Sunday, 9 March 2014

Welcome Back Julie Ann Lee #1: The Green Man {Part 1}

 "Hi, it's Julie Ann here. I am so thrilled to be back again at PaperArtsy with my project for March, which uses Hot Picks and Minis. I have to confess that I'm still nervous when my turn comes around each month! Will you like what I have created this time"? 

Tonight I'm working with the hugely adaptable Hot Picks1006, 9 and Xtra02 and Mini95. I hope you will play along because my March project features an element that fascinates me, but which I know some people find scary - a mask! I trust these little mini-masks will look too kindly to scare you! I expect everyone in the UK knows at least one pub called 'The Green Man' and that they may have seen the mysterious little carvings in obscure corners of old churches with their tiny faces seeming to grow out of unfurling leaves. I've always found these intriguing and wondered if there is a story behind them symbolising that sense of new life and hope that the return of Spring suggests? I wanted to create three matching canvases that celebrate the green world of the Green Man and the approaching Spring: this is my first.

If you don't have a tiny mask or the idea of The Green Man doesn't appeal, why not play along with some of the techniques I've used in the project on some handmade flowers or a gorgeous Eclectica Lin Brown  at the centre of a canvas burgeoning with green leaves?

I began with one of these little ceramic heads, available from craft shops for you to decorate yourself ...

and three of these little box canvases from PaperArtsy. I love how chunky and solid they are to work on.

The moment of truth! I was worried that when I came to paint my 'Green Man' the shiny porcelain would not take the paint and I would have to re-think how I coloured him! However, Fresco Finish paints really gave me the look I wanted - stony and weathered. I used several coats of opaques, Honey Dew to start, then Guacamole and finally I highlighted with some Hey Pesto and just a touch of Limelight translucents to suggest that my 'Green Man' was maybe a garden ornament in the grounds of an old house with lichen forming over his features. Perhaps he is one of the mysterious statues in The Beast's rose garden in 'Beauty and the Beast.'

Using the same colour scheme, I sponged paint over my canvas and two sheets of PaperArtsy Smoothy Heavy Card. This is such beautiful card to work with and to stamp on.

Although, I knew I would be covering most of my canvas, I still shaded it with the darker shades of green at the edges. I then stamped with Mini 95 on the front and the sides of the canvas using Hyde Park sponged onto my stamp and then sprinkled with clear UTEE and embossed (sorry about the very mucky heat gun!)

I used the same technique for the birds in the grasses on Hot Picks 1009.

For my next embellishment, I couldn't resist my favourite material, Shrink Plastic. As always I sanded my plastic with cross-hatching strokes then painted with Guacamole. I die-cut with PaperArtsy flower die-cut and stamped with two flower collage images from Hot Picks Xtra02

In the past, I have created a glossy seal on the shrink plastic with a coat of Glossy Accents, which I've then left to dry. This time I tried something different, which I've also used on some of the leaves. My Patwits friends will know that I recently discovered the thrill of UTEE! I waited until my flowers had cooled and set and then coated them in Versamark and sprinkled with UTEE before melting with a heat gun from underneath.

Here they are fixed on the sides of the canvas. You can see I have started to add some leaves.

I die-cut some leaves, some from Smoothy White Stamping Card and some from Shrink Plastic ...

I edged some with Inky Pool...

I kept some plain and painty!

and had lots of fun with cracking UTEE

I built these up and added the moth and Hot Pick die-cut leaves with the swirly pattern from Hot Picks 1006 stamped onto painted card and fussy cut.

Always remember when stamping with Frescos to have a damp cloth handy so that you can wipe the paint off quickly and keep the stamp clean.

The little punched out leaves looked as if they were part of the carved face when I stuck them with some Heavy Gel Medium and curling my leaves round a paint brush handle when they were damp helped me to create the look of them unfurling.

Thank you so much for looking over my shoulder at first Green Man project. No doubt you will notice how I've added Treasure Gold (Aquamarine and Green Amber) to my curled over leaves and some gold UTEE to the edges. I'd be so happy if you could drop by tomorrow to see what I do with the second canvas and I can't wait to see what ideas you come up with for mini Spirit of Spring canvases of your own!

Leandra Says: Cracked UTEE looks magnificent! Great project Julie Ann, you have covered lots of great ideas! brilliant.

Gillian Says: Wonderful textures achieved using the paints and UTEE. Love this 1st canvas, can't wait to see where your creativity takes you next.

