Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Whatcha Doin?

I am re-doing the last project we did in class with Dan.  I didn't finish it. We didn't have a lot of time to complete this project on the last day.  I work slowly, and I had a hard time floating the Instacoll in the center of the "O" designed by Dan. The letter was 2 1/2 in. square and larger than anything I've gilded. I found the edges were drying before I had the center filled. 

Instacoll is to be applied in a thick-ish layer, but in my haste I had added too much. The paper buckled and the goop pooled at the bottom of the letter. Instacoll takes 45 minutes to dry before you can apply whatever metal is being used. 

The surface of the Instacoll had dried, but underneath was still wet. When I went to tool the gold with the thin, cross-hatched lines, the gold tore revealing the Instacoll. 

Though I called this an epic fail, it really wasn't. I mixed the delicious blue-black background using red, yellow, and blue watercolor.  I learned how the materials reacted. How much time is needed for things to dry. How much time I need to work. All valuable lessons.

Dan told me I could try to salvage the piece by thinning some Instacoll with water, applying it again to the center, let it thoroughly dry, and lay another layer of gold. 

I think I'll add some lettering and re-do the project.

Whatcha doin?

Tuesday, September 26, 2023

T Stands for Egret Having Breakfast


Tuesday morning when I went to my little beach there were a flock of egrets hanging out across the way. This dude or dudette was alone on my side of the beach. I think s/he was hunting and eating the tiny crabs (what I call sea spiders) and having a sip of the salt water.

Drop by hosts, Bleubeard and Elizabeth's blog to find out what the rest of the T Stands For gang is up to. If you want to play, include in your Tuesday post a beverage or container for a beverage. Don't forget to link your blog to Bleubeard and Elizabeth's page.

Monday, September 25, 2023

The Hummingbird Project

The first Fun with Acanthus Leaves project taught by Dan Mooney for the Sacred Art Workshop on Enders Island was a hummingbird.

The handouts Dan provided had a color image of the project and step by step illustrated instructions.

I have done gilding before, but there were so many fussy, little steps. Dan had a streamlined method that took the fear out of using gold.

First, we traced a hummingbird surrounded by acanthus leaves. The leaves would be painted and the hummingbird gilded using both a flat and raised technique. We used Jerry's Pink Stuff for the flat gilding around the edges of the hummingbird. Instacoll was carefully applied as the base for the raised gilding

After the Instacoll was thoroughly dry (approximately 45 min. Jerry's Pink Stuff only took 10 or min. to dry) 24 karat patent gold was applied. The excess gold was brushed off and the gold was tooled (patterns or dots were pressed into the gold using an awl and embossing tool.

While waiting for the Instacoll to dry we mixed our watercolors. I chose a light blue and a teal. After the gold was applied, the acanthus leaves were painted and white dots added. Oh, and as if the gold didn't have enough bling, a Swarovski crystal was added to the eye.

Ta-da! The first project completed over 2 days

Sunday, September 24, 2023

How Does Your Garden Grow?

From the gardens of Enders Island

Enders is known for the dahlias. These were on the dining room table

A tired Easter lily

Hydrangeas still blooming

Some of the roses were still blooming

The Dahlias

More dahlias


A new meditation garden

My favorite garden feature the stone kitty and bird faucet

Another dahlia

Spent dahlias


A star-shaped dahlia

Butterflies and goldenrod

Apples, though some of the crop didn't look that good

We were told they had a very expensive, very rare Black Dahlia. We went on a quest to find it, but couldn't All I found was this dahlia labeled Black Beauty though it was more of a deep burgundy than black

Still no Black Dahlia

Black, but not a Dahlia.

A lone geranium in a pot outside of the art studio

Dahlias and a schooner.

How does your garden grow?

Friday, September 22, 2023

The Friday Five Good Things

Five good things that happened this week. 

1. I'm back on Enders Island for another Sacred Art workshop, Fun with Acanthus Leaves

2. I've spent each morning at my little beach doing QiGong exercises. (I hope)

3. I'll be taking class from Dan Mooney, a member of the guild I belong to, Masscribes. I've never had the opportunity to take a class with Dan, but he's a lovely person and so talented. Class should be lots of fun.

4. Did I mention the fabulous food? I hope Fruits of the Forest Pie is served for dessert.

5. Since I'm writing this blog post a few weeks ahead of time, I wonder if the Holy Gully (Gunther as he's called) is still sitting on top of the steeple?

How was your week? 

Thursday, September 21, 2023

Enders Journal - Monday 09/18


Rather than bringing a journal and a bunch of art supplies, (which would take up extra luggage room) I thought I would keep a digital journal using the app, Concepts.

Since I'm an early riser, I have time to work before breakfast using the iPad and the iPencil.

Monday it poured and poured and poured. Usually, I go out to my little beach just after sunrise, but it was raining too hard.

On the first day of class after Mass has finished, the priest blesses the hands of those participating in the Sacred Art Class(es). Since it was a Noah's ark kind of day, I didn't  feel like waiting outside the church door, peeking through the crack to see when Mass finished so I could have my hands blessed. It's nice, but I've had that done 4 times before. I doubt the blessing expires or wear off. So I just went to the art studio.

One of my classmates didn't want me to miss the experience. She must have wiped her oil blessed hands on a paper towel and brought the paper towel to me so my hands could be blessed, too. Such a kind gesture.

Monday was an intense work day. We gilded a small dove and the gilding on a hummingbird which had acanthus leaves encircling it. Painting the leaves would happen on Tuesday.