructed from MDF and provide a beautifully stable base to apply all the lovely Powertex textures onto.

They come in 2 options.

I fell in love with these beauties when I saw them and have been creating like crazy with them. Here are a few of my makes.

Fabulous frames

Mixed Media

I created these pieces using the MDF frame and panel, they are coated in a base of Ivory Powertex and Easy Structure. Texture was added with stencils, mark making, MDF lettering, Powercotton, Paperdecoration and 3D Sand and Balls.

Secret Art Loft acrylic inks were then sprayed on to give the base colours and enhanced with the Secret Art Loft acrylic paints as the colours match perfectly. A little bit of bling was added with gems and silver leaf.

Africa themed mdf frame by Annette Smyth

It’s all about Africa

This piece was also created on the MDF Frame and Panel. This time I used Ivory Powertex along with Easy 3D Flex and 3D Sand to create the base texture.

The mdf additions – trees and letters, were all coated with Powertex Bronze and then stencilled on using Easy Structure to give texture.

The plaster torso (African Semi Prince) was also coated in Powertex Bronze.

A rice paper image was added to the central area using Easy Coat Mat before the lettering was added on top

The whole piece was then drybrushed with Powercolour pigments using Easy Varnish and the same pigments mixed with Powerwax were used to give the depth of colour on the frame area.

Cow skull Powertex art by Annette Smyth

Cow Skull Dreaming

For this piece I used the same frame but combined it with the Dreamcatcher MDF set which I stencilled onto using Easy structure. I used StoneArt clay in the new Cow Skull mould to create the focal point and added lots of extra flowers.

The base was Ivory Powertex and the additional texture is from cardboard, Powercotton, dishcloth, Paperdecoration and 3D Sand and Balls.

Again I used the Secret Art Loft acrylic inks and paints for colouring.

Powertex art by Annette Smyth

Heading East

For the Eastern themed pieces I chose to use the MDF Inset Frame and Panel. The plaster Buddha sits beautifully inside the opening with lots of room around the edges to add texture and colour and the lovely MDF symbols.

The top panel uses Black Powertex, Easy Structure, Hessian and 3D Sand and Balls. Once dry I used Easy Varnish and Rich Gold pigment to add the highlights.

The lower piece used Ivory Powertex, stencilling and texture with Easy Structure. The acrylic inks and paints provide the intense colour and Easy Varnish with Rich Gold pigment was used for the highlights.

Keep an eye out on this Powertex Magazine for some fantastic step by step articles from my design team colleagues. They will show you other amazing projects you can create using these frames.

We love to see what you create so please post your makes on our Facebook group, The Powertex Studio. Inspire others to have a go.

See more of my work or join me for a workshop at my home studio in Leamington Spa. Please take a look at my website www.annettesmyth.co.uk or contact me via my Facebook page.

Until next time Happy Creative Adventures.

Axx

Powertex Triptych

Powertex tryptic

Designer~Jinny Holt

Powertex Triptych

What is a Triptych?

Hello all, where does the time go? It is once again that time of the month to show you my latest article and this month the theme was a Powertex Triptych.  I looked up the word on the internet and it states that Triptych is a work of art (usually a panel painting) that is divided into three sections or three carved panels that are hinged together or can be folded shut or displayed openly.

Where to start your Powertex Triptych

For my article, I decided to use three square canvases as I did not have any spare panels and I wanted to try an ombre effect on my completed piece. I wanted texture and depth to my final piece and I had in mind already what colours I wanted to use. So without further ado, here is how I created my finished canvas.

For this Powertex Triptych you will need

  • Three canvases or panels
  • Easy 3D Flex
  • Ivory Powertex
  • Pieces of material and lace
  • MDF pieces and or embellishments

I painted all three canvases with IVORY POWERTEX. Laying materials and lace in place. Keeping in mind that my canvas is one body of work.


I left these to dry overnight.

I made a paste with EASY 3D FLEX, Ivory Powertex and bit of water. And applied with a palette knife to add interest and texture.


These are the colours I used for the three canvases that were now dried.

I started with the darkest colour first, being the lovely DARK BLUE PIGMENT

Powertex Triptych

Then went up the canvases getting lighter with the colours, until I reached the top canvas which was a mix of the Green and the WHITE PIGMENT.

Powertex Triptych
I added a touch of true gold colortricx and varnish to pick out the texture. I do love bling, so added some matching gems with transparent Powertex.

Feeling Inspired?

Hopefully this article has left you inspired. We would love to see any of your finished Powertex pieces over at THE POWERTEX STUDIO

If you would like to see more of my Powertex creations you can find me at MUMS SHED

It would be lovely to hear from you, if you would like to leave a comment.

