I am loving this course! Donna Downey is an inspiration (as her course name implies) and so fun to follow. For this installment, we worked with more modelling paste (which I know I’ve said before but I LOVE) to make leathers of birds which we then used in the piece. Super fun! This week Donna used some stuff I didn’t have for this piece so I made adaptions to make use of what I had but then used similar techniques.
After the basic start up of taping the seam and gesso-ing the page. The first step was to make bird leathers. I didn’t have a bird stencil so I made my own out of cardboard. To make a leather, you use the stencil and fill it with modelling paste. Do this on a piece of wax paper so that you can peel it off later.
While those were drying (they take a long time), it was on to develop the background. On one side of the page, I stamped a flower and I added two phrases “free as a bird” and “time to soar” (first things that came to mind going with the bird theme). Then using the inside cut out of the bird stencil, I blocked out part of the page covering part of the flower stamp and the phrases before covering all the rest pages and the inclusion with modeling paste. I put the paste on really roughly so that there would be lots of texture. After applying the paste, I pulled up the bird stencil and voila, a bird shape is left behind.
Next Donna made a “nest” out of fabric strips with text on it. I didn’t have fabric with text on it so I just used paper strips with text. I dipped the strips in medium and messily made a nest from them and that seemed to work just as well.
Again after leaving a lot of drying time, it was time to add some glazes. For the sky part of the background I used teal and for the nest I used burnt umber. For the bird outline on the page, I used magenta and for the bird leathers I used raw sienna. To do the glaze you put about half and half of paint and glaze medium. Then you apply the glaze and let it sit for a while. Donna says to let it sit a minute before wiping it off but I like the colour stronger so I tend to leave it for up to 5 minutes. Then you wipe it off with a baby wipe. I wanted a darker edge so I didn’t wipe off much of the glaze from that area.
For the final steps, I glued the two leathers together on either side of the inclusion and then stapled on my date tag. I think it’s kind of fun how my date stamp tag suggests an egg.
This isn’t a piece I’d want to do on canvas or have on my wall but it was a very fun journal piece.