I got started on a new projects yesterday. This one is going to be fun.
The project is mainly geared for painters, but will be suitable for everyone. It is one that I am doing for the “Painting With Friends” group and is inspired by Terrye French. I love having the opportunity to work with Terrye on these projects because working with another really helps us think in different directions. Even though Keith is my partner, he and I don’t collaborate on designs (at least we haven’t to this point) and we work pretty much independently. I don’t think that it is a bad thing at all, as we really do things so differently and we each have our own way of designing and creating. Perhaps in the future we will attempt making something together, but for now we are good doing things just the way we are doing them now.
But having another creative input is uplifting and helps us to think in new directions. I usually receive a rough sketch of what Terrye is thinking and it is enough to get me started in a direction that I probably would have never ventured. Usually I ‘sit on’ the drawings for a while and see what I can come up with. I take the time to allow my ideas to gel and settle on the direction of the project and by the time I am ready to implement it, it flows pretty easily. At least that is how it has been. This is only my third Painting With Friends collaboration and it seems to be working out that way.
I am going to be working with wood in this project as well as trying out some fabric. Many painters like a fabric called “Roc-Lon” which is a thicker type of fabric used for lining draperies. Painters like it because it is weather-resistant and can be cut easily and accepts different types of paint very well. Lots of times they will use it for banners and things of that nature that will be displayed outside and exposed to elements. It is available at places like JoAnn Fabrics in the States as well as Artist’s Club via mail order.
As usual, I am going to offer some options with this design. Part of the design will be a candle mat, but that will coordinate with the rest of what I was thinking. You will see more of the design tomorrow, I promise.
First I base coated the Roc-Lon and then I used some adorable stencils by Laurie Speltz to give the piece a cheerful background. (You can see lots of Laurie’s great stencils HERE)
I really love these stencils because there are so many uses for them! I think for woodworkers who feel that can’t paint, they are the ticket. I try to choose stencils that are not too specialized for one project. I think that is why I choose Laurie’s stencils so often. She has a lot of wonderful “general” designs that can be used in many different applications and give totally different looks depending on how they are used. The background stencils I use are only $5 per sheet and many of them have TWO designs on an 8” x 10” page. Laurie also offers a discount if you buy five or more from this group which brings the price down to $4 per sheet. I think that is very reasonable when you think that you can get up to 10 different patterns for only $20. The time you save from painting the designs by hand alone is worth the money.
For the mat, I cut the piece to size and base coated in a light tan. I then applied the stencil pattern, using a soft complimentary color of green.
I traced my design on the back, and cut it out with scissors:
I will be painting the back of this mat as well, but I have some other things that I want to do first and will do that near the end of the project.
In addition, I made a wooden tray in the same shape out of 1/4” high quality plywood. I painted it similarly.
I am trying to show that you can make these designs using different materials but still have similar results. I have some surprises however in store for the Roc-Lon piece that even the woodworkers may enjoy doing.
You just have to come back and see . . .
So that is where I am at today. While this doesn’t look like much yet, it is still quite an interesting project. I would imagine that you could leave the mat “as is” and call it a day and have a pretty and quick item to display. But you all know me better than that, don’t you?
I will be continuing to work on this today. I love the excitement of working in many different mediums and adding a little bit of ‘this’ and a little bit of ‘that’. It is fun to thing of all the possibilities!
I hope you all are safe and warm and getting through this unrelenting winter. We are in between storms here in Nova Scotia, with the promise of another one arriving over the weekend.
As for me – I don’t mind it one bit. There is always something that I can think of to do and to have fun. It is just a matter of attitude.
I wish you all a wonderful Friday! Have fun and be creative!
-- Contributing Editor, Creative Woodworks and Crafts, Sheila Landry Designs http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com "Knowledge is Power"