Saturday, 22 April 2017

More Infusions, Garden and Kitties


Today I have been back in the studio for the first time for ages – what with the work being done on the kitchen and other activities, I have been very busy, and in between too tired to do anything, but I was determined to continue with my Infusions experiments today.

I am nearly at the end of the samples that I am going to create, and today I spent most of the time working with Infusions combined with white fluid acrylic paint and gesso.

Here are the materials I used for creating a marbled effect using white Pebeo fluid acrylic paint and Infusions – Sleight Blue and In the Navy from set 2.

84 Materials for Marbling with Acrylic Paint

I painted some of the acrylic paint onto the large acrylic block and sprinkled on the Infusions in both colours, and then spritzed it with water to activate the Infusions. I pressed the card down onto this and made sure good contact had been made all over, and then pulled it off, and these are the results.

85 Marbling with Acrylic Paint - Printing Method

Top left: the first impression. Top right, a second impression after spritzing the block with more water. Bottom left, third impression, ditto, and middle right, fourth impression, ditto. By bottom right, fifth impression, much of the interest had gone because the Infusions had blended too much into the somewhat watered down paint that remained on the block. I had to press the card repeatedly onto the block for this one, to ensure complete coverage. However, to get five impressions from one block is pretty good! The first two are pretty similar, but on close examination you can see a bit more texture from the paint on the first one. They get more muted and subtle with each impression. You could do this technique equally well directly onto a non-stick craft sheet or a gelli plate, I should think.

Next, I did the direct-to-paper method of marbling with acrylic paint.

86 Materials for Marbling with Acrylic Paint - Direct to Paper Method

In this case, I painted a layer of the white fluid acrylic onto two pieces of card and sprinkled the Infusions in the same two colours on top. Spritzing with water activated the Infusions and they started to flow. For the first one, after spritzing, I blotted it very lightly and then left it to stand for a few minutes, and then dried it with the heat gun.

For the second one, I alternated heating with the heat gun and further spritzing, and added a bit more of the Infusions half way through, which gave a slightly stronger effect.

87 Marbling with Acrylic Paint - Direct to Paper Method

I think on balance I prefer the more subtle effect created by the printing method.

I then moved on to some further experiments with gesso, beginning with spreading gesso through a stencil (my own honeycomb stencil which I cut myself). For these pieces, I used Terracotta Infusions from set 2.

88 Materials for Stencilling with Gesso

I spread the gesso through the stencil using a palette knife, being careful not to be too careful with it! By this I mean I wanted a fairly distressed, incomplete look.

After doing this, I immediately turned the stencil over and blotted off the excess gesso onto another piece of card, to get a fainter, reverse stencil effect. I dried the gesso on both samples, using my heat gun, and then sprinkled on the Infusions and spritzed them with water.

89 Stencilling with Gesso

The gesso acted as a resist. I spritzed and added a bit more Infusions and tilted the card around to get the Infusions to flow between the raised gesso. I particularly like the subtle effect of the second sample, with the reverse stencil effect.

I then remembered a technique I used ages ago which I really liked – boiled gesso! I spread some gesso onto a piece of card with a palette knife, deliberately keeping it pretty rough with different thicknesses of gesso across the card, and then, before it had a chance to dry, immediately heated it with my old, high-powered heat gun held pretty close so that the gesso boiled and bubbled up. Once it was dry, I fanned it to cool it, and then used my fingers to squash the bubbles down onto the card to stop the tops of them flaking off. You get a gorgeous texture this way.

Adding some of the Terracotta Infusions from set 2 and spritzing it with water, this is the result I got. Pretty good!

90 Boiled Gesso

Here’s a detail shot where I tried to show the texture a bit better. Hard to see in the photo but I love it! This would look good with a touch of gilding wax on some of the raised parts, I think.

91 Boiled Gesso Detail

My final samples today were done with cling film.

92 Materials for Infusions with Clingfilm

I cut a piece of cling film larger than two pieces of card and spread it out but not too flat. I sprinkled on two colours of Infusions – Violetta and In the Navy, both from set 2, and spritzed them well with water.

93 Spritzed Infusions on Clingfilm

I then took the two pieces of card and placed them down on top of the spritzed Infusions.

94 Printing the Paper onto Spritzed Infusions on Clingfilm

They immediately started to curl up, but it didn’t matter. I flattened them down with my fingers, and carefully lifted the whole thing up, gathering the cling film a little at the sides so that the Infusions wouldn’t run off too much, and turned it over. Using my fingers, I scrunched up the clingfilm to create a nice texture across the two pieces of card and walked away and left it – how hard is that!! – with this technique you can’t peel off the clingfilm until the paint is dry. Patience…

95 Scrunched Clingfilm on Infusions


The Infusions had dried by bed time and I gently peeled off the clingfilm, and this is the result.

96 Cling Film Peeled Off

97 Infusions with Cling Film

I think these came out really cool! Definitely a technique to repeat.

I discovered most of these these techniques online, but I’m afraid I can’t remember who did what, so I give a general thanks to everyone for blazing the trail before me.

Our Garden

The Clematis montana growing on the end of the garage is now in full bloom! It is so pretty. This picture was taken from my hubby’s study window upstairs.

01 Clematis Montana in Full Bloom

In a few years, this prolific plant will have grown to cover the end of the garage. Next year my hubby will extend the range of the two trellises by adding wires along to right and left, and over the top of the window. It’s going to be glorious.

Taken from the same vantage point, the Forsythia is now in full bloom as well, and looking very pretty beside the steps to the upper garden. Beyond it, you can just make out the blossom on the apple tree. A few weeks ago my hubby’s brother came over and helped him prune the apple tree, and it’s a nice shape now, and hopefully we’ll get a good crop again come the autumn. The apples it produces are delicious.

02 Forsythia in Full Bloom with Apple Blossom Beyond

Finally, another shot from the study window, looking down onto the water feature/rock garden outside the kitchen window. It’s looking quite pretty now.

03 Water Feature from Study Window

Eventually the aubretia plants we put in will cascade over the wall, making a pretty display.


The news isn’t good for either of our two old ladies now. Today Phoebe was unwell again, very listless and not interested in food, and she was sick a little bit, and produced some very small pellets of poo. The vet said that eventually the cancer would cause a blockage. However, we didn’t take her to the vet today, because when she was unwell before, she suddenly rallied and started eating again, and since then she’s been very well. She did eat a little bit at lunch time, and a bit more at tea time, and she seems a bit better now. We are keeping a close eye on her and are both realistic enough to know that eventually we are going to have to take her to the vet and have her put down…

As for Beatrice, for some time now, her balance hasn’t been that good when clambering into her hammock, and she’s been quite wobbly especially in her back legs. Today she seems a lot worse and even just walking along, she appears drunk. If she shakes herself while on her feet, she tends to fall over. She is eating well and is very communicative and purrs a lot, as usual, and is taking her usual interest in things, and her fur is in good condition. Again, we are keeping a close eye on her and my hubby thinks it’s just old age – if she was a human she’d probably be using a granny frame by now! She hasn’t had a stroke, we are sure, because it seems to be mostly both back legs that are affected and there’s no sign of hemiplegia. We don’t think it’s arthritis either, because she doesn’t seem to be in any pain. If it gets any worse we’ll take her to the vet but my hubby is sure it’s just old age. She is nearly 17.


  1. I love your art infusion experiments - they're lovely - wonderful colours and textures you've created! And you have a lovely pretty garden.. !

  2. I LOVE the backgrounds - the second are like a snow storm - so beautiful.
    It is sad when our fur-babies get older and we have to start thinking of the time when we have to let them move on, but better that they have had long lives full of love and have given you so much joy.

  3. love the latest infusions play - especially the cling film one. the clematis is gorgeous! Helen #3

  4. Cool textures - I really like the rusty looking one. Nice to see more of your garden too. Wow, 17 is a grand old age for a cat! Sorry to hear both of them have been poorly, but they're so lucky to have you and hubby looking after them. Hopefully, they'll both hang on a little longer, but like you said, you need to be realistic. I don't envy you for having to make the decision when the time comes :(


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