Saturday, January 18, 2014

Goldfish Dream: Canvas

This 8 X 10 canvas started with the kernel of an idea I had been toying with for awhile; using aluminum foil colored with alcohol ink for a background. That was my start.

I tested a few scraps of foil for how the alcohol ink would look, stick, and what would rub it off. I experimented with how to attach it to the canvas and if Mod Podge (my "glue" of choice) would affect the surface if I was extra messy with it. Did I like the foil more crumpled or more flat?

After some fun, I made a few decisions including the main focal elements. I wanted a deep sea view using my favorite jellyfish stamp (from 100 Proof Press ) and I wanted the canvas to be very transparent/metallic. I didn't want to cover much of the colored foil with paper elements or cut-outs as I wanted that look of gazing through water.

So using a blue palette of alcohol inks, I colored the foil and liked the metallic look it retained. But since it was already attached to the canvas, it was impossible to stamp directly on it and get a clear impression. So I decided to stamp on clear acrylic sheets and cut them out. In addition to the jellyfish, I added a school of fish (Lost Coast Designs) and a spore in the left corner. (This was part of another idea that I trashed early on of using the spore as a Sunlight source shining a ray into the depths...scrapped it.)

I attached the stamped images with gel medium. It dried clear and invisibly and I was careful not to use too much as it seemed to affect the alcohol ink beneath it.

The canvas still looked quite plain so I added the middle line of "bubbles" using very old epoxy circles that have been in my stash for way too long. I debated about putting some kind of paper under them, like dictionary, but wanted to stay true to my original idea of a see-through look.

This is where I originally decided the canvas was complete: Deep Dive.

But I didn't like it. It didn't look finished. I tried adding purple fluid acrylic around the edge to frame it out but it didn't help. I kept staring at it wondering what it needed.

It needed a foreground and it would have to be something that stood out. I thought I'd cut out some seaweed to add; stamped images that would be cut from paper then attached. But then I pulled out some embossing powder; and man, did things change!

I'm becoming a big fan of torn paper and I'm using it a lot in my stuff. Since I had wanted to highlight the bubbles with dictionary paper, I decided to tear my seaweed from that. Then, I sprayed it with Dylusions ink, Cut Grass. And here's where I got excited!
I had in my stash from several years ago some of the Moon Glo embossing powders from Lindy's Stamp Gang. My sisters and I bought a few colors after seeing some amazing techniques done with them. Naturally, after we got home, we forgot about them and how to really maximize their usage. I was on the verge of getting rid of them. I decided to give them a whirl on my seaweed to make the paper look glossy and wet.

So glad I did! I used a Starlight Gold/green powder mostly but added in some Desert Moon/ ??  (sorry I forgot the other color in the mixture. Each embossing powder from Lindy's is a two-toned powder!) I inked the whole face of the paper with Versamark ink and sprinkled the powder on. As it melted it curled the edges of the paper, but what a great look for me. The translucent nature of these colors allowed the paper to show from underneath as well as the green ink. And the touch of brown you see in the photo is from the embossing powders. These powders also give a pearlescent sheen to the paper making it reflect similarly to the foil on the background. I LOVE IT!

After adding my seaweed (squeal) with gel medium, I wanted just one more element; something to tie it all together. I added my goldfish. I thought about that movie "Finding Nemo" where the fish in the tank all dream of getting to the ocean. Nothing fancy about him, just cut out, attached, and outlined with a subtle hint of gold gelato.

So now...finally...this canvas is finished. "Goldfish Dream" is a new favorite of mine.
"Just keep swimming." --Dori from "Finding Nemo"
Note: After my paper curled up from the embossing, I did manage to uncurl it mostly. The very edges remained curled but that was the look I wanted, very 3-D. I just needed enough of the surface to make contact with the canvas so that it stayed attached.

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