Thank you for reading my article for this month. Did you catch my article from last month. Click here to be inspired and see why I love Powertex!

Live~Love~Laugh~Create

Jinny

January – Product of the month – Stone Art Powder

Turquoise Powertex Stone Art Clay unicorn

Stone Art Powder – Find on the Powertex UK website.

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Use Stone Art to make self-hardening clay, coarse and fine structures and stone effects.

Be inspired by more makes over on the Powertex UK Pinterest board.

Our Design Team and guests have shared some of their favourite makes with Stone Art Powder:

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Sam Butler created these stunning Stone Art clay garden ornaments.sam2.jpg

This cute little chap is a wonderful hare created from Stone Art clay by Annette Smyth. 3.jpg

A wonderful bowl inspired by nature from Shell North.

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Stone Art effect used on the side of this vase and on the clay flowers makes this piece a one of a kind treasure by Jill Cullum.5.jpg

Stone Art is just made for texture! Look at this amazing inter galactic work of art by Fi Potter.

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Stone Art can be used to sculpt adorable animals full of character as you can see with these fabulous owls by Donna Mcghie.

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Why not use Stone Art on your magical and practical ideas as Abigail Lagden has done with her works of art below.

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Stone art works well as a clay and gives a stone effect will go on mdf bases and will cover Easy Structure and patterned wall paper for extra textural effects as seen on this hare was created by Anna Emelia Howlett.

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Tracey Evans created this beautiful unicorn to teach as a project for the Powertex Garden Party and her portfolio workshops. Stamping into Stone art clay is another effective technique to create lots of detail in your work.

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Kore Sage brings us a piece of practical art with this stunning brush pot holder. With Powertex the possibilities really are endless.

StoneArtVase

We hope you have been inspired to get the Stone Art out and have a go! Do share your makes with us over in the Powertex Studio. See you next month with more Inspiration!

Alice in Wonderland Clock created (by Anne)

