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Winter Canvas

On a Cold & Frosty Morning

With the headlines full of global warming and record high temperatures, it’s lovely to be able to enjoy a frosty morning while we can. I’m lucky to live in the countryside and be able to walk from my village down the lanes and love to do this on a chilly, bright day – especially when you can come home to a roaring fire!


On a recent visit to our Cornish retreat at Lamorna, the county was experiencing snow – a rarity for the South West and although it didn’t quite reach Lamorna Cove, the travel disruption on Bodmin Moor caused a delay to my journey back ‘up north’ (what a shame!)

When I’m out on a cold, frosty walk, I try to take in all the activity and colour around the hedgerows and sometimes take photos of interesting forms and textures so that I can try and recreate them back in the studio. The shape of bare trees, frosted twigs and the odd berry are all inspirational and where possible, I collect natural items that could be incorporated into my artwork with a little help from Powertex.

To recreate the best winter colours, I use Powercolor pigments in light blue, dark blue, black, steel grey, titanium white and a touch of burgundy for the berries. I also use Colortricx pigments in silver or powerpearl which gives a gorgeous silvery shimmer like frost when used over ivory or white Powertex.

For the perfect ‘frosty’ texture, Easy 3D Flex gives an amazing cracked finish. This wonder product is an inorganic powder that feels silky to the touch like corn flour. I combine it with Powertex to form a paste or clay that cracks as it hardens. As a paste, I mix it to form peaks (like whipped cream) and apply it to mixed media projects with a palette knife, or add more powder to mix into a clay to sculpt with, it’s so versatile.

Whether you go for a paste or a clay, the Easy 3D must be sprayed with Bister and left to crack in a warm room, out in the sun or with a hairdryer. Generally, the thicker you apply the paste or clay, the larger and deeper the cracks will form. Cracks will continue to develop over a number of days as the artwork dries, it’s a fascinating process and I love to see the creation change over time.

Have you checked out the Artistic ReTreats online art supplies page? Whether you’re just starting out and experimenting with Powertex or you’re working on a new project and need to stock up, you can easily order everything from pigments and bisters to rice papers and figures. Visit www.artisticretreats.co.uk/ and get lost in the amazing Powertex products, hints & tips, workshops and inspiration you’ll find there!

Whether you’ve worked with me on a Powertex project before or are completely new to the medium, this course will give you all the tools and techniques to create at least one masterpiece for the garden.