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Painting Landscapes

Painting Landscapes

Zed mentioned the Start 2 website quite a while ago but I hadn’t had much time to explore it before. I took a look and found a tutorial on painting simple landscapes. The tutorial was well done and the process was easy. So I decided to try it.

landscape original web

I used acrylic paints and pages from my sketchbooks. This is from a 4″ x 6″ sketchbook. You divide your page into thirds and paint the sky first, then you sprinkle salt over the lower third of the wet paint and put cling wrap over the middle third. Then let it dry. Take a look at the tutorial for further information if you want to try this technique. The landscape above has not had any details added.

landscape 5 webHere’s the same one where I have added a couple of details and cut the edge off. I am going to make greeting cards out of these small ones.

landscape original sea web

Here’s another one without adding anything.

landscape 4 web

And the finished result. I used color pencil to make the water look like it was flowing through the rocks and added the “waves” with white gel pen.

Here are two more finished ones.

landscape original 9x9 web

This is one of the larger ones that I painted. It’s 9″ x 9″ and it was previously painted blue and green. I added the paint on the bottom and in the mountain area. This is what it looked like before adding a few details to the mountain range.

landscape 1 web

And here it is finished.

Here are a couple more of the larger ones that I did. I’m not sure on either of these whether I am finished with the foreground. I also can’t decide if I should stick them back in the sketchbook or mount them somehow.

The small ones I made into cards. I just used fusible web and ironed them to the card. It holds really well and has less of a tendency to curl the paper underneath like wet glue does.

I really enjoyed painting these as it’s easy and you don’t have to worry about how it comes out because the salt and the cling film give you the details and the look of foreground and mountains or rocks. Anyone can paint these landscapes easily even if you don’t have any painting experience. Try it, it’s fun!

Automatic Machine Stitching
Automatic Machine Stitching

I would like to remind everyone that Gail Harker is planning on coming to Montana to teach a Level 1 Experimental Machine Stitch class in May. The deadline for sign up is coming up March 25th. It’s going to be a great class so I hope you’ll spread the word. Right now we don’t have enough students so it looks like the class might have to be cancelled. I would hate to do that though so would you help spread the word? Thanks!


Green Notebook Completed

Green Notebook Completed

I finished up my green studies notebook. I didn’t add anything else but leaves but I may add a few thread studies and green photos later.

Glycerin Leaves

I had high hopes for the leaves preserved with glycerine. They looked really good after they came out of the glycerine. I soaked them for a week. All I did was put glycerine in a plastic plate, put the leaves on top, pour a little more glycerine over the top and cover with another plastic plate. I put a little bit of weight on the top plate and just left them. The photo above shows the leaves after a week. They were very dry and brittle and I had to be very careful with them. It was a bit time consuming removing the excess glycerine. But then the moment I applied them with matte medium to the pages, they turned brown. I guess I could have attached them some other way but they would have crumbled into bits if they hadn’t been coated with something.

Green Studies Notebook 7

This is the best leaf I achieved (same leaf as in the middle of the glycerine photo). It turned a bit brown but stayed mostly green. Some of them turned really dark brown. I’m not sure it is worth the effort to use the glycerine as some leaves just seem to take to this process better than others.

Here are some other pages with a variety of leaves, seed pods and mossy bits.

Green Studies Notebook

For the cover, I used a painting technique that I had seen online. It uses eggshells for the texture.

Green Studies Notebook End View

You can see the texture from this angle a bit better . My notebooks always end up looking “fat” as they always have extra stuff on the pages. I really enjoyed making this notebook. Have you done any color studies lately?

If you missed the finish of my second quarter challenge, I posted about it on my personal blog. I haven’t started the third quarter challenge and it’s already the middle of August. I better get a move on!

Studies in Green

Studies in Green

There were several reasons that prompted me to start this sketchbook in green. When Gail Harker was here, she suggested that I should do more studies in green and then see if the greens that I saw in nature were what I had produced on paper. Also, this year for our challenges we are working on color so I thought that fit in well. And lastly, I have always loved green. So how many different greens are there?

Green Pages

I started with Procion dyes in three yellows, two blues and black. I decided to do a variety of values from light to dark in each color. I had a 60 page sketchbook (4″ x 6″) and found that I ran out of pages before I ran out of shades of green.

Green Pages

Some of the greens are very yellow-green and some are much closer to blue-green.

Green Sketchbook

I didn’t do solid colors but generally ended up mixing two or more greens together on a page. And I didn’t keep track of what dye I used on what page. I just decided to play with green.

Green Sketchbook

Since I was trying to replicate natural colors, I neutralized most of the greens.

Blue Green Page

Then I started collecting a variety of leaves on my walks in the mornings.

Pine Moss Page

I matched the natural leaf with the painted pages. This is pine moss and is really bright ‘acid’ green when you see it on the trees.

Large Leaf

One of the problems that I am having is that the ‘live’ leaf color is not the same as the preserved leaf color. I used matte medium to preserve the leaves but they all seem to really dull down and turn brown. So they don’t match the page when they are completely dried.

Pages with Leaves

So I have decided to try a different preserving method using glycerine. I haven’t tried it before but I’ll see if that preserves the natural color a little better. I also think that I will do some green thread studies and dyed fiber studies to put on some of the pages.

Now that I have started making a green sketchbook I think it would be great fun to do one in all the primary and secondary colors. What’s your favorite color?


A Peek Inside My Sketchbook

A Peek Inside My Sketchbook

Between football season, getting ready for the holidays at the store, falling down on the ice and hurting my shoulder, working up an online class and Thanksgiving, I haven’t been able to do any felting. But I’ve been adding to my sketchbook fairly regularly. I make a lot of background pages and then keep adding to them as I’m inspired. If I have left over paint or ink, I will add it to pages in my sketchbook, then I’ll add other layers as I go along. Sometimes it is hard to determine when a page is finished. Some turn out better than others, but it’s good for me to not to be “too perfect” and just let the page develop.

Sketchbook Spread

This one has quite a few layers on it. The last layer is the dark blue. I used one of my sweaters as inspiration to make the organic/leafy shapes. The hardest part was figuring out whether I was coloring in the negative spaces or not. But it all worked out in the end.

Be Bold Sketchbook Page

I made the majority of this page quite a while ago but it still needed something. I added the quote from George Bernard Shaw and the “Be Bold” and now it’s done.

Leaf Prints

This was playing around with my watercolor crayons and seeing if I could make leaf prints. The easiest way to do this was to get a little paint off the crayon, brush it on the backside of the leaf and then print. It didn’t take much paint for it to work.

Ginkgo Leaf Page

The ginkgo leaf page was printed with the large leaf several months ago. I added the other bits by printing out a few things from the internet, adding gel pen and more watercolors. Sorry the photos are a bit dark but I am doing this at the last minute and it’s dark outside.

Islands Page

I think this piece was printed first and then I used gel pens to add highlights. The brown paper had been in with my paper scraps for sometime, that’s why I can’t remember how it was done. I don’t keep very good track of what I do, I really just play around.

Iris Page

This one has some watercolor crayon that I sprayed with water and let drip down the page. Then I printed a line of bubble wrap bubbles and added the stenciled iris. The leaves and stem are cut from green paper. This one feels like it needs a bit more but I’m not sure what.

Added Gel Pen

This page had two layers of screen print. Then I outlined the blue with an orange metallic gel pen. It gives a cool reflective edge. So that’s what I have been doing in my sketchbook over the last several weeks. Sometimes these ideas get put into fiber in some way and sometimes they don’t. But it’s a fun way to try out color schemes and ideas.

Gwen Lowery Solstice Party Invite Card 2

If you’re going to be in the Seattle area on December 21st, please check out the Winter Solstice Open House being put on by Gwen Lowery. I donated a piece to be sold. You can click on the photo above for all the details.


Making Stamps with Sticky Foam

Making Stamps with Sticky Foam

I hope you don’t get tired of seeing what I’m doing in my sketchbook. I decided to make some new stamps from sticky foam. This is a product that is mainly used by children’s crafts in the US and can be found at discount stores.

Foam Sticky Back Sheets

This is the label of the pack that I bought and I have made quite a few stamps from these and still have tons of the sheets left over. You only need small amounts of the foam to make fun designs. I didn’t spend a lot of time making these and didn’t worry too much about making each design.

Cut Pieces of Sticky Foam

I had some left over pieces of foam from another stamp making project. I used some pinking shears and hole punches to add a little interest to some of the pieces. You can also use a pencil or pen to draw into the foam for further detailing.

Clear Plastic Sheet

I use plastic sheet covers to apply the sticky foam on to make the stamp. I am holding a piece of plastic sheet holder in my hand in front of the sticky foam pieces. You could apply them to a piece of wood, cardboard or they do make thick plastic pieces that are meant to be stamp backs. But they are expensive and these don’t take up as much room when you’re storing them. You have to be careful to not move the stamp when you’re applying it but it works fairly well.



Paper on Back of Sticky Foam

This shows the paper on the back of the sticky foam. You just peel it off and apply the foam to the piece of plastic.

Completed Stamp

With this first stamp I just peeled the paper off of a pieces and stuck them down on the plastic in a random fashion. I didn’t over think the design which is unusual for the way I usually work.

Applying Ink to Stamp

I then used an ink pad to apply ink to the stamp. I forgot to get any photos of applying the stamp on my sketchbook pages but since it’s a two-handed operation, I’m not sure how good the photo would have been. I just place the stamp face down on the page, hold the plastic backing with one hand and press the for

Purple and Blue Stamped Sketchbook Page

I covered the sketchbook page which was already painted a light blue color with this stamp in a variety of directions.

Second Completed Stamp

Here’s another stamp that I made from the rest of the left over scraps.

Blue Green Stamped Sketchbook Page

And here it is stamped on to a blue-green page.

Third Completed Stamp

This is the third stamp I made. I decided to stick with geometric shapes with this one.

Pink and Green Stamped Sketchbook Page

I used pink ink to stamp on to a light green page. Not my favorite.

Fourth Completed Stamp

This one I used the pinking shears and made leafy shapes for the stamp.

Green Leaves Stamped Sketchbook Page

And here it is stamped on to a previously painted green page. With this one, I did one stamp where I had covered the stamp with ink. The rest are ghost prints done without re-inking.

I plan on working further into these pages by adding more to them. I’ll either use colored pencils or markers and keep working on the designs. They all feel unfinished at this point so the stamping was just the second layer with more layers to come.

You could use this kind of stamp to stamp on fabric or felt using either fabric paint or thickened ink. And you can cut any design that suits your fancy. This is an easy and inexpensive way to make stamps. If you try some, I’d love to see the results. Come on over to the forum and show us what you’ve created recently.

A Peek Inside My Sketchbook

A Peek Inside My Sketchbook

I have been traveling for the last couple of weeks so I haven’t had much time to do any fiber activities. But I always take my sketchbook and can fill the waiting time with sketching. Here’s a little peek.

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This week we are delivering my umbrella tree to the La Conner Quilt and Textile show. The tree was accepted into the 3D fiber art category so if you are in the La Conner area and are going to the show, I’d love to hear what you think of it.


Here is Symphony making herself at home in the hotel 🙂

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