Today’s post is by Lyn from rosiepink
I enjoy the Studio Challenges because they encourage me to try different things. Karen’s challenge for this quarter is ‘Mixed Media’ and after spending a day on Lepe Beach during Cowes Week, I just had to do a yacht.
My husband likes painting so I thought a joint project would be fun. I gave him a rectangle of machine-made white felt (45cm x 33cm /18″ x 13″) and asked him to paint a sea/sky background using water colours. I thought water colours would look good on white felt, sort of fuzzy and pretty, and it did look good … but as it dried the paint sunk right down into the felt!
He painted the background again… then we sadly watched it fade as before.
We stared at the felt, and had a think, then decided to try watered down acrylic paints. It looked lovely but we weren’t going to stand by and nervously watch. We decided to be proactive. Out came two hairdryers and we blow-dried the watery paint on the felt as quickly as possible. Success!
I cut a hull and sails from beautifully textured, shiny dupion silk then laid the pieces onto the painted background. Yuk. It didn’t look good. So I tried other ideas such as using scraps of handmade felt and various fabrics. Nothing seemed to work so I pushed it to the edge of the table and even considered abandoning the idea.
My room was a real mess because I’d got out so much of my stash searching in vain for just the right thing. I took a deep breath and started to tidy, and that’s when serendipity happened. A scrap of lightweight interfacing material somehow landed on the painted sea. It looked good. It wasn’t too heavy, as the other fabrics and felt had been, it would be easy to stitch into place and I could colour it.
I cut out the shapes I needed then ran ‘messy’ free stitching over the interfacing until I was happy that it looked like a yacht heeling. I considered leaving the interfacing unpainted (and I wish I’d taken a photo at that stage) because it had a delicacy about it that I liked, but I’d planned on having a colourful spinnaker so I applied water colours to the interfacing. I used an almost dry brush because I thought that if I made the colours too solid they would overpower the background.
When I’d finished, my husband added a little more white acrylic paint to the bottom of the spinnaker and the hull of the boat.
I liked working on the joint project but it wasn’t easy on my ears. My husband sails so he felt obliged to impart his knowledge by frequently pointing out that my stitching of the yacht wasn’t anywhere near technically correct!
Thank you Karen – I’ve benefited a lot from your challenge.