Day Two – polyfilla-gate :)

So I thought yesterday threw up something unexpected.  This morning we settled down to paint, opened one of the two huge vats given to us by the Art College only to find it was compound filler not paint!   I saw our tightly balanced schedule going right out of the window.   But a phone call to the college (who were aghast at their mistake) sent a techie down in his car to swap the buckets of polyfilla for some more acceptable white emulsion and within half an hour we were back on schedule – not bad considering how far the college is.

Another busy day but we got two coats onto everything, without making a mess – so tomorrow we hang!!!

It’s looking fabulous.

See a snippet of our day below:

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Impressive range of facilities available at Uni

Since going back to Uni this week, I have had inductions in several of the workshops.  Yesterday was the production workshop and it was fun to see the different things I could do if I chose to.  I was particularly excited by the digital printing on fabric.  The idea of having either my photographs or one of my paintings on fabric for my final exhibition has set my mind racing.    The other area that really interested me was the plastics, I love the idea of melting sheets of acrylic over objects – I merely have to think of a use for that!

We also were shown the woodworking tools, which although impressive, are not likely to be an area that I use.  I’m handy with a drill in the DIY sense but the sheer size and magnitude of some of these tools left me rather intimidated!

Sadly, I didn’t have my phone with me for that induction, but there are lots of pictures of today’s one – the print workshops.

I have never even considered doing screen printing or letter pressing for my fine art work but instantly I was excited by the possibilities.   Below are some pictures of my day – I went to the library on the way home to pick up a book on screen printing and intend to spend the day in the workshops on Monday to consolidate what I learnt.

Today was one of those game changing days when you realise there are so many more possibilities than you realised!

And I am very impressed with the facilities on offer at Portsmouth Uni too – I am already going to be sad to give this up in September!

Painting my umbrella – rain or shine, I’ve got it covered! Larmer Tree here we come!

I recently saw a passing comment about someone painting an umbrella.  The idea instantly appealed to me, but I had no idea how to go about it.

Some busy Googling didn’t tell me much more, there is not much documented out there, but I did find others who have done it.

First, I bought a reasonably priced white umbrella on Amazon and I found an old white umbrella (that I was given free at some conference or other) to test paints on, I didn’t want to make mistakes on the real thing.   I had a clear idea in my head of what I wanted to do but very quickly saw that my idea was too detailed.

I tried painting with acrylic paints and spraying stencils with spray paint.    The spray paint, although it gave a lovely effect, was too problematical, it cracked and it was very hard to get the stencil flat on the material.  I was a bit disappointed as I had painstakingly cut out the stencil of the flower, but it wasn’t consistent enough.   I even tried painting through the stencil with a brush, but that was really terrible, so acrylic paint, directly onto the fabric it had to be!

Here is my test umbrella by the end of my experiments!

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A daisy theme seemed more sensible, and it wouldn’t use too much paint 🙂

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Yesterday I sat down and just went for it with the paints and I am very pleased with the results.  The paint doesn’t crack and I think it is clearly a daisy!

The paint goes on very well, as long as the material is taut, I did it about 30% water because I didn’t want the dried acrylic to be too brittle and crack.   Some colours show brush strokes more than others, the blue and the yellow were best, in retrospect I would use them more another time.

I am off to a week long festival soon so this will be brilliant, rain or shine, I will have my daisy umbrella to keep us dry or cool.     Fingers crossed I get to use it as a sun shade!

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I would definitely try this again, perhaps next year I might attempt a more complicated design – a peacock tail springs to mind……..