Monday, 20 August 2012

Tui on Flax Stalk Postcard

The latest postcard to be winging its way overseas - this time to Arizona.

The background colours are blues and greens, with surgical gauze used to create the pattern. I've never done a 'still life' painting like this before,so I'm quite pleased how it came out. Here's the original photo:

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Citra-Solv + National Geographic Background Images

D-Limonene is my new playmate!

I discovered a 'new' technique while trolling the interwebz the other day. It involved using something called citra-solv and old National Geographic magazines to make interesting background pages. Now, I don't know how I ended up seeing these backgrounds, but one site I got to was that of Pam Tucker who has done some amazing pieces using these backgrounds. But there was almost no information as to HOW to do it.

Googling Citra-solv got me to their Art Pages, but again, no instructions (They've put Pam's name on a label on the bottom for handy artist tips! How about that for fame!). Found a few other sources of images, and finally, a discussion group. Now, it turns out that this is only new to ME - it was really 'in' around 2010 - figures - only 2 years behind the pack, lol. Anyway, of course it's really hard to find Citra-Solv in New Zealand. It contains the citrus oil D-Limonene, which you find in a lot of cleaning products. We have something called De-Solv-It (made in Australia), but it's 70% Hydrocarbons, 20% D-Lim, and 10% other stuff - not strong enough!

THE TECHNIQUE So, assuming you can find some D-Lim or Citra-Solv, what do you do? You find copies of old National Geographic magazines, and paint the pages with this stuff. The theory is (which may be urban legend) that NatGeo uses a gold-based paint on their nice glossy paper. There's a chemical reaction that occurs when you paint it with D-Lim, which causes it to 'hubble, bubble, toil and trouble' - and the original pictures becomes unrecognisable, changing into something quite unreal. Humidity and temperature made a big difference in how long it takes to 'cook'.

Out in the garage, sitting at 10degC, it took a couple of hours for any change to happen - bring it inside, at 18-20decC, and it only took about 10 min - it was a lot more humid in the laundry than the garage too. Wear gloves, and make sure there's plenty of ventilation - this stuff stinks! Also plenty of newspaper (which you'll need to get rid of) is useful.

Grr - went back to Citra-Solv's site - and guess what I found - a tutorial!!!!

I tried another glossy mag I picked up yesterday too, (a Japanese interior decoration one!), but the magic didn't happen.

So, here's my first attempt:
[Original image: fisherman & fish]

[Original image: women in burqa holding child - I deliberately kept the child's face visable]

[Original image: water and fish (I think!)]

[Original Image: bow of boat and fish]

[Original Image: dog and water]

Oh, and because I couldn't bear the smell, I actually put the pages into the bath, sprayed with Spray-n-Wipe (which also contains Citrus oil), and hosed them down with warm water. It got the excess oil and a bit of the smell of.

Specialist Cleaning Supplies in Palmerston North have 750ml bottles of D-Limonene for about $30 + shipping.

A friend has said I can have their collection of old NatGeo's (thanks Theresa!), so more to come. I'd love to see what they look like under wax, and also done as ATC's.

Monday, 6 August 2012

Circles and Cycles - going round and round

I am a mixed media artist. Name it and claim it, girl. Been reading up on using a product called citra-solv, which is basically d-limonene (orange peel) used to alter pages of National Geographic's for mixed media backgrounds. Each of the people I have come across also work in encaustic. I'd just said to darling hubby that their art and mine seems to be going in circles and cycles and then the last site I hit on said: "It seems I work in cycles, and put aside one media for another, and then resurrect it based on what inspires me, or if I have a specific idea or goal to work on." That's exactly how I'm feeling at the moment. I'm doing a couple of swap challenges (ATC's and postcards), and Random Acts of Art, and I keep coming back round and round - gotta get that hot plate out! I've joined a site called Swap-Bot and am taking part in two ATC card swaps, one a 'Summer' Theme, the other Christian Alphabet B is for ... Theme; a postcard swap whose theme is based on the 'likes' of your swap partner. I've had buzzy brain about the first two - ideas started popping into my head immediately! I'm making the ATC's in batches of 6 (that's what I can get from an A4 piece of card), so I'll choose the best one to send for the swap, and the rest in the series will be released as RAA's. I have also promised to send 3 postcards to RAA friends in the USA. Starting to get ideas as to what these will be - phew! 6 Postcards have just been sent to the USA for another international swap:
Now I'm hanging out to get a couple of NatGraph's, some citra-solv (or it's imported equivalent), and to get the hotplate going, and to get some baby wipes so I can use those, and and and ...