If you would like to join in this week's challenge and play along with Julie Ann's techniques, then do link up your creativity here, and go in the draw to win some PA stamps of your choice! You need to link your entry by 17:00, Sunday March 16th 2014


Miriam said...

Lovely canvas - I love the depth and textures

Lin said...

wow Julie Ann this is great..I am one of those who find these masks a bit spooky but do love your fiished piece xxxx

Helen said...

wow, that looks amazing! So many things on here, am sure we can have a go at at least some of them!

Hazel Agnew said...

Hi Julie Ann! what an interesting project. I love the connection with spring and the greens are so refreshing. The build up of leaves with patterns and textures is so effective. It has set my creative juices flowing and I will have a ponder before I set sail. Thankyou for the stimulus. You are a star!!

Colleen said...

Julie Ann,
This is a brilliant spring project, in fact I'm going to look at picking up 4 of those masks and maybe making one for each season then mounting them as a gift for a fellow gardener. I hope I get a chance to play.

Unknown said...

Im a bit scared of masks but this is a Fab project! Well done Julie Ann! xxx

pearshapedcrafting said...

Wow! The Green Man fascinates me and I love finding the carvings in old churches too! You have created a wonderful piece of art here - now 'the invitations' are nearly finished I hope I can join in- I'm truly inspired! Chrisx

craftimamma said...

I'm another who is quite fascinated by The Green Man but it totally depends on the carving or casting of the face as to whether I find it kindly or scary..... I've seen both, lol! Yours definitely has a kindly look after you worked your magic on him Julie Ann. Lots of lovely techniques you've used on this small piece of work and I'm really looking forward to seeing Part 2 of this project.

Lesley Xx

butterfly said...

Have to confess I'm one of the mask-wary types, and also a little wary of some Green Man interpretations, but I love this canvas, Julie Ann. The glossy UTEE is fabulous on the shrink plastic and especially on those grasses on the side. I love the cracked look too and all that amazing curving dimension you've created. Beautiful!
Alison x

Lucy Edmondson said...

I love it, Julie Ann! I'm not at all scared of Green Men or Masks! Some fab ideas here and I am hoping to play along. Can't wait for tomorrow,

Lucy x

Dianne said...

SQUAWK,SQUAWK, this fantasy piece, is BRILLIANT, masksss as there will be more, be still my heart, you know how I feel about them, oh boy green is my world, I have been waiting paitenly to see what you have been creating, the old churches, all those,I love being your your country, I never leave the house without my camera, their is always something fantastic to photograph what a place, inspiration galore. sorry I'm so excited about this,those leaves are out of this world, in fairy land, see your brilliant with those paints, the color is magical, of course you decorate that gorgeous canvas, love that mini 95 stamp and of the grasses with the birds, got to have them on there :), gorgeous signature piece, the side are stunning, I'm in love with those leaves, wow this has bee quite a journey, definitely worth the wait, a journey through a magical land, I love it, thanks for sharing can't wait for No. 2, have a wonderful day..((( BIG HUGS)))

Unknown said...

I am not a mask fan but your finished project is fab an I love the techniques you have used x

Deborah Wainwright said...

Julie Ann this is very very fantastic so much so that as soon as I saw it I jumped out of the bath and was in the art room playing I didn't have all of the materials you used which are great so just compromised. I could stop! Thank you so much for this it was just what I needed. Xxx

Anonymous said...

Julie Ann, that is stunning. I am fascinated by the Green Man who has Pagan origins I think. I love how you built up the leaves around him, they are gorgeous.

Craftyfield said...

Wonderful piece and so creative!

May said...

WOW, WOW, WOW...What a work of art...Love the face & fabulous clever & inspirational Love it all... Hugs may x x x

Etsuko said...

Wow! This is awesome project and fab Green man story Julie Ann. Mask... I haven't any masks...un I think something...and I looking forward next stories too!!
Etsuko xx

massofhair said...

Very thought provoking project! Beautiful use of so many techniques but not a lover of most masks especially when they are so life like.

Don't own any masks & short on canvases so won't be playing along this time, sorry :(

Thank you for such fab inspiration as always:-) xxx

Carol Q said...

a truly amazing creation Julie Ann. what an innovative idea. love it!

Kezzy said...

Wow wow wow absolutely gorgeous stunning unique canvas. I love the way you have made the leaves, lots of different versions to see. They way you have added the face is an amazing idea. Beautiful :-) Kezzy xxx

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