The Mystical Horse

The Mystical Horse

Hi there!
Wednesday’s Blog is something New…

Well, as many of you know, 
we went to France with the Clarity Team for a week.
It was fabulous. 
I couldn’t have wished for a better crew to go with!
Back in Blighty now, and back to work and reality.
But between you and me, aside from chilling with the team, I did set myself a task; I wanted to get more comfortable working on canvas, and make a start on mixed media. Not having an art education, this kind of big art has always seemed quite daunting, and knowing where to start has always been the issue.
I had already had a mild seizure with the smaller magpies canvas earlier on in the week, when things got very VERY dark…


But do you know what? 
There came a point in the middle of the project, where I just gave up trying to get it right, and just went with it.
I think that’s when I moved over into the art for art’s sake realm.
And I enjoyed that feeling so much, 
I decided to tackle another one. 

This one was done using 
an even larger canvas,
Pebeo Glass paint,
Golden Open Acrylics
Grunge Paste
the Chinese Lanterns Stencils
and the 
Stripes Stencil

I drew a horse’s head first, with a charcoal pencil,

then painted it with watered down open acrylics. I added some gel medium, after reading that water alone is no good.
Also, I worked out that if you paint a thin layer of water, like a wash, into the area you want to paint, the paint flows much better.

Then I stacked stencils and Grunge Paste 
around the edges.

If you add layers of glass paint, and blot them, 
you get this amazing gritty look!

The thing about canvas is it gives you beautiful texture.

and as you add layers of colour over the raised grunge paste images, the paint stays in the grooves.

There is a lot of history around horses here in Bretagne, 
and when our hosts saw this artwork, they immediately talked about the mystical horse and the unicorn. 

So I liked the sound of that!

The trick is to not get too hung up on what it looks like half way through! About 3 hours into this one, it looked so dreadful, I really thought there was no coming back. 
But I really didn’t want to abandon ship; so once again I reached the creative crossroads, where you just roll your sleeves up and start experimenting, to see what will happen.
Sometimes I wish I had gone to art college; then I would have so much more knowledge. But then again, not knowing anything is quite empowering, too, because you have no rules. You just know where you want to end up and you start moving in that general direction. You make your own findings and rules!

I hope you like it. I learned so much in the process, and my hope is that the more of these I do, the more control over the various paints and techniques I will get. 
I certainly learned what NOT to do next time!

On the next TV show on June 1st, Mel has illustrated a couple of formidable wooden horses, which we have converted in to beautiful stamps. So for those of you who say you cannot draw, hang on a bit; the new horses are magnificent.

Let’s make a card again tomorrow. 
Put my comfortable shoes on again!

much love,

62 thoughts on “The Mystical Horse

  1. Wow as I followed through this blog post it just got better and better and when I saw the gritty lanterns I thought they were wonderful, but when we had the big reveal at the end I was really blown away. It's huge and it's beautiful, it's got to have a place on your wall. Oh yes, and welcome home, sounds as if it was fun so good to be around like minded people. Sleep well in your own bed tonight there's nothing like it when you've been away 🙂 xx Annie

  2. That canvas is so impressive and I could live very happily with it and see something differently time I looked at it. I am looking forward to seeing the horses. That is one animal that I cannot find a good stamp of. Having ridden for years, I get very nitpicky about horse pictures in general. As for not going to art school, you are probably more free in your approach than if you had been bound by the so-called rules, and less able to experiment. Glad you all had such a good trip. xx Maggie

  3. quite simply stunning. love every little detail and the horse is fabulous, thank you for sharing how you created this. I think I still have some old glass paints lol! Karen x

  4. Stunning I really need to sit down and do a canvas I live looking at what others have done but need to get brave just don't no we're to start prephaps should be my next project keep talking about it x

  5. I love it Barb and do hope you brought it back with you and put it on your gallery wall – or it would be nice to see it on the wall behind you in the youtube videos ….. I do not have any glass paints – used to years ago but ditched them after another hobby not taken up! guessing I might have to invest again now having seen this one! Will look forward to horse stamps and love the idea of unicorns where you were staying – very mystical – lovely to have to back in Blighty and and the Clarity Team xxx

  6. Hi Barb, wow this canvas is really stunning, gorgeous colours and effects with the stencils and the glass paints. Love the horse, it does look very mystical. Hope you have given it pride of place in your gallery. Welcome back to you and the team. Bx