I have had so much fun joining the Alice in Wonderland Tea Party with Powertex UK. I love fantasy themes and wanted to make a working clock full of bright fun colours and sparkle. Hope that you like my Alice Clock. It certainly fills me with cheer and makes me smile.
I had an old heart shaped MDF working clock that really needed a revamp. I combined it with the Pocket Watch Kit to create my crazy clock. The kit contains a stand, solid back and frame to make up a 3D pocket watch. Also included are lots of smaller embellishments for decoration – great kit.
The stand was put together using Black Powertexto coat and glue everything together.
The open watch frame was coated with Black Powertex.
The back and outer rim of the solid pocket watch shape were also coated with Black Powertex. The central area was painted with Ivory Powertexready for adding images. When dry, pocket watch images from a decorative Rice Paper were applied using Easy Coat Mat decoupage medium. The sheet I used does not appear to be in stock at the moment but the Victorian Steampunk sheet is similar. The surface was spritzed with a little Green Bisterto knock back the harshness of the Ivory colour. 
I coated my recycled MDF clock with Ivory Powertex on the front, Black on the back. Again Easy Coat was used to add Rice Paper images. You can still see the original painted numbers on my old clock face.
A layer of Crackle Accents (Ranger) was added onto the clock face images to give an aged crackle effect. When dry, more Green Bister was added to emphasise the crackle (the wet colour seeps into the cracks). Texture was then applied using Easy Structure Pastethrough the Wonderland Stencil. I dabbed over with a little black Powertex to cover some of the bright white colour. Easy Structure Paste was also used as a strong 3D glue to attach the watch to the stand.
Rice paper images were also applied to my recycled heart clock. Layers of kitchen paper were applied around the decoupaged images using ivory Powertex to give added texture. I also added Easy Structure Paste through the stencil to add hearts.
Several of the new Acrylic Inks and Paints were used to add colour to my project (Acrylic Inks in Egg Yolk, Tangerine, Golden Metallic, Viola Metallic and Aqua Metallic; Acrylic Paints in Raspberry Sorbet, Orange Marmalade and Key Lime). The inks are gorgeous fluid transparent colours ideal for painting over other colours or patterned papers. The medium bodied acrylic colours are semi-translucent and are great for heavier colour and layering. I LOVE them.
A piece of tree bark was treated with Transparent Powertex. I have had this piece in my stash for years (so it was fully dried out) just waiting for a suitable project to use it on.
The pocket watch frame was glued in place with Transparent Powertex ensuring that it was well centred. Easy Structure paste was used to glue 3D elements onto the base stand. Bronze Powertex was used to cover and colour the Easy Structure Paste where needed. At this stage I checked that the clock hands would be able to move freely around the clock face (once it’s all glued and dry it’s well and truly glued!).
The small MDF heart (from my recycled clock) was treated with black Powertex. I added some 3D Sand and Balls into the wet Powertex for texture. When dry I coloured with Easy Varnish and Interference Lilac Pearl Pigment. Have you seen these new Pearl Pigment colours? WOWeeee!  I rubbed over a little Pebeo Gilding Wax (gold) to cover the edges and highlight the texture more.
Gilding Wax was also rubbed over the Pocket Watch tops and tree bark. A thick greyboard frame and rectangle was coated in Black Powertex to create a table. A piece of lace and scrap of knitted cotton was also coated in Black Powertex to fill in the base of the ‘tree’ and to create the table cloth. I started placing other MDF elements from the Pocket Watch Kit (but not glued down yet).
More colour was added with the Acrylic Paints. The metal clock hands were coated with Jade Patina (Ranger).
….. and yes my craft stash is encroaching inwards – tee hee.
I continued to build the scene, coating elements with Black or Ivory Powertex then colouring with Acrylic Paints before gluing down with Powertex.  
The MDF sentiments and Flamingoes were from the Alice Collection; the butterflies, dragonfly, numbers and spirals from the Pocket Watch Kit. The sentiment plaque was a greyboard piece from my stash. I added some 3D Sand and Balls to the Flamingo wings for extra texture.
A layer of Glossy Accents (Ranger) was applied over some of the painted elements and fine crystal glitter dropped into the wet surface for added bling and sparkle. The piece was then left overnight, propping it in a horizontal position.
I also added an MDF Heart Flower, Lion, cat and small bird from Mini Hieroglyphs, MDF flowers and leaves plus greyboard flowers (from my stash). The little signposts were made from recycled wooden canvas stretchers and black alcohol marker used to write.
Then I had fun with my dies. Each element was built up using 4 layers of either black or Kraft card and layers glued together with Powertex to make them thick and robust. Coffee Archival Ink (Ranger) was used to stamp the chairs (Sizzix). The cake stand, cupcakes, small cup & saucer, spoon & fork and teapot cut (Intricutz); the larger cup & saucer and top hat (Sheena Douglass); the chandelier (Crafters Companion) were built and glued in place with Easy Structure paste where needed to give added depth. More Glossy Accents and glitter were added over some of the elements.
Finally a little dry brushed colour was added over some of the textured surfaces using Easy Varnish and the Pigment colours (Iridescent Lilac, Violet Valentine, Rich Gold).
I will leave it for around three weeks for everything to fully cure, then finish with Easy Varnish to fully seal everything and give added protection to painted surfaces.
I’ve popped in some close ups for you. Ooooh sparkly flamingos.
I am always running late so this sentiment is perfect for my clock – tee hee.
You can see that crackle texture on the watch faces here.
Lots of layering and sparkle.
I absolutely love my new clock. I hope that you love it too, Anne xxx.

Fairy house delights by Anna

One of the projects I completed when demonstrating at the Powertex UK stand at the NEC hobbyshow in November was the new Fairy house which has now been put into a project pack for February. Just for you!

I had a lot of fun creating this piece I used the black Powertex on the base, one of my go to favourite colours in the Powertex range. On the lower part of the piece I used a mix of sandballs and Powertex. Then added on the door, toadstools and windows. Added some extra detail with the mdf dropouts and cobwebs.
On the roof I used the natural paper decoration, by cutting it into little pieces and layering it to give it a tiled 3d effect. I used some of the Powertex UK embellishments in between the natural paper decoration. I also added one of the new Raven mdf shapes.
I then dry brushed with powercolours burgundy, turquoise and yellow ochre. And used the new interference colours to give a little shimmer effect to the roof. If you’re looking for a magical project this month you need to get your hands on this one while stocks last. Toodles Anna xXx

It’s owl about the mixed media!

I love visiting Powertex UK hq I always get a sneak peak on the new ideas and products coming and going. I also sometimes get a chance to give a little input too! Which I think sometimes gives our Tracey a  bit of a headache! Yes, I do have a lot of ideas brimming in my head constantly.

When I saw the new Mdf owl kit I instantly had to make a sample after all we were going to the NEC and did need something to inspire everyone with! Well that was my excuse right?

As usual with most of my designs the ‘keep it simple’ motto we like to say at Powertex UK hq doesn’t really apply to me. I seem to be that rebel that breaks all the rules and throws everything at it. I actually struggle when I am trying to create a simple piece.

But that’s the fab thing about Powertex there is no right or wrong, so you can make it as simple or a complicated as you like. And your style will always shine through when you create. I always tend to go the mixed media route with a lot of the pieces I create.

