Powertex Inspiration

Tree bark

Where do you find Powertex inspiration?

by Annette Smyth

Do you find that sometimes your head can be so full of ideas that you have trouble choosing which one to start first. Then there are those times when you just cannot get going no matter what and it is easy to sit in that void. Just think how much more fun it would be to have creative adventures again. Let me show you how to find some Powertex inspiration.

So how do you find inspiration ??

I always find that getting out into nature kick starts my creative flow.

Walking across the local fields not only makes me feel better physically but it also clears my head of all the “shoulds” that are going on in there.  You know the ones……I should be doing the housework, I should tackle that pile of ironing. It also makes space for ideas to take shape again.

Taking photographs of interesting textures often makes me think of new projects. I work out if I could utilise fabric or clay to recreate the texture.

Here are a few of my recent photographs and the ideas that initially came from them

cormorant

1. Terry the Cormorant. He has recently taken up residence in the tree at the bottom of the garden. He’s just a sculpture waiting to happen

Buds and blossoms - powertex inspiration

2. Buds and blossoms. The colours in nature encourage me to step away from my trusted favourites and try new colour ways.

Tree bark - powertex inspiration

3.Tree bark. Crying out to be recreated in Stone Art clay and Easy3D Flex. See my previous blog on mixing stone art clay.

Landscapes

4.Landscapes. These help me to get balance in canvas work. I study what about the image makes it pleasing to me.

Trees - powertex inspiration

5. Trees. These make me want to trail Powertex on a canvas to recreate the tree. I would then build up a mixed media piece on top 

Inspiration from children

6 Izzy – OK, I didn’t find her in the fields but she does inspire me. Her enthusiasm is infectious and the way she works without any thought for right or wrong makes me look at things differently

These photos will sit in my inspiration folder until the time is right for them to be used in a creation.

So how do you find inspiration?  

Why not comment on this blog or leave a photo of one of your inspired makes on the Powertex Studio facebook page.

Until next time, happy creative adventures and don’t forget you can find me and my workshops at www.annettesmyth.co.uk

Axx

How to build an alternative statue ……..

Hello everyone, Annette here……

I hoped you’ve all had a stunning Summer and are ready for an awesome Autumn.

My challenge this month was to create a statue representing the star sign Virgo……mmm that certainly made the old brain cells fizz.  SO……Virgo is represented by the virgin carrying wheat and she is an Earth sign.  With this knowledge I set off on my creative adventure.

Using the wood and metal base, I pushed this through a polystyrene egg (my egg came in 2 parts so I secured it was making tape around the centre and top to bottom) and then packed the bottom of the spike with foil to stop the egg from slipping down.  I used the egg so that I could get a nice full skirt that was supported underneath.

I then built up the top of the egg so that when the plaster head was seated on top the proportions were more balanced.


To attach the head, I used Grace from the European range,  take a piece of foil and wrap it around the figure just below the shoulders and attach to the plaster with masking tape (only a small amount needs to be on the plaster as this will determine your neckline).

Now open up the pocket you have made, with the foil, and sit it on top of the extended egg.  You may need to tear up the sides slightly to get it to sit properly.  Secure with masking tape making sure it is well attached.

 

As my statue is going to be carrying something, I needed to add hands and arms.  Take a piece of foil and fold it to create a narrow strip.  Place the hands at either end ensuring that the thumbs are pointing upwards at both ends.  Now wrap the foil around the wrists and secure with masking tape.

Take this strip and lay along the back of the plaster head placing the hands to the front.  Check the positioning of the hands and if necessary fold the strip back onto itself behind the shoulders if the arms are too long.  Secure to the back with more masking tape.

Using small pieces of foil fill out the arms and round them out.  Also check that you are happy with the shaping at the waist and the back of the statue, use pieces of foil to build out any areas which need more shaping.

Once you are happy with the overall shape and positioning cover everything with masking tape and then coat the whole statue, including the plaster head, body and base with a layer of Ivory Powertex. Lay a small piece of clingfilm between the hands and body to stop them sticking together.

Now let this dry

For the clothing I used Ivory Powertex and worked it through strips of Natural Paper Decoration for the bodice/sleeves and muslin for the skirt, I used four separate pieces of muslin so that I could shape each piece over the fullness of the egg.  It is also easier to work with smaller pieces that one larger piece.

Let this dry.

I liked her at this stage and would be happy leaving her here however she needed something to represent the Earth sign so…..

I took a piece of Powertex Rice Paper (the one I choose had images of the earth/sun and moon on which fitted perfectly with the Earth sign) and using a wet paintbrush I drew around the shapes I wanted before pulling them from the piece.  This causes a feathered edge which blends into your background better than a cut straight edge.

Using Powertex Easy Coat Matt varnish, I attached the pieces to the dry clothing.  I coated both the clothing and the back of the rice paper then pressed the piece into place.  Using a soft brush starting at the centre of the rice paper smooth it out towards the edges,  this stops it tearing and ensures it is all stuck down.  Now take some more varnish and coat the front of the rice paper ensuring you go over the edges.

Leave this to dry

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She now needed colour adding in to pull everything together.

On a spare piece of fabric I tried using tea stain to see if this would work but decided it was too flat.

I played around and found that the Powercolor Yellow worked perfectly so I mixed this with Easy Varnish and heavily dry brushed the clothing.

For the hair I mixed the yellow with mocha Powercolor to give it more interest.  The eyeliner and eyebrows are a thin line of Bronze Gold  Colortrix and varnish  and the lipstick is coral Powercolor.

To finish her, I found some seed heads in a nearby field and made a small bunch for her to hold.

 

 

You could make a statue to represent any of the Zodiac star signs and use different rice papers to tie into the specific attributes of the sign.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this project and look forward to seeing what you make.  Don’t forget to post your pictures on our facebook Powertex Addicts United or Powertex Studio

Until next time, happy Creative Adventures

Axx