Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Seek Other Thoughts

This spread is a combination of many different strands  but started life as my contribution for The Documented Life Project 2016. As the challenge was set last Saturday when it was still January the theme remains: Going out on a Limb and Try Something New. The art challenge was to: let someone else draw or make marks on your art piece. I did indeed do new things but no one else drew on my pages. Instead I added postage stamps (designed by someone else!), made a poem with found text,  and used a technique I saw during an online class. I know it's not the same but it will have to do.

The technique I used came from the owner of Stencilgirl Products, MaryBeth Shaw. She was one of the teachers of the online class Creative Jumpstart 2016 (highly recommend!) and she used oil sticks in her project. This rang a dim bell somewhere in my mind. I used to teach a class using Shiva paint-sticks on fabric way back (10 or so years!) and I knew they had to be about somewhere. I finally located them and used them for this spread. Quite revolutionary as I had only used them on fabric thus far. But they are definitely oil paint sticks and I have fallen in love with them all over again.

Of course I used them with Stencilgirl stencils (the Deconstructed Floral Bouquet one again and the Verdant Moon). To my delight I discovered that one of my oil sticks was sparkling gold! And of course that had to appear. I was so happy to discover that despite their age my paint sticks worked perfectly once I removed their skin. There is only one slight problem with the oil paint. It takes a very long time to dry, specially in a damp and cold Scotland. Even after 48 hours they remained slightly damp.They were eventually heat set using my iron and baking parchment. If it works on fabric it works on paper, right!

That gave me time to write a poem. I was so taken with the background that I didn't want to distract from it with imagery so words took it's place. The poem was written by going through my most favourite vintage book (Proverbial Philosophy, published in the late 1800s), cutting out parts of sentences that spoke to me, and then putting them together in a new way. Here is the full text:

Write often for thy secret eye
For to write is to speak beyond hearing
It is a theme for tears
The tears that we forgat to note
the secret depths
seek other thoughts
mysteries by mysteries
the secret of the soul
the silent music of the heart
so shalt thou grow wiser.

After glueing them on, all the spread required were postage stamps in matching colours. They are Indian and all have the same design of three lions. 

I am so pleased to have rediscovered my oil sticks and you can expect to see them again! Dare I admit I also indulged in some Windsor & Newton oil sticks as used by MaryBeth. Can't wait for their arrival.


peggy gatto said...

Fascinating process, lovely!!!

anna said...

Oh my, Frieda! Fantastic piece. Love your use of my favorite StencilGirl stencil! That poem speaks to me, such true words. Beautiful.

Lenna Young Andrews said...

This is magnificent, Frieda! Love your found poetry too. xo

Maggi said...

Ooooooooooooo that poem is so fantastic, what a great idea! I love rediscovering old tools, this spread is beautiful!


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