I’ve used some acanthus mdf pieces on the branch, above the eye and on the wing. A feather above the eye. And a couple of cogs on the body and branch. And some of the MDF dropouts scattered around here and there.

Then an extra helping of embellishments from Powertex uk and some stencilling and patterned wallpaper which is my favourite go to texture.

All coated in bronze Powertex, dried and then dry brushed with red ochre, yellow ochre and turquoise power color and varnish.

Enjoy and have fun creating your owl!  Toodles Anna xXx

 

Wonderful Egyptian Journals

It was fantastic to be able to have the space to create a canvas when I was up at hq. But it wouldn’t be a project from me if it wasn’t a journal really. So here are three journal designs I put together for the Egyptian show.
To start with I coated  bases of the Tut and Nefertiti journal with yellow ochre Powertex. With the scarab journal I used black Powertex on the base. I then stenciled a sand and Ivory powertex mix through the wonderful things stencil on the covers. I coated the Tutankhamen and Nefertiti heads with a little of this sandy mix to give an extra bit of texture to the plaster busts.

 

I made some easy 3d flex clay and stamped into it with the stamps I specifically designed for the range which were the Heiro Heaven for the Nefertiti and Tut journals.

 

 Scarabella stamp for the front of the scarab journal. Some hessian for an extra bit of texture. I also used some of the mdf pyramid and ank trio on the front of this one. The pyramid was stencilled and the ank I put a little clay on the front and stamped into it. I did the same for the ank and pyramid on the back of this journal. The cracking of the easy 3d flex gives them extra dimension and lots of texture. For the inside of this journals covers I placed some rice paper over a black and gold base.

 

The first image was stuck straight on to the darker base and the second I painted a little ivory powertex on first before putting the rice paper on. It was interesting to see the different effects that you could get using them on the different coloured surfaces.

 

I sprayed all the journals with brown bister and then dry brushed for the varying shades of colour. The pages were also sprayed with the brown bister to make them looked aged and I also stamped some of the pages. Hope you are inspired by this wonderful range, we’d love you to share you makes on the powertex addicts united page on facebook. We love to see what you have been creating. Toodles Anna xXx

 

Wonderful things Egyptian Canvas

I was super excited when Tracey told me of her plans for her Egyptian show! It was so refreshing to have a theme that suited Powertex so well. The earthy tones of the bisters and the Easy 3d flex just lent itself so well to all the crackles, depth and texture that you would see on an Egyptian relic or within a tomb inside a pyramid.
One of the pieces I created for the show was a mixed media canvas. The center piece was created by taking a piece of fabric and dipping it into Ivory Powertex. I then laid it out to dry flat on a piece of plastic sheeting,but made sure the edges were rolled like a scroll.
Once thoroughly dry I tore around the rice paper image I wanted to use and took some Easy coat matt to apply it. Tracey has made a fab video on how to apply the rice papers here.
I then allowed it to dry and stenciled around the edges using some sand mixed in with Powertex through the Wonderful things stencil.
I had some sand/powertex mixture left over so put a little Easy 3d flex in and pasted it around the edges of the fabric scroll for more texture. Then I made some easy 3d clay and stamped into it with the stamps I specifically designed for the range which were the Heiro Heaven and Scarabella. I coated the mdf shapes with Ivory Powertex I used the eye of horushieroglyphic tablet and mini hieroglphs once everything was stuck down it was left to dry. I then gave a generous spray with some black, red, yellow and brown bister to dull the tones of the Ivory down and add extra depth to the textures. And added a dash of colour with some pigments which were dry brushed.
The background was a canvas that Tracey had knocking around the studio and it already had a good helping of texture made with sand and powertex on it. So I just finished the other side, stuck the scroll piece in the middle with more powertex! Added some sand and balls to the left side of it for even more texture then sprayed with bister.
Hope you are all still loving the Egyptian range as much as we are! Toodles Anna xXx

Product developement day at Powertex UK

It is very important to us at Powertex UK hq that we make sure we use the products to the best of our knowledge and what better way to do this than having a product development and experiment day!
This was no way at all, just a jolly and play day! It takes hard work and tons of dedication and effort to push the boundaries of products and ideas, it’s a tough job but someone has to do it! ha, ha, ha.
We did have a fabulous amount of fun, pushing the products in every direction so that we can learn and pass on that knowledge to our tutors and Powertex addicts.
Here’s some of the new inks in use, they come in a fabulous variety of colours.

 

 

 

 
 It would have been rude not to have tried out the new rice papers and on a big canvas too! We were really going for it and learning new techniques.

 

 We can’t wait to see what you create. Toodles Anna xXx