Friday, July 22, 2011

Inspiration Avenue: Wings

I started this week's Inspiration Avenue challenge by playing with a block of wood that I covered with cheesecloth and gesso. I had a plan! It's a good thing I started on Monday, because this took most of my week. And it was a good thing that Kat, who issued the challenge, was so prompt with this week's prompt!


I was determined to see why that patching plaster I got at the Household Hazardous Waste Swap and Shop didn't work. So, after allowing the cheesecloth and gesso covered board to dry overnight, I gathered my materials and headed for my outdoor work area. On the left is the patching plaster, a bowl of water, a couple of faux credit cards to mix and spread the plaster, and the two prepared blocks. Ignore the cardboard in the back, as it is for a different project.


I was becoming impressed with the looks of this plaster on wood and I began believing the patching plaster might work after all.

It was about that same time I saw a post by Seth Apter on his blog detailing an e-book about plaster written by Stephanie Lee and Judy Wise. I had heard about the book when one of the former members of our current color round robin suggested she would send plaster paper to us.


Since I never received the plaster paper and I had such a hard time with the patching plaster on my anniversary pages, I was anxious to learn more about the process. I found the book on Amazon and read the materials they recommend for making the plaster pieces. They suggest either joint compound, which I don't have, or plaster of Paris, which I DO have. So my next plaster on wood will be using plaster of Paris. But for now, I used what I have on hand and it was drying in the Kansas heat.


I tried to make a few marks on the plaster in order to set the wing apart from the rest of the piece, but possibly because the only colors I used on this were orange and purple, I didn't get the "broken wing" I was going for. That will teach me to try to freehand draw something! I couldn't see a broken wing, and I KNEW what it was supposed to be! Plus, in the process, I broke some of the patching plaster away from the substrate, leaving a gaping hole that showed only colored cheesecloth. Three and a half days of work had just gone down the drain.


LinkThen I remembered I still had one last bird feather in my supplies. I could cover a portion of the broken plaster with the feather and I could still enter this as my weekly Inspiration Avenue challenge piece. It wasn't what I expected, but I should have known I can't draw. I leave that to the real artists at Inspiration Avenue.

For what it's worth, I thought the colors and the texture of this were good. I only wish I knew why that patching plaster didn't work. It's the second time this material has failed me. I know it's going into the recycle bin because I'm not using that box of patching plaster in my art ever again.

20 thoughtful remarks:

Stephanie Mealor Corder said...

I love the colors and that gorgeous texture you've achieved here- purple and orange are one of my favorite pairings right now. And, I can totally relate to working on something all week and then it doesn't turn out the way you wanted- adding that feather was a perfect solution!

see you there! said...

The texture looks good from here. I'm impressed with your "rescue". It makes a great contribution for the challenge.

Darla

voodoo vixen said...

Well, completely ignoring your tiny failure with the making a a hole bit, the colours and textures of this are absolutely stunning!! Has it not occurred to you that there might be a reason this stuff was dumped at the recycle station?? Maybe it has gone off or something? Still loving those colours!!

Tammy said...

I love the way the purple and orange meld together. They make a wonderful combination. I also like the texture. It can be so frustrating when something doesn't turn out the way we planned for it to but I think you have a win here.

Kat W said...

I think it was meant to be! If it had gone to plan we would have missed out on a gorgeous piece of art. It turned out beautifully . I love the textures and the way the colours mix give it an ethereal feel to it that is then complimented perfectly with a feather. Fab! And thank you for sharing the process because it is always interesting & helpful to see all the stages.

I look forward to seeing what you do with plaster of paris next!

Kat :-) X

nerllybird said...

The colours and texture are awesome - I think that's a fantastic background for something small.
Helen S

Esther said...

I love the textures and colours on this piece...even though it's not what you planned...I think sometimes our accidents are the best work we do!! Hope you are well...Esther xx

Halle said...

Great texture! I'm impressed that you just keep on trying with the plaster stuff. I think I would have chucked the whole mess by now. I'm not known for my patience anymore. :)

Jo Murray said...

Definitely a 'happy accident'... it always works out. Good on you.

Diane said...

Well it doesn't matter what happened--the end result is very good--LOVE this texture.

artangel said...

The colour and texture you've created here is just delicious!

Even though you had something else in mind originally, I love the end result - sometimes my best work has unexpected elements too! x

Marilyn Rock said...

Love your challenge results. Great texture and you kept at it! Kudos to you!

I picked up Judy and Stephanie's book and am going for a "play date", this coming week, with a friend of mine, who I team-teach with, to experiment with Plaster of Paris. I'll post results on my Blog eventually and I'm anxious to try it!

Are you any cooler there? We are still in the "soup". xxoo

Healing Woman said...

I know I'll be using this technique in some of my artwork. I love the idea of the plaster breaking away and revealing the cheesecloth. I also love the colors and texture you achieved. Your project was not lost for I know you have inspired me and others. Thanks so much.

Barbara said...

Great piece, all this inspiration make me want to be creative...

Jenn said...

I love that you added a feather!! :) Your texture is awesome and that purple and orange together is so gorgeous!! I really like how you experiment and take us through the process - thank you! And thank you for your lovely comment on my blog!

gemma said...

What fun to work in plaster!
This is an awesome piece.
The feather certainly indicates the broken wing.
xx

ai said...

Love the colours and it's great to read about your experiment.

Magpie said...

I think this was a great success! I love the textures and the contrast of the purple and orange colors. It was so interesting to go through the process of how you layered on the cheesecloth and plaster. Best of all is the simplicity of the single feather ~ I love it!

priti.lisa said...

Elizabeth! You are a great artist and an inspiration to us all! Please don't criticize yourself so harshly...it hurts me. Art is always a process of "failures" If we would all be so honest about what didn't work...
♥♥♥

New End Studio said...

I like the softness of the lone feather against the rough and broken textures, the colors stand out and make it welcoming.