Velkommen plaque Rosemaling
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Order within Borders- Art for All Ages

Many people feel that they are not at all artistic. Yet there are many things you can do to create artistic flourishes or decorations, on objects in your world, with a few simple household tools and very little artistic technique. If you can hammer in a nail, you could paint a primitive, and delightful, border design.

buren church
Dot Daisy Border

A border can provide structure to a loose, flowing design. It will frame the design which pleases the eyes’ sense of order. Not only that but a line or motif border can direct the viewer’s eyes to the rest of the design, whilst still allowing for “breathing room” – negative space around the design itself. This,  in particular, applies to primitive or folk art/ traditional art.

24544872-russian-national-round-floral-pattern-with-birds-blue-floral-pattern-in-gzhel-style-applied-to-the-c

 

Beginners can easily create borders by combining a few basic strokes with dots made with the handle end of a brush dipped in paint, or press a series of dots with a Q-tip cotton bud, or a worn pencil eraser to form a four or five-petaled daisy.

Here are a few ideas:

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Source: Jackie Shaw

 

  • Elongate the dots made form dipping the handle of a brush into oval shapes to make flower buds.
  • Place two dots of paint side by side, pulling each to a point, with a fine brush or brush handle, to form a heart. Use the chisel edge of a flat brush to make carefree straight lines. These irregular lines result in a more primitive look, less rigid and more free-flowing than lines carefully painted with a liner brush.
  • Children can begin to develop an appreciation of border art by dabbling decorative edges on photo frames or the cover of study books. Cover the books with plain paper or card stock and arm the kids with a q tip or paintbrush as a “dotting tool.”

 

  • Rule some lines in pencil as a guide and let them create patterns  in rows across the paper with Q-tips or brushes. You will be surprised as what they come up with. They are limited only by their imagination. And you can even incorporate apply a bit of mathematics at the same time, teaching division skills.

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Something to remember when painting strokes and border designs is to aim for a flowing design. Otherwise, the rhythm of the design will appear disjointed and the eye will not flow smoothly from one section of the design to another.

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Decorate an object with one colour and then add a solid, contrasting colour border design

_bjorn pettersenkubbestol

A solid contrast border colour can be further embellished with geometric shapes, dots, stripes or swirls.

Tradycyjna-polska-ceramika-z-Boleslawca

 

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As your confidence and ability grows, build up each row upon row, to form an intricate border designs, based on basic shapes and form such as can be seen in this preliminary sketch below.

 

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Source: The Basics of Folk Art by J. Jansen

 

Norwegian Rosemaling
Os Rosemaling

geometric border

 

Rosemaling traditional art
Something to Ponder About
Community

Traditional Tuesday – Gzhel Porcelain

gzhel
Plate in Gzhel style Source: http://tinyurl.com/h27u6pk

Around 1800, the Russian artisan brothers Kulikov, from the region of Gzhel, near Moscow in Russia, perfected a secret porcelain technique that was only previously used in China. It must have been difficult to keep that secret as it wasn’t too long before others from the area also began producing porcelain, and by 1917, one factory in Gzhel, produced 2/3 of all the porcelain in Russia and was the largest porcelain factory in Europe.

Source: Ebay mQybo9IAygpoAZFe6-HQ0Ag

In Russia, the tradition of Gzhel porcelain continues today with a strikingly beautiful and traditional form of tableware and decorative porcelain, that is appreciated throughout the world.

Russian handicrafts: Gzhel porcelain factory near Moscow – In Russian!

The Gzhel Paint Technique

“Painting is made by special cobalt paints which is put on the raw un-glazed porcelain pieces. Then the painted products are burnt in the high-temperature ovens. As a result of burning the cobalt painting, almost black before burning, becomes bright and vivid blue. Then the products are coated with glaze and are burnt at second time. This technique allows to protect painting  very well.”

Source: http://russian-crafts.com/crafts-history/gzhel-style-porcelain.html

The depth and variety in colour value in Gzhel painting is achieved only with the brush technique and the pressure of the bristles on the surface.

Tours of the Gzhel factory can be arranged for visitors. Paint your own masterpiece of Gzheli. As I won’t be in Moscow anytime soon, I decided to try out a little Gzhel on simple white cardstock. These motifs are quite easy to achieve for the beginner painter or folk artist. Pinterest has loads of inspirational photos.

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If you’re able to master some basic folk art techniques,  you might design a small sample of Gzhel art to enjoy for yourself.

What do you think? Is this traditional art form really something to ponder about?

Rosemaling traditional art
Something to Ponder About

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Community

Why Make it Yourself? Travel theme – Handmade

When it comes to darning socks, almost no-one does it anymore. Cheap items and time poor couples with high disposable income,  have relegated simple repairs to low priced essentials, to the pages of history books.

Shouldn’t we be overjoyed that we are freed from the yoke of menial tasks?

If so, why do I feel relaxed when making something with my bare hands; why am I so drawn to up-cycle items where possible, or feel desperate to create an individual item that was designed and made by me even though it is not so appreciated in today’s world? I am hopeful that design trends may come full circle and a retro movement will one day re- introduce hand made objects in preference to ready made, shop- purchased, mass- produced items? Or am I just  ‘dreaming?’

IMG_4046

Factory made items lack the durability and quality of hand made and not only do they not last, but are sterile and you can see them duplicated in almost every home. Is this really what we want? No need to travel except to see the difference in natural landscape as no cultural individuality will exist?

Children are not taught practical hands-on skills either at school or by their overstressed, time-poor parents, so we are fast becoming a consumer in all senses, and are no longer creating. Where will this end? Do we realise fantastic one offs such as this wood carving will no longer be obtainable?IMG_20140614_204023

For these reasons, and more, I am drawn to any hand-made items on my travels. For these are items usually developed from crafts, that have evolved, in a small locale and been handed down  over many generations.  They scream workmanship, love, beautiful, naturally-synchronous ‘form’ and function. They inspire me to create  – more and more!

Ailsa’s Hand made travel theme was a no-brainer – I had to participate. How about you?

Something for our hands and brains to ponder about?

hindeloopen1

embroidery project

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Painting

Upcycling: Folk art – Tole painting on metal jug

Tole painting, Folk art decoration Folk art daisy

Despite the intense heat of the last few days, I did manage to produce a small item of decorative art. An old metal jug/watering can needed a facelift.  A simple daisy flower painted with a technique of using progressively lighter overlaying shades of acrylic gouache, some blended dry brushed leaves and some flyspecking with a toothbrush and diluted warm white paint and voila…. it has a new functional life with a new look! This is a simple way to decorate items around the home.

For best results, it is best to lay down a base coat of good acrylic low sheen paint first, so that your decorative paint will ‘key’ adhere successfully.

If you aren’t familiar with a dry brush technique, it is as it says: using a dry brush that is loaded with acrylic paint ( no water ) and skimmed over a darker surface to create highlights that enhance a dimensional appearance. The leaves are painted in this manner with a dark green base and then warm white is added to the green colour to create progressively lighter tones on the parts of the leaf where the light source would hit. This creates a curved effect. A darker shade on the opposite side of the vein defines the shadowed area.

The overlay technique is outlined below in a previous post which I have reproduced below:

(slightly different flower but the technique is the same)

Daisies are based in grey and then warm white is progressively added to the grey, then a final layer of warm white to highlight the petal.

A shadow is created by shading with a washy blue-black colour near the centre.

Stipple the centres with a round hog’s hair or stiff deerfoot brush, with yellow oxide and burnt sienna. Detail dots are in these colours plus warm white.

Simple but effective pot for the top of the fire place, or a small watering can for my indoor plants.

Something decorative to ponder about.

Overlay Technique

A quick but effective way to decorate a small object is by painting a simple garland of hand-painted flowers. “Oh! But I am not a painter I hear you say!!” Well, that’s ok, because you don’t need any specific skills for this technique. It is VERY forgiving! And it does not have to be perfect.

1. Prep Base with colour of choice

2. Trace outline or guidelines

blog pictures 004

3. Using your chosen dark colour, (in the example: Paynes Grey/Dark Blue) stroke in the petals with shape-following/comma strokes, beginning at the outside of the flower and pulling the strokes towards the centre, using a synthetic/sable round brush in size 3 or 4, depending on how big you want the petals.

*If you know how to do ‘comma’ strokes, use them, but a fine tapered tip near the centre of the petal is not necessary. So don’t stress. If you need more help in forming the strokes: see linked articles below.

2013-04-11 tiffany heidi pics

4. Load a round or filbert synthetic brush (hogs hair or sable brushes don’t work so well here), with Warm White, or a light contrasting colour.

NB: In this technique, you do not wet the brush, or if you do dip it in the water jar, squeeze out most of the moisture, on some kitchen paper towel.

5. Begin to gently stroke in some colour, on top of the already existing blue colour, pulling just the top half of the brush over each petal, starting at the outer edge. Lift off completely before reaching the end of the petal, so that the darker blue colour will still show towards the centre. The dark colour then acts as your shadowed area, and the white is the highlighted area of the petal. This gives your flower more of a three-dimensional look.

6. Continue adding layers of warm white in this dry brush technique until you are happy with the effect.

Caution: It is always easy to dry brush additional highlight into the petals, if there is not enough, however, removing it if you have put on too much to begin with is extremely difficult and messy. **** If this happens, just re-do your basecoat of dark blue again, and start from #4.

7. If need be, use a brighter white, in an even smaller area near the very edge of the petal, to create ever more of a highlight.  Watch the leaf that has the turn-back, as this leaf will be in more shadow than the others, and as such, still retains most of the blue shade. flowercentre

8. Paint the centre with a ‘stipple’ effect, in a c shape, leaving the centre in the dark blue colour. The highlight colours I used include: gold oxide, yellow and white on the very highest edge. The ‘stipple’ effect is sort of like dot, dot dotting, the colour in just with the very tip of the brush. You can use an older brush for this, or a round hogs hair brush, as it is not so imperative to have a fine point.

In this example, I also used the same dry brush technique for painting the leaves: Using a pine green colour for the base, and adding progressively more yellow to the green to get a lighter colour, using this as my dry brushed highlight.

Paper mache box

Related Articles:

how-to-paint-comma-strokes-beginner-folk-art-painting-tutorial/

folk-art-step-by-step-guide

 

Painting

Hand Painted Flower – DIY Dry Brush / Overlay Technique- Free Pattern

A quiblog pictures 004ck but effective way to decorate a small object is by painting a simple garland of hand-painted flowers. “Oh! But I am not a painter I hear you say!!” Well, that’s ok, because you don’t need any specific skills for this technique. It is VERY forgiving! And it does not have to be perfect.

1. First, download the image of the flower in the garland below, and print it from your computer, or if you feel particularly competent,  hand draw on tracing paper.

2. Copy the image using  chalk or pencil or  transfer paper,  on card, fabric, or a paper mache/wooden box that  has already been prepared with 1-2 coats of a suitable acrylic background paint. I use a transfer paper in light or dark shades according to the colour of the background paint. ( light on dark backgrounds, vice versa on light backgrounds)

3. Using your chosen dark colour, (in the example: Paynes Grey/Dark Blue) stroke in the petals with shape-following/comma strokes, beginning at the outside of the flower and pulling the strokes towards the centre, using a synthetic/sable round brush in size 3 or 4, depending on how big you want the petals.

*If you know how to do ‘comma’ strokes, use them, but a fine tapered tip near the centre of the petal is not necessary. So don’t stress. If you need more help in forming the strokes: see linked articles below.

2013-04-11 tiffany heidi pics

4. Load a round or filbert synthetic brush (hogs hair or sable brushes don’t work so well here), with Warm White, or a light contrasting colour.

NB: In this technique, you do not wet the brush, or if you do dip it in the water jar, squeeze out most of the moisture, on some kitchen paper towel.

5. Begin to gently stroke in some colour, on top of the already existing blue colour, pulling just the top half of the brush over each petal, starting at the outer edge. Lift off completely before reaching the end of the petal, so that the darker blue colour will still show towards the centre. The dark colour then acts as your shadowed area, and the white is the highlighted area of the petal. This gives your flower more of a three-dimensional look.

6. Continue adding layers of warm white in this dry brush technique until you are happy with the effect.

Caution: It is always easy to dry brush additional highlight into the petals, if there is not enough, however, removing it if you have put on too much to begin with is extremely difficult and messy. **** If this happens, just re-do your basecoat of dark blue again, and start from #4.

7. If need be, use a brighter white, in an even smaller area near the very edge of the petal, to create ever more of a highlight.  Watch the leaf that has the turn-back, as this leaf will be in more shadow than the others, and as such, still retains most of the blue shade. flowercentre

8. Paint the centre with a ‘stipple’ effect, in a c shape, leaving the centre in the dark blue colour. The highlight colours I used include: gold oxide, yellow and white on the very highest edge. The ‘stipple’ effect is sort of like dot, dot dotting, the colour in just with the very tip of the brush. You can use an older brush for this, or a round hogs hair brush, as it is not so imperative to have a fine point.

In this example, I also used the same dry brush technique for painting the leaves: Using a pine green colour for the base, and adding progressively more yellow to the green to get a lighter colour, using this as my dry brushed highlight.

Related Articles:

how-to-paint-comma-strokes-beginner-folk-art-painting-tutorial/

Flower

Image of pencil outline adapted from V. Phelps, FADP.

Poofy Cheeks

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History & Traditions, Painting

Completing a Renaissance Baroque art project – Another UFO down.

When you live at least four decades and more, you tend to accumulate a lot of ‘stuff’. Particularly if you are into craft, as I am. At some point, it becomes overwhelming and this is when you need to have a good look at your stash and perform a swift and sometimes cruel cull. But another less painful way to clean up is to complete some Un Finished Objects, hitherto referred to as UFOs. And do so with a determination akin to that of a Tasmanian devil hanging on to its prey.Helen Kuster pattern

I have not varished it yet, hence the few guidelines still being visible.  If you want to know how to do the faux finish background  I used in this project, you will find a tutorial on my blog here: Tutorial – Faux Finish Woodgrain

Helen Kuster pattern Storage Box

Thus, another one down, Only several hundred more to go…..

This pattern comes from the talented Helen Kuster of South Australia, who has made Renaissance-baroque folk art  her passion.

In the Baroque art form, dating from the 12th Centrury, there is symmetry, mass and space, but also swelling and lavish forms, sometimes almost too much embellishment, which contrasts with the restraints in the Renaissance time period, from the earlier centuries.

I first completed this pattern on a Linen hamper, for dirty laundry, and then on a few smaller items, and now this WPB…. wooden paper box..(tricked you?)  In reality, this one will live in the bathroom as a storage for toilet rolls.

One more touch I might make is to add a S stroke border along the base profile, just to match in with the top.

Then to varnish it. I always like to leave time to ponder about the project prior to varnishing, as there is always just a final touch or two I wish to add, after the completed project has ‘sat’ a while. It is a hellish job trying to paint after the application of a full coat of varnish!

History & Traditions, Painting

Weekend project – Rosemaling

A rainy weekend is perfect for catching up on all those unfinished tasks – don’t you think? Well at least putting a dent in the pile of UFO’s.

Telemark Bowl
Telemark Bowl

A project I started years back, as evidenced by the badly formed C scroll, was completed yesterday. Apart from the C scroll it was reasonably pleasing to the eye. What was even more pleasing to the soul,was to remove one more piece from the “To Do” list.

Time to finish this project!
Time to finish this project!
Close up of liner work in Burnt umber and Raw Umber
Close up of liner work in Burnt umber and Raw Umber

I painted this in Acrylics, and the bowl was once part of a Norfolk Island pine tree. Turned at the same place. Perhaps it was a young sapling in the times when colonials graced its shores and the torturous cat o nine tails was a daily scourge metered out on the convicts, who resided there. Poor souls. I picked this shallow bowl up in a thrift shop: unwanted, and unloved, like many of the convicts on Norfolk Island itself. It will now become a fruit bowl in my kitchen.

All decorated in US Telemark Rosemaling along the lines of Shirley Peterich and Pam Rucinski, ( whom I credit for the design), the bowl will always be a reminder for me to ponder the tragic history of Norfolk Island, and how something can be transformed from unwanted beginnings, into a  functional whole again.

Painting

Hindeloopen painting -a Traditional Decorative Art

 
 
 
Hindelooper art is a type of traditional decorative painting originated in the northern province of Friesland, The Netherlands.
 
It is a form of folk art painted by the maritime community of Hinderloopen, (a small town on the Zuiderzee). During times of bad weather when there was no fish to sell, sailors/fisherman would turn to painting as a way to pass the time and make some money.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Hindeloopen sailors traded with other Hanseatic league member countries – especially Norway, and often brought home objects painted in other traditional styles that had developed from the Baroque  art, primarily Norwegian Rosemaling.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The presence of these styles in the community, in turn, influenced the development of the Hinderlooper’s own village painting, until it evolved into the Hindeloopen art that we see today. The following pieces are my interpretation of Hindeloopen, inspired by the Australian artist, Heleen Van de Haar.
 
 
HIndeloopen Mangle Tray
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

I have been painting Hindeloopen style of painting and only recently discovered an old family link to Friesland. NO wonder I was attracted to this elegant and very relaxing style of traditional painting.  Traditionally it was the men who did the painting in the village itself, but I so enjoy it. Perhaps the women were so busy with domestic chores they had little time for painting, and it was the men who were stuck ashore in times of bad weather that had time on their hands to create and decorate.

I will include a tutorial on Hindeloopen in the coming months. Something for those interested in traditional art, to ponder about…

Related Articles:

History of Hindeloopen

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Norwegian Rosemaling
History & Traditions, Painting

Traditional Norwegian Painting – Rosemaling Rules and Telemark Technique

Rosemaling – the traditional painting of Norway!

Ah, the joy of painting. So little time and so many pieces of wood to paint…. the folk artist’s lament! Determined to get something painted this week, I traced a pattern on a base painted plate. I will share a few of the secrets to successful painting here.

For the uninitiated, oils are quicker to paint because they blend so easily and beautifully, but take up to six weeks to dry….

On the other hand acrylic paint dries fast, does not give so much coverage and as for blending colours and shading/highlighting in acrylics…. well that has developed into an art form all by itself. It can be difficult to get a gradual blend of acrylic colour, even with chemical assistance such as retarders and various mediums that assist you to work the paint while keeping it open… that is slowing the drying process down. This can be an advantage and a disadvantage. Acrylics can be varnished several days after completion, but can easily develop holes or harsh shading lines. Even using wet -on-wet, you sometimes end up with a muddy mess that is much easier to avoid with oil paints.

I had the pleasure of guidance and tuition in Telemark techniques, from a great Norwegian friend, Mr Bjoern Pettersen, a