Thursday, March 12, 2015

Printmaking with Ordinary Objects & Materials!

If you look around, there is a new textural imprint just waiting to be explored!

In my book Experimental Painting, I've used burlap, romaine lettuce leaves, sprigs, paper towels, plastic grocery bags, aluminum foil, bubble wrap, textured wallpaper, string and sponges just to name a few items. 

Almost any material can be used for a signature imprint! You can employ them flat, crinkled, wadded-up or in combination to make interesting marks onto the surface of your work.

Look around your surroundings to see what you can find! Here is a link to take a look inside my book Experimental Painting. 

covers a diverse array of creative and painterly approaches using both transparent and opaque applications. Shown on various surfaces, altered, repurposed and custom tools are used in inventive ways to create signature works of art. Automatism and freeform painting techniques are also discussed, creating wonder-filled, imaginative environments that enrich the working surface with color, pattern and texture.

Throughout the webinar, lushly painted passages and rich transitions boast mixed-media techniques such as dissolve treatments using acrylic, gouache and ink, lift-off applications using oil paint and gouache and resist treatments with rock salt and candle wax. Dripping, spattering, ghosting and dry-brushing with paint and water-soluble crayons as well as custom blotting, masking, stamping and monoprinting are each explored in this exciting 90 minute video.

For more decorative applications and faux finishes, marbling using self-leveling clear gel, acrylic matte medium and PVA glue, sponging techniques with natural and manmade sponges, combing and pouring techniques using acrylic gels and paint with varying viscosities, ink embossing, crackle applications as well as other aging and distressing techniques are shown.

Creating custom collage papers with techniques such as veining and creasing along with mixed-media painting and surface treatments demonstrate exciting ways in which to infuse custom collage elements into a multimedia painting. The creation of custom acrylic skin surfaces, clear tape transfers and textured image transfers are also covered.
Techniques that creatively manipulate heavily-applied paint with a painting knife, comb and other non-traditional tools are also discussed. Utilizing alternative and unconventional tools and techniques, this webinar will certainly provide engaging and creative inspiration for artists who want to experiment and explore, igniting the creative juices!

Other Artist Network Videos by Lisa L. Cyr:
Creative Explorations in Mixed-Media: Collage Techniques for the Mixed-Media Artist
In the recorded webinar, I go into detail about the intrinsic characteristics of various papers and the aesthetic possibilities and technical issues that go along with them. In collage works, weight, surface, texture, color permanence and opacity each play a part in the selection and use of paper and paper-based ephemera. Throughout the recording, I also discuss the use of handmade paper as well as the making of custom- treated papers. Paper treatments such as sponging, dripping, drybrushing and custom stamping add a signature look to any paper surface. When it comes to adhering various collage and paper elements to a surface, I discuss which adhesive is the best to use for specific papers and applications. Sealing procedures are also covered, including when to apply isolation coats between various mixed-media techniques.

Paper manipulation such as the use of tearing, scoring, punching and die-cutting are also explored with detailed examples of various applications. In addition, I discuss a variety of techniques such as folding, wrinkling, creasing, burning, aging and distressing. Unique processes are shown throughout, using both paper and metallic surfaces.

For a more densely collaged substrate, I present techniques such as peeling-back, sanding, scratching and scraping. I also discuss the use of multi-layered and raised surfaces with custom inlays that employ carving, scoring, embossing and debossing of paper and foils. The addition of embellishments and accents as well as the employment of stitching, weaving and knotting are also covered.

Assemblage Accents: Employing Faux Finishes & Patinas
This recorded webinar covers creatively customizing found objects, assemblage accents and sculptural creations with unique finishes and patinas. To enliven the mixed-media landscape, a diverse array of techniques and materials from repurposed and custom treated natural and man-made elements will be explored. With the addition of faux finishes and decorative techniques, the everyday object can be transformed into a one-of-a-kind accent, communicating a concept or illuminating a subject in a unique way.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Making a Customized Roller

Using everyday materials, custom tools can be produced to introduce signature mark-making and imprints onto the working surface. Further expanding the visual vocabulary, one-of-a-kind instruments allow for a distinctive, personal approach to picture making.

Masonite ¼-inch thick (6mm)
Heavy-duty mailing tube
Decorative fabric lace
Relief blocks
Paint rollers: 4- and 9-inch (10cm and 23cm)
Paint roller handle
Pastry spatula
Metal ruler
Acrylic matte medium
Acrylic matte gel medium
Molding paste
White gesso
Flat nylon brush
Cotton cloth
Hand saw

Making the Base
1 The plastic caps are removed from the ends of the mailing tube and put aside. Using a hand saw, a heavy-duty 2-inch (5cm) diameter mailing tube is cut to approximately 10 inches (25cm) long. A bigger trim size can also be used for larger works. Note: Bendable cardboard tubes will not work.
2 A 4-inch (10cm) paint roller is temporarily inserted part way into the tube. This is used as a holding device while the tube is coated. Three coats of acrylic matte medium are applied with a soft fl at brush all around the tube to seal the surface. To establish the imprint base, acrylic matte gel medium is applied to the surface. A thicker application of gel medium will allow for a more dimensional texture while a thinner coat will produce a more subtle relief.

Creating the Design
3 While the gel medium is still wet, the tube is slowly but firmly rolled over a piece of fabric lace to deboss the surface with an overall texture. For more detailed areas, various relief blocks are also imprinted into the surface. Almost any material, porous or nonporous, can be used to create texture. The tube is dried overnight in an upright position.

Assembling the Tool
4 Once the gel medium has fully cured, sandpaper is used to smooth out any unwanted peaks on the surface. The small roller is removed and a large 9-inch (23cm) roller with an attached handle is fully inserted. This will ensure an even distribution of weight and ease of use. One of the plastic caps is used to seal the other side of the tube.

Smoothing the Substrate

5 A layer of molding paste is applied to a gesso-primed Masonite surface with a pastry spatula.

6 A metal ruler is used along the vertical as well as the horizontal to thin down and evenly distribute the molding paste. A very heavy coating of molding paste will not work for this application.

Producing the Custom Imprint
7 The custom tool is employed by pressing it firmly on the surface and rolling slowly in various random directions, allowing the unique, textured pattern to appear. If any molding paste builds up on the tube, simply wipe away with a slightly damp cotton cloth. Since the tube is sealed, it can be cleaned with water and a nail brush and reused for other applications. When cleaning, the plastic caps should be inserted on both sides to protect the interior of the tube once the handle and roller have been pulled out.

For more demonstrations on making unique surfaces and creating custom tools, check out my book Experimental Painting (North Light Books).

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Experimental Mixed- Media Techniques: Part Two

When it comes to invention and experimentation, I believe the act of play holds an integral part in the creative process. Without set intention, just create, focusing on the journey not the destination. When you begin to play, you open the door for discovery to enter. I’d like to share with you some fun and playful techniques that I have discovered.

Handmade paper embedded with natural fibers is primed with gesso and washes of Burnt Sienna and copper acrylic are applied on top. The raised surface is wiped with a cloth to reveal a tactile environment. Creating your own handmade paper is a terrific way to establish a distinctive, collage-based environment.

Corrugated cardboard is adorned with pearlescent acrylics and dripped with latex paint. The raised paper surface provides an eye-catching element for any two-dimensional surface.

Debossed wallpaper is imprinted using leaves and acrylic paints. You can also emboss and deboss your own paper using a template and a stylus.

Die-cut and embossed paper is treated with silver acrylic and adhered to a painted surface. Brown ink is applied on top while the surface is sprayed with a water bottle. The ink puddles and begins to drip while the excess is removed with a paper towel for a weathered appearance. There are many techniques available when it comes to aging and distressing collage and assemblage accents.

Gold and copper acrylic is sponged on top of a black base using a large sponge with irregular holes. Explore both natural and man-made sponges to get a variety of imprints.

Heavy-duty aluminum foil is crinkled and manipulated to create an overall embossed texture. Black ink is applied to the surface and wiped away to create an interesting patina. Do not use nonstick aluminum foil, as it will not work. Regular foil does the trick just fine.

For more demonstrations on making unique surfaces and creating custom papers, check out my book Experimental Painting (North Light Books).

I look forward to hearing from you and seeing what you have unearthed in your journey of experimentation and exploration!

copyright 2015 Lisa L. Cyr, Cyr Studio LLC