The Earth Reliant Artist

Trace Willans All Natural Mixed Media

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

What's in the Jars?

Or at least some of them.
For now I will focus on the 
Acacia Rust Gall Fungus
which I found by the bucket load
back in July 2019
I placed some in cold water
and some in Methylated Spirits
and at a later date I cooked some up
Below are the results
on the left side is 
watercolur paper
and on the right

Cold processed in rain water

Hot processed by simmering in filtered tap water

as above with added iron

hot processed then placed in a jar 
and washing soda added

soaked in methylated spirits

as above +iron
 the colours are a browner pink in reality
But at the moment I have serious studio restraints
Think tiny space next to the kitchen sink 
but only after the dishes are done

Some of these i will reduce further to create inks
I am also hoping to make lake pigment 
and then use as either a watercolur paint 
or with egg tempera

The ones in the meths I will add some shellac 
and see if I can get a nice shiny ink

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Preparing Teabags

I admit I love to create little rituals around my arts practice.
Currently one of these is preparing teabags as a painting surface.
I am not a tea drinker; my husband performs that duty for me.
Two per morning during the week and 3 or more on weekends
An ongoing giving resource.
There is a small bowl beside the kettle in the tea making area, this ensures the teabags don’t go in the bin, all part of my make it easy strategy.

I pull the tags off and place them on another bowl that sits in the window to dry out.

I collect them up till I have 16 teabags, then I am ready to make a batch
To begin I prepare my traditional gesso* go here for a tutorial
This is not an acrylic gesso, which more properly is an acrylic ground
But a rabbit skin glue and calcium carbonate mix used while warm
1 level tsp of rabbit skin glue granules is enough for at least 2 batches

silicon mat

I lay out a sheet of soft light paper, that a friend found for me in an op shop, (it came from between the sheets of a photo album), onto my silicon mat which I can clean and reuse

I place a tea bag onto it and brush with the gesso smoothing out from the centre, it will penetrate through and glue it to the bottom sheet. I then place on a second teabag, and brush on more gesso to glue it to the teabag below.

I repeat these steps 7 more times and then leave them to dry.

When they are dry on the top surface, I peel the whole sheet off
 and flip it over to help the underside dry

When completely dry I tear them into individual pieces and trim the edges.
The teabags are now ready to use as a paint surface.

Handmade watercolour, natural pigment

egg tempera, natural pigment

frozen gesso