Friday, 5 February 2016

All my own work

Artwork in recycled frame


I finally got to like pastels, yeah....! My latest piece of a goldfinch was my interpretation of a picture I saw in a magazine. The step by step instructions began with a yellow base layer for the bird but it looked just like a canary to me. My first pet was a Norwich canary and so I fell in love with him straight away. The magazine article was a 'how to' in watercolours but as I'm still not comfortable with watercolours decided to use pastels instead and I'm really pleased with the outcome. 

Goldfinch in pastel


The finished piece  would be best fit into a square frame and I just hadn't thought before hand how awkward it might be to buy a ready made square frame off the shelf, plus a mount. I checked on the internet and found some frames which I think must have been moulded plastic and cheap quality but I didn't want the cheapness. I thought my bird deserved better (smile). Then I remembered I might have an old square 8 x 8" frame I could adapt and searched my frame stash and found it. It needed some tender loving care and so I set to with recycling it. 

old frame in need of recycling

The wood frame was scratched in one corner so I scratched it some more all over. Did I say scratch? I should have said gouged to give a slightly distressed look. I needn't have bothered really because three layers of paint over the original washed-out pink sort of smoothed the distressed look away. I used a garden fence paint in willow colour. I liked the subtle green colour.

painting the frame

Next I brought elements together to see if they matched and ideas were forming. I fixed my artwork centrally onto a piece of mountboard I had cut to size to fit the frame and as the artwork was smaller than the back mountboard I had to work out how to tailor another mount with aperture to fill in the gaps. I have plenty of mountboard but I'm not confident enough to cut it to intricate shapes. My idea was to use a patterned card or paper to surround the artwork instead and chose a William Morris design from a Joanna Sheen paper pad I already had in my stash. 

ideas coming together

I cut equal sized strips of paper using a decorative edge cutter and placed them overlapping to make a square, gently gluing with low tack adhesive at the corners. I then chamfered the corners to a neat fit. Next I fixed the square paper frame around and just overlapping the artwork with strategic hidden traces of glue just to keep it steady. My artwork was now ready to place into its frame under a freshly cleaned glass window. 

I'm really pleased with my efforts. See above.

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