When a Bird Table became a Solarization project…

When a Bird Table became a Solarization project…

Hello there!
Thanks for stopping by!
Our Wednesday Blog is always something new, and I wanted to show you this new Birdhouse stencil, which comes with 2 birds.
I was in the Clarity Laboratoire (our kitchen) yesterday, and wanting to figure out how Open acrylics work. 
It was the actual birdhouse I was interested in, the bit that falls out.
So I got my Golden Open Acrylics out, and brayered a thin layer of it over my 6 x 6 Gelli Plate and placed the stencil pieces on the paint.
I used Quinacridone Nickel Azo Gold.
The open acrylics dry much more slowly, so you can do other things with them. That’s not to say they’re better than the faster drying acrylics we usually use. Not at all! Just very different. 
They behave differently
So, I blotted the lower part with copy paper for the land, and blotted the sky area with bubble-wrap. Patted it here and there with a tissue…
Sheryl Crow was keeping me company, the late afternoon sun was warm through the window, and I was in my element. 
I took a corner of copy paper and made sure I had blotted well in the lines of the bird-table.
These paints stay open longer, wet longer, so you can play and manipulate at your leisure. 
Then I carefully lifted the mask-stencils off,
and simply pulled a print on the white card.
And what I got was fabulous.
 Just like an over-exposed photo.
Although I had fully intended to add more layers and more colour, 
I knew in a moment, the piece was complete. 

And could I ever get the same again?
Not in a month of Sundays.
It took 2 minutes to create, not longer,
but hours of WOW!
When I showed it to Jim (who has a degree in photography), 
he immediately said, “Solarization. Looks like a photo which has been deliberately over-exposed”

So I just wanted to share this with you. 
It may not be your cup of tea at all, 
but for a slosh of paint, a stencil and a bit of bubble wrap on an Easter Monday afternoon in my kitchen – 
it certainly gave me a sense of artistic well-being.

That’s it, isn’t it. 
It’s that Nirvana Moment.
You can have your champagne and your caviar,
your diamonds and your flashy car;
The joy to be found in paint and ink
is far more precious,
don’t you think?
much love,

85 thoughts on “When a Bird Table became a Solarization project…

  1. I certainly do think that the pleasure you get from creating something is the best feeling. This us a magical piece, I was really surprised how it turned out just like a photo. And very vintage looking.

    What shall you do with it I wonder……

    I am well inspired and want to give it a go. I will have to buy some of the paint first, hopefully today 🙂

    Thanks for the fabulous inspiration x
    Denise xx

  2. It's fabulous Barb…and more so because you enjoyed it and had a bit of fun and that's what art should be about! Have a good day. Love and hugs xx

  3. It certainly is my cup of tea!!! Fantastic new stencil too.

    By the way – is there no end to Jim's talents????

    Have a lovely day Barbara xxxx

  4. Hi Barb, I guess this is one for the gallery, it is superb, very effective. Need to get more paint. Love the poem at the end, as it is so true, crafting is the best stress reliever I have ever found. Bx

  5. See now – you have gone and done it again – introduced me to new stencils and a different paint to ponder – should I? shouldn't I? I love photos that have this look about them so to be able to create your own prints deliberately with this look is A…OK… in my book – so I raise a cup of tea in your direction and wish for many more productive kitchen moments!!! xxx

  6. Very impressive. Love the poem and so very true. The best two places to immerse myself in and forget about the world is my craft room and my garden. Both together here, technique and birdhouse!

  7. Hi Barb,
    Wow! This is fantastic, I love it! I will definitely be giving this a go as I have the Gelli plate, the stencil and whilst I haven't got the open acrylic paint ,I do have some gold acrylic so will see if it works with that. If not, I'll just have to buy some more! Fabulous and a Must Have for your gallery I think. Thanks Barb, love to everyone, Alison xxx

  8. Lush! Can you use the slow drying medium that you sell with the same effect? Would think the answer yes so………off to try! Bought it a while ago but didn't know what to do with same!

  9. I don't think I can add anything extra to what has already been said. It is just absolutely amazing. Another stencil and more paint I MUST have. And another beautiful piece of artwork for your gallery. x

  10. Amazing Barbara. Another great stencil and fab paint effect. As others have said, one for your gallery. Love the poem at the end, not being one for either champagne or caviar, I'll definitely stick to paint and ink. (Though diamonds and a flashy car might just turn my head………..for a few moments!!) 🙂 xx

  11. Amazing effect – we are being spoilt this week with 2 gelli tutorials in a row. Now, if I can get all the cleaning done PDQ, I might have time to play a little in my craft room this afternoon!!! Thank you for sharing your talent with us – Susan x

  12. It is amazing just what we produce in our Labs. This is fantastic, just getting used to gelli plate . Good job you did not use this type of acrylic paint on your you tube video, you would have been dizzy whilst waiting and how many mugs of tea would you have managed. I love to lose myself creating, results not always good but I have fun and that is the important thing. Lynne xx

  13. I just love this stencil … and since hubby is at this very minute filling up the bird feeders in our garden I think he will too!
    As for open acrylics (had never heard of them, me being new toall this) perhaps they might have been my saviour last night. There I was with gelli plate and stencils poised , determined to do my homework, when I definitely discovered that moment when the brayer starts to stick! Brayer arm pulled back but brought gelli plate with it – of course it landed 'butter' side down on my light grey trousers! In the ensuing panic I pulled a print too quickly, so I could get to the sink to wash the trousers! Never one to waste things, I went back to try to pull the print properly….. And then did EXACTLY the same again! This time it was me that needed washing – and I decided that was probably telling me to stop for the evening. I can laugh now, but I didn't last night!
    Oh well, I'll just have to remember to put old clothes on next time!