  7. Good Morning Barbara! I absolutely love that canvas! It's colour tones are magical!
    I wholeheartedly agree with you about Art college! I sometimes wish I had been allowed to do art at school and who knows where that may have led me but then I think as you rightly say because I have had no formal art training there are no rules …just the ones that we make up as we go. I work on…if it looks right to me then that's what I like.
    Hope you slept well…always nice to come home to your own space!. Love and hugs xxx

  8. Hi Barb,
    This is stunning! I really likes the first canvas you did but then as I progressed down your step by steps I was so impressed . I love the Chinese lantern stencil and on this canvas looks brilliant. I've always wanted to try a canvas and have some A4 size ones so might just have to try. Problem is I haven't got a clue where to start! Can I ask why you used glass paint? You were worried about starting but you have far more knowledge about art than me!! Anyway, really love your finished piece it looks fantastic. I agree it would look good on the wall behind you on you tube Tuesday but probably should be in your gallery. Off to a crafters Companion demo today so going to treat myself to some of your favourite pencils as they are doing a special deal. Thanks for all your inspiration, it really does mean a lot to me. Love Alison xx

  9. Welcome home Barbara! What an awesome canvas and the reveal at the end had me gasping out loud. It's huge! The colours are enchanting and suit the theme perfectly. Your horse is so ethereal, I love the texture showing the lines of its face but the eye is the part that stands out to me. You feel like you're looking into the soul of a horse when you look into its eyes. Beautiful work…hope this one goes on display somewhere special. Glad your sojourn in France was such a successful trip xx

  10. I think your canvas is beautiful! Very Monet. I agree that sometimes not having any formal art training is not a bad thing and shouldn't hold you back. When I was at school art was all about drawing and if you couldn't do that then forget about doing art at GCSE level. I now realise that being 'artistic' doesn't mean I have to be good at drawing. I think the creative process is much more important, and using stamps that some talented people have drawn for me is only the first step. I also have a great teacher to watch and a blog to read for all the inspiration I need! So thank you for that. XX

  11. Hi Barbara. Glad that you all got home safe and sound. Great canvas. It proves that you don't need to get a formal education in art, just be willing to have a go : ) Take care.

  12. A stunning piece for your gallery Barbara , inspiring me to get down and dirty in the craft room!
    Experimenting is such fun-glad you had a great time , seems like it really got the creative juices flowing.
    Thanks for the step by step , don't have the products but can still do something!

  13. O how you inspire me . I have always wanted to be Arty and since discovering Clarity it has given me a new lease of life . I look forward every day to your Blog and enjoy Tuesdays so much. I try so hard to follow all your instructions and I think I learn something new everyday . I did not have a good education but have always enjoyed learning . your art work today is wonderful , Love it ! Cant wait for June to get my first stencil with the club , I feel like it,s my Birthday every month when I receive my Clarity stamp ,Thank you so much Barbara. Just love the art work today ,cant stop looking at it regards Pat xx

  14. Thanks Barbara, some of the tips you gave will help me with my experiments with paint. Have you tried silk paints on canvas yet? Anyway is there only me who cant see a horses head?
    Stunning texture and colours though

  15. Your end result is amazing and wonderful. well done, go girl girl
    Not for everyone but I am sure there are people out there who could do similar with a gelli , not me of course. If i was do do something similar it would have to be Autumn colours, might one day play. Don't work too hard now your back, thinking of you

  16. Hi Barbara. I think I must need my glasses changed as for the life of me I can´t see a horse!!! Thank you Marilyn, don´t feel so stupid now.
    Oh how I wish I had a bit of your talent. Would so love to try and create this.
    Love Val in Spain x

  17. Oh wow that is amazing. I bet a lot of the people who studied art could not make something so beautiful. Talent is what shines through! It looks lovely in the French sunshine too. x

  18. Absolutely stunning! its the bit where you said' first I drew a horses head ', well that is so beautiful and artistic, who needs to go to art college? bet Banksy didn't.
    Love it and will look forward to more, you are SO inspiring ….
    I enjoyed your weeks adventures in France, what a lovely team bonding thing to do.
    looking forward to my work shop in August. x

  19. Wow!! This is amazing. I don't think you should worry about going to art college, your own unique take on things, your talent and a willingness to keep going is evident in all that you produce. As you say you are not bound by rules and you learn so much in the process. xx

  20. Well – aren't you the dark horse! You lost me such a long time ago – never been able to draw and definitely don't have the vision of textures, but it's so fabulous to see what you can do. I think you are artistic right down to the bones so let your ideas flow and I'll sit back and admire. Just a couple of non arty things every now and again for us mere mortals would be good too!! xx Margaret Col.

