Sunday, March 20, 2016

Black, White, Gold

Here I am late Sunday afternoon tired and a bit weary after two full days of workshops with Deirdre Hassed who flew up form Melbourne to teach at the Buderim Craft Cottage.

The days were full and I said as I left - my brain is exploding, but in a  good way.

It was about both testing and trying things - black on black, white on white and gold on pretty much anything.

Saturday was black day and we started by taping up our paper into small squares for trialling different techniques. Of course,  I thought they looked pretty gorgeous before I began...

Deirdre had a table full of black inks, gouaches, acrylics, mediums, impasto, gloss varnishes and more.

And she did marvellous demonstrations...

And then we went off and played and tried this and that and the other. It was exhausting trying to do everything you had in your head to try, but it was a great opportunity to experiment.  We kept good records as well, so that when we pulled the tape off, we could write the technique below the box.

This was on of my favourites - writing backwards on the back of the page with an embossing tool so that the words appear on the right side like they were embossed.  Then gliding over the top of the paper with an 8B graphite pencil to capture the letters and give them a sheen. A rubbing to the right - again with the 8b graphite pencil.

One of my work sheets by the end of the day - some interesting, some less successful things to see there. But a great record and reminder.

Sunday was white and gold day and we really pushed through.  Whit on white is more me than black on black so I had a fun time.

Again,  Deirdre had a table of full of all things white...

And I played with impasto - delicious texture

And with gesso - and pulled out a letter.

And wrote with white ink., with pearlescent dots .

And a bit of bling over some paper I soaked in acrylic ink and gloss varnish - which actually made it stick to the paper no worries, no glue. I rubbed some pearlescent ink on the top again to give it a bit of a lift, ever so delicately.

And in the afternoon, we turned to gold which is always good fun; but always a challenge for me - I seem to stuff it up a lot.  Still I consolidated some things and learn a lot of new things to try.

The before shot.  Oil pastels

The after shot. Some scraps of real gold with letters pulled out.

And a final sheet of gold laid, but waiting to be embossed!

 It was a wonderful few days of exploring and I have heaps of ideas. I now just need to settle and try some of them on pieces of real work.


  1. I've enjoyed looking at the techniques (and textures) you've learned in the workshops. It's fun to play and learn but quite exhausting. Enjoy mulling it all over in the quiet of home.

    1. Must admit Robyn my mind was a bit boggled by it all. Stopping long enough to process and ponder and reflect on the things I can and will actually use will be important I think, but not tonight! Go well.

  2. What fun! Like you, I'm drawn to the white on white, but your black on black on black lettering is so wonderfully intriguing. Hadn't realized that blacks could be layered like that. Congrats on a great weekend. Hope your mind decides to rest so you can sleep. Enjoy!

    1. Thanks J - some of the black on black was exciting and intriguing, but the white on white made me happy. I hope I sleep - but do want to put into play some of the things I learned as well...go well.

  3. I can see how that was all quite a lot to take in! Amazing how studio "fun" can take so much mental energy. The results are incredibly inspiring though. And it is a good thing, I think, to be in a situation where you are asked to step out of your usual never know where it will lead. Even if it's back to the materials/palette/processes you're most comfortable with, the "journey" surely still makes a difference (and likely contributes in some way with future creations)...
    I see you have a new post, and am hoping to read that your brain is "settling" a bit after the excitement of the weekend!

    1. Such sage and true words Lisa. The journey outwards can sometimes lead back within, but with a twist or a new way of looking at things. It was certainly a full and busy time and I must admit my brain still hasn't quite caught up with it all just yet.

  4. My head is spinning with the possibilities. White on white is challenging but black on black is EXCITING! You know me. I shall be hot footing it to my desk to pick up an 8b pencil and rubbing it over some text or a drawing. I just have to try that. No wonder you were exhausted. I should think the mind went into overdrive thinking of all the options these few days threw up for consideration.

    1. My head and your head Lesley must have felt the same! I really liked a couple of them and can see their richness being involved in my new work somehow. I really do want to finish my sample pages but that isn't going to happen in a hurry. I shall just leave them out to be done on return!


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