2021 Topic 1: Stamp Mashing with ...
France Papillon * Courtney Franich * Ink & the Dog * Seth Apter
This isn't the first time Keren has up-cycled a violin. I wonder how many other instruments she has stashed in the Baker household graveyard of instruments! I think we should give her some bagpipes! Anyhow, what a lovely project this id. Would love a whole wall of them actually! I now have visions of people scouring second hand stores for instruments! I'm sure you need no encouragement to read on!
Hi everyone, it's Keren Baker with you today, and I'd like to share with you a little upcycled art. I did a half sized violin a few years ago and I had others lying around (including this full sized one) waiting for their moment. Using 4 different designer's stamps called for something a little more special plus I felt that I needed a little more space than my average sized card or notebook
As a musician it pains me a little to take an instrument out of circulation, but if they're broken or very inexpensive, I don't feel as guilty.
I made (on reflection afterwards) exactly the same mistake as last time I painted one of these; I didn't sand it! Ordinarily Fresco Finish Acrylic paints will go on pretty much anything- and they did- but because the piece is highly polished, the paint will scrape away more easily without a key, so do sand yours if you fancy trying to do similar.
It was a lovely blank white canvas. Normally a ton of white would thrill me, but on this occasion I felt a bit overawed as to how to combine stamp designs that are pretty different in style. I decided to choose the stamps first and maybe the combo would become clear. I wanted to use one of Seth's minis EM33 as it was the perfect size for the neck.
Stamping on tissue paper first and using Mod Podge is much easier. I loved the pattern created by rotating the stamp each time. Reminded me a little of a guitar fret board. I need to buy some matt Mod Podge as ended up with a lustre which I didn't love.
I decided on a simple colour scheme using Fresco Finish Chalk Acrylics: Chalk, Cerise, Cerulean, Slate plus Crackle Glaze.
You can see below one of my 'u-turns', known more exactly as creative mistakes! I was going to do all the violin in Chalk, a very thin layer of crackle glaze and Cerulean but I thought a graduated colour scheme might be more interesting. I didn't like it, so started painting more white over it. Painting over crackle doesn't give you the smoothest surface to stamp over but I knew I'd be using tissue paper again, so it didn't matter as much.
For my 'Ink & The Dog' stamps I used Buttons 1 B1. Once I'd applied it (and really disliked the sheen of the Mod Podge) I knew it needed knocking back a little which I planned to do with stencilling using PS021 and more stamping.
You can see how well the Grunge Paste works over the stamped areas. I added a little paint over some of the numbers to add some contrast. You can also see one of the France Papillon sets I used - FP005.
I now needed to make decisions about how to combine the other designer Courtney Franich's stamps in what I'd done so far. I had an idea about making flowers using some of her leaf stamps and also foliage from her sets ECF05 & ECF06
I just needed to add in a few more images. I was musing about the effect of music upon us and how it supports and improves both mental health and mood. Frances Papillon's set contained two sentiments 'PS:there is hope' and 'Serotonine' which I thought would give something for people to ponder whilst looking at the altered piece.
The super versatile dots on the neck of the violin come from another of France's sets FP002. You can also see the stencilled numbers which helps tie the design together.
I really loved adding the clouds, gel pen dashes and painting the tailpiece. The fact that there's a string missing seemed to resonate with the slight brokenness that many of us feel and also gave me an extra bit of space to stamp the sentiment on the neck. I had to google how to restring a violin (as hadn't a clue!!) so that was a new 'skill' !
This was a complete labour of love and I was amazed just how well the stamped images 'sung' together. I used paint more than I've ever done and even did layers (which I found slightly out of my comfort zone). If it hadn't been for the PaperArtsy topic challenge, I'd never have pushed myself with layering and combining. This has been a great topic for me.
It's well worth adding some paint and layers to things lying around the house. Musical instruments seem to have a mood of their own and are certainly very inspiring. Don't forget to prepare your surfaces better than I did and I now am on the lookout for a cello (perhaps not), but I'm tempted to try a viola or ukelele!
Hope to see you again soon,