    1. Hi Alison
      Open acrylics are a type of paint that stay wetter longer, allowing you plenty of time to mess, play and manipulate them should you wish. I personally think that they are the best acrylic for beginners to start with, as it allows the time that is often needed to build up confidence. You can buy a slow drying medium (also known as a 'retarder') to add to your existing acrylic paint that acts in pretty much the same way and extends the drying time, I've never used it myself but I do believe it will give the same results. I used to do a lot of ceramic painting using acrylics (many many moons ago) and my teacher and mentor was a fabulous dutch lady artist, and what she didn't know about paints wasn't worth knowing, if I had the room where I live now, I'd have my own kiln and I'd be doing it all again as I loved doing it, it was a passion, only this time I would use my Clarity stamps in conjunction to scene build. Hope that helps Alison 🙂

    2. It might be worth adding that if you soak your trousers in soapy water, the paint should come out. Also, the 3-layer acrylic trick where you pull all the layers up at the same time definitely needs the faster drying paint. Or it could take a while…..xx

    3. Thanks Jack'lyn that was very kind of you – I'll keep it in mind for future projects. For now I'll have to keep going with what I have … I'm just like a kid in a sweet shop with not knowing what to do first! And then wanting to run before I can walk with whatever I choose to do!
      Thanks again 🙂

      Thanks Barbara … I just hoped that the acrylics would wash out, and I believe it worked, tho I haven't inspected them since they dried!
      As for the 3 layer technique … I WILL get the hang of it … I am determined 😉

  14. Very apt your verse at the end I wouldn't know what to do if I didn't have my crafting it's my reason for getting up each day due to been diagnosed with c.f.s./m.e. And fibromyalgia as long as I can craft even a little I feel I've achieved something another fabulous stencil and art work Barbara
    What would we do without your daily blog xxx

    1. Hi Sheila,
      I too have Fibromyalgia (along with rheumatoid arthritis and a couple of other uninvited conditions) and it is one of the main reasons I'm getting into crafting. It IS good having something to look forward to isn't it?! Xxxx hugs xxx

  15. Wow! I can see a horse's head or a horse as if jumping up on hind legs and head is in the air – can anyone else? I even went back to top of page to check you only used the bird table stencil!

    Good technique. Some more stencils, inks and grunge paste arrived today – I'm going to Lanzarote in the morning so they'll have to wait.

    Probably last blog I'll read for a week now – will look forward to catching up on my return!

  16. Hello Barbara – this is stunning, I love it so much! I popped over from watching your youtube video (3-step process) which I really enjoyed. I notice that you live in Edenbridge – I live in Edenbridge too!! Maybe we can catch-up over a coffee one day? I am now a happy follower of your blog. Jo xx

  17. Genius. So simple, but doesn't look like it. I was so taken with it , I have felt the impulse to add to your blog for the first time ( I have been reading it since it's arrival) Thank you for your inspiration.

  18. Super technique. I have heard of open acrylics (artist dad) but haven't given them a try yet. I don't know if it would make my gelli work easier or harder as if I have more time I would probably over think what I'm doing. I really enjoy that you have to stick to your plan and can't change your mind! Will have to add that stencil to my wish list. Xx

  19. Fabulous! It's amazing what a little play time can do! Only 2 things better than paint and ink in my book – red wine and cheese. Put all 4 together and I'm in Nirvana!!!!! Loving the solarisation (new word for my brain). Keep it up!! Jean.x

  20. Thank you Barbara for sharing another technique . What a fantastic card and now I know what open acrylics are (not just open tubes of the stuff as I first thought!). I can see the horse and a rabbit sat on top of the roof . It's like cloud watching! Barbara it sounds like you too have dropped the geli plate on your trousers at one time or another lol. Thank you for sharing your ideas love Diane xxx

  21. Oh WOW I love this Barbara, really Arty. Playing with my Gelli a bit trying out new things with your video in mind, doing reverse layers or just a full all out design, it didn't work in the past but I used to use too much paint then, seeing how thin your layers were I reckon I can crack it? I love the Birdhouse Stamp, the Stencil it just as lovely, what a great starter for a Tag or Canvas. xx

  22. I don't think I can think of any more compliments that haven't already been paid on your work of art Barbara – it's brilliant – it's flat, but appears 3D if that makes sense! There's so much depth to it and I can see mountains and all sorts in the print, including the horse! The birdhouse stamp set is one of my favourites, so looks like I'll have to invest in the stencil now too 🙂
    Enjoy the rest of your evening, Carole xxx

  23. That birdhouse is so 3D on that Gelli print and the texture from the bubble wrap and the little areas where you rubbed the paint away a bit is a master stroke. You are so clever at all this Barbara. x

  24. Very clever stencil design to produce such an amazing 3D effect. I've never heard slower drying acrylics referred to as Open Acrylics (and I've got a degree in fine art!). I wondered what you were talking about at first … I thought you were struggling to open your paints … silly me! Ela xx

  25. How clever – Barbara you are worth your weight in gold at the very least !
    How true your words are "You can have your champagne and your caviar, your diamonds and your flashy car; The joy to be found in paint and ink is far more precious, don’t you think?"
    I don't drink , smoke or go on holidays as money is tight But what I can spare I spend of crafting goodies – give me paper , ink / pens , scissors and a few stamps I am like a pig in muck – happier than anything , plus who needs spa days for relaxation when an hour playing makes at least four hours vanish every time lol!
    As ever – thank-you for sharing , you give everyday a new twist and a ray of light

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