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.
Then 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.