  21. I did 'O' level art, opps gave my advanced age away there, and Donna was right it was all about drawing so I never took it further. Now I have discovered various stamp collections that I love, of course including ClarityStamps, and stencils and now I can create the things I like but not have to stress about the drawing! Keep up the exceptional work and inspiration, thanks Barbara

  22. Happy Wednesday Barbara, this is fantastic. You are so good at whatever you turn your hand too, I could never created something like this. Hubby bought me a Gelli plate, now to get some paint and dive in!!!

  23. Wow this is just stunning Barbara I really love the way you have drWn the horses head. You are so clever it looks amazing. My lovely daughter has just completed her art As level but will drop it now to carry on with science and maths. Such a shame because she is really talented but hopefully she will keep her art side for pleasure. Who needs art college Barbara I think you are doing fine as you are. Love Diane xxx

  24. What have the Design Team done to you Barbara lol xxx Who would have thought it Barbara Gray and Grunge Paste! Seriously though this canvas is absolutely fantastic, love it, love it, love it xxx So glad you all had a lovely time in France and I am looking forward to seeing you on the 1st of June on C& C, and then At the Stamp Magic Show in Doncaster, see you there, crafty hugs xxx

  25. this is wonderful Barb – like you i never went to art college – or even did art o level! But the feeling of playing with all these different media and seeing how they interact is a revelation and a truely wonderful experience. It can be very daunting at times but so much fun at others …… I do wish my forays into mixed media were half as fabulous as yours though!!!! Lol!!! Hugs rachel x

  26. Barbara you are a true inspiration! This canvas is just so fabulous. I have done a couple of canvas wall art for my mum and she loved them. I know what you mean about half way through nearly giving up! I put some glitter paste on mine and hated it. Didn't know what to do so I just painted over it, and it looked brill! I don't think you need a background in art education. Just a love of art!

  27. Loved the artwork and your ability to produce a beautiful impressionist type piece of work which delivers something to everybody. Loved the colours, pillars and the horses. In fact my mind dreamed it's way through all of it.

  28. Love it!!!!! Absolutely adore the colours and the "scenery" you've created. My mind also dreamed it's way through it and I even see a face looking behing the pillars….. No I haven't been drinking…. Thanks for sharing. xx

  29. Wow oh wow this is stunning I love this canvas and I am very glad you have done it and said all the things you have about it. I have given myself the task of making some sort of keepsake for my 74 year old Dad who is helping out in the Commonwealth Games doing loads of different things. I am very proud of him and want to do a decent job of making a nice keepsake for him as it is a fabulous achievement.
    Denise xx

  30. This is brilliant Barbara you have achieved so much dimension it makes you want to reach into the picture and touch it all. I know what you mean about this being scary I wouldn't know where to start although I keep thinking it would be great to be able to "do" mixed media.
    Love yesterday's you tube video too just hot round to watching it

    Jackie x

  31. WOW, this is so beautiful, wish I could "paint" like this. The colours are fantastic and texture looks as though all you want to do is stroke it.
    Would love to see this as a You Tube project please!!!
    God bless
    Jan x

  32. Totally awesome Barbara what a beautiful piece. Can you bring it up to Glasgow and put it on your stand at the SECC so we can all what we aspire to. You are some lady…
    Lorraine – Scotland

  33. Fantastic, brave move to take on a large canvas but you definitely achieved a wonderful result. I can't draw but my husband went to art college and I am trying to encourage him to start painting again now we retired. Would be lovely to display some of his work. So I hope this piece is going in your gallery. Glad you all had a fab week. xx

  34. It's just wonderful, gosh if I had produced a canvas as stunning as that I would be grinning from ear to ear for months! You must be so pleased you kept going with it, what wil you turn your hand to next? Jane x

  35. Wow. A true work of art. I could see that hanging in an art shop or gallery with a rather nice price tag. Amazing just amazing. Love it. It would look fabulous on my wall.
    Debra x

  36. Stunning and mystical springs to mind, love this, it does feel good to just go with the flow.

    I used to love drawing horses when I was younger so I'm very much looking forward to seeing the new stamps x

  37. I seem to have missed this one somewhere along the way Barbara, and it is so lovely I could not not leave a comment, if you see what I mean. The colours in this are just beautiful, and the ethereal horse is wonderfully drawn. The Chinese Lanterns and the Stripes stencils with the grunge paste work particularly well too. You definitely do not need to worry that you didn't go to art college as you have such natural talent that may have been spoiled by being too schooled, and this could be hung with pride in any art gallery. x

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *