Saturday, October 3, 2009

Six Six by Six

I originally said that I was going to make six collages on 4" x 4" canvases. As I gathered my materials I decided that a 4" square was too small to have much fun with so I changed to 6" x 6" canvases. So, what I've got this week are six six by six collages - hence the name of this post (I guess I could call it "six cubed"...oh well, on to the fun stuff!).

For these collages, I worked with a variety of Golden products (mediums) - heavy gel medium, modeling paste, black gesso, glass bead gel and gel medium. The book "Altered Surfaces" reminded me of how to use some of the products that have been sitting unused on my shelf for too long. I used foam stamps, templates (, foam stamps, sequin waste ribbon, ends of paintbrushes, a palette knife, and other odds and ends to create impressions in the wet mediums. In some cases I painted the canvas first - for others I applied the mediums, created the textures, let them dry, then painted them. It was all great fun!

The background on the collage with the bird and the hand has the best background - and it was one of the easiest! I applied a base of black gesso that only partially covered the canvas, then after it dried, painted a light coat of white and titan buff paints. I then laid down a template (or stencil - you say tomato, I say tomAHto, lol)... and used a palette knife to apply molding paste through the stencil. I lifted the stencil off and let it dry overnight (wash your stencil pretty quickly). After the design was dry I painted it with acrylic paint washes, being mindful of keeping it lighter towards the center and darker at the edges. I love the way this one turned out (well, ok, I love them all...).

I worked on all six canvases at the same time so I always had something drying and something to work on. I pretty much always work that way - I'm not one to sit around waiting for paint to dry! It's more fun to go from one to the other, then back again - that way I'm always making some kind of progress.
I added layers of textured paper, photographs, copyright free images, embellishments (embroidered stars, buttons - adhered with gel medium), and paint accents. It's surprising what something like a simple row of dots contributes to a piece.

I don't use original photos, I use color photocopies of photos (even the black and white photos are done as color photocopies - otherwise the values flatten out). "Forever and forever" is a photo of my husband's paternal grandparents on their wedding day. "Wildflowers" includes a photo of my paternal grandmother (first one on the right) back in the day when showing one's legs was considered risque. The little lion is my niece, Jennifer, at her first dance recital, singing the song "Shy Lion".

This last collage, "Bubbles Blue Bird", was a bit of a surprise in that I didn't paint the medium after it dried - I liked it the way it was! I had made circular impressions in the medium using the lid from the jar and another smaller circular lid (save those lids from your recycling bin), then painted inside the circles. I did shade a bit inside the circles with a tiny bit of black gesso on my fingertip - it doesn't take much sometimes!

So, that's it from me for the week... I had fun re-introducing myself to the great Golden products that I used. In fact, I popped into my local A.C. Moore and bought another six mediums that I haven't ever tried. I'm looking forward to re-visiting this book to learn how to use them!


  1. I love them all, but I think that the bird is my favorite. The texture is wonderful.

  2. I really love the bird and bubbles. The color choice is simple and powerful. -Barb Thornton