Monday, January 26, 2015

Mixed Media Canvas

Hello! Can you believe January is almost over? Today I'm enjoying the energy that a lovely sunny day brings - I hope your day is going well.

I have been working on something that I originally intended to be two projects, but eventually I combined them into one. I almost never know how things will turn out, and they often take on a life of their own. At one point, I thought I couldn't salvage this, but I think I'm pleased with the way it turned out.

My inspiration for the "love" part of this was a video I watched where the artist created a small canvas, using 3-D letters that she made herself out of layers of paper. I thought of all the chipboard letters I've got - they've fallen out of fashion, but I still hoard them anyway. I pulled out a cover from a discarded book to use as my "canvas". I keep a few of these around, and when I have extra paint or ink on my craft mat I swipe it over one of these just to find a way to use up my excess. It's a great way to build interesting layers of color for a background.

The book cover I chose was a fairly bright blue from earlier painting sessions. I used a combination of inks, acrylic paints and Gelatos to cover most of the blue, ending up with a pinky-purple background with some of the blue still showing through. After adhering the letters, I did a little random stamping with a permanent brown ink, and added some fun tissue tape from Tim Holtz. The letters also received a treatment of ink, paint and Gelatos. I covered the back with a pretty paper (although that ended up being lost later in the project).

I had thought this little "canvas" would be a stand-alone item to use as a Valentine's Day decoration, but I just wasn't happy with it. I liked the colors, but it seemed to be missing something and I couldn't figure out what it needed. That was the point that I almost gave up on it and decided to go on to something else.

Next I pulled out an old canvas. Several years ago I had glued some decorative scrapbook paper on it along with some thread and beads - it hung in a spare bedroom. I decided it was time for a makeover, so I cut off the thread and beads and ripped off as much of the old paper as I could. I probably wouldn't have bothered, but there were wrinkles in the paper and I didn't want that to interfere with whatever I did next.

Although the canvas wasn't completely free of paper, that was okay - the extra texture could be nice. I glued down some washi tape and then coated the whole thing with gesso. Next I adhered some pieces of lace. Then I pulled out some stencils and embossing paste and applied it randomly over the canvas. Now I had lots of interesting texture going on. I had fun with some acrylic paints, thinned down with matte medium and water to create soft washes of color.

I decided I wanted some script stamping, but it's really tough to stamp on a canvas. So I used a trick I learned somewhere and did my stamping on tissue paper. Once the paper is torn, it's quite easy to glue it to a canvas so that the edges almost disappear. It's really a nice effect!

Now I was stumped -  where to go with this next? Then it dawned on me that the book cover I'd already done might look good glued to the top of this canvas. I had some ribbon I'd colored with dye inks that I glued crosswise on the canvas and then added my book cover. Hmm...something still not quite right. I decided that the canvas needed something on the upper left to balance things. But what?

I pulled out an artificial flower, a grungeboard flourish, a key and some colored twine. (This is why I have such a hard time throwing things away - I never know when I might be able to use them!!). I altered the flower and flourish with layers of paint. Once I tried positioning them on the canvas I knew I was on to something. I found a ratty old button that worked perfectly as the center of the flower and tied the key on with the colored twine. At last! Finally done!

I know this is a long post, but it was a rather convoluted process. I hope you enjoyed seeing the finished product. I'm linking this up to the January Make It Take It challenge from Craft Stamper Magazine.

Till next time,



Dawn Louise said...

Hi there, h liked reading your process of creating this. sounded familiar like me. your finished piece is worth it though, looks great x

Dawn Louise said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Linda said...

Lovely canvas .... great colours and I love all the texture. Thanks for joining in with the Craft Stamper challenge ..... good luck! Linda xx

Dawn Louise said...

Thanks for the message, I'm also a new follower, I'd love it if you'd pop over to my blog x

Gio said...

Such a long process...but it looks like so easy to make and it's so well balanced and lovely! A great make, Immi

Renee said...

Such pretty colors, great canvas! Thanks for joining us at the Take It Make It Challenge. Best wishes ~ Renee xx

Anneke said...

Lovely project, and the story behind it is very interesting!

lucretia said...

Very sweet and love the colours.

Tracy said...

Beautiful canvas Immi xoxo