COVID-19 Update 4th July 2020: We are open! Bookings are now being taken for workshops but will be limited to a maximum of 2 people from a single household per workshop to maintain a Covid-secure setting. To avoid disappointment, if there is a workshop that you wish to attend but with no available slots,  then please contact us to arrange an alternative date. 

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COVID-19 Update 4th July 2020: We are open! Bookings are now being taken for workshops but will be limited to a maximum of 2 people from a single household per workshop to maintain a Covid-secure setting. To avoid disappointment, if there is a workshop that you wish to attend but with no available slots,  then please contact us to arrange an alternative date. 

Driftwood texture

Beachcombing brings me back to Powertex

I’ve just spent a glorious couple of weeks at the coast – partly at Valley View, our Cornish Artistic ReTreat in Lamorna and partly on the North Devon coast. I mixed work with family time and had a wonderful time, even though plans had changed and we weren’t in Italy for my 50th birthday!

As always, one of my favourite activities is strolling along the shore marvelling at what has been washed up on the beach and how the sea forms the shape of the sand and rocks. This time I was fascinated by some amazing pieces of driftwood that found their way to Woolacombe beach in Devon. The gnarled, knobbly texture and colours were rich and varied.

 

I’m always inspired by my surroundings, especially in the natural world and I couldn’t help but be reminded of Powertex Easy 3D Flex and how it creates exactly those crackly textures. I don’t tend to use Easy 3D Flex in student workshops because it’s crackle effects develop as it dries over a couple of days and we often don’t have enough time.

Easy 3D Flex is an inorganic powder which creates fantastic textures and crackles when mixed with Powertex Fabric Hardener. Create a paste that can be spread onto a canvas or any absorbing material (not plastic) or mix into a clay to create waterproof sculptures.

Bark is one of my favourite textures to recreate back in the studio and I like to use the natural dried and pressed mulberry wood paper deco dipped in Powertex stretched out, it makes for a brilliant texture relief effect. Adding in the other colours of paper deco, like grey, green, red or burgundy creates a fabulous piece of ‘bark’. I recreate the earthy colours of our countryside with bister sprays for that dry crackle effect. Made from walnut inks, the yellow, red and mahogany are great.

With more and more people taking a UK ‘staycation’ rather than going abroad this summer, we’ve been able to enjoy some glorious sunny weather and our lovely countryside and coastlines. Our Cornish retreat, Valley View in Lamorna is still an oasis of calm, nestled in the cool wooded valley with its spring running right down to the sea.

I’m fascinated by that rippled effect of the sand under the shallows of the sea shore. I recreate this with corrugated card rubbed with stone art. The amazing 3D sand mixed with Powertex gives a wonderful grainy texture to any sculpture or canvas.

I hope you’re having a wonderful summer and finding lots of inspiration in the environment around us! If you need some help, why not sign up to one of our Artistic ReTreats workshops or ask about a 1-2-1 session either online or in at the Studio and we can talk through your ideas. If a workshop you like is fully booked or you’d like it on a different day, please get in touch.

www.artisticretreats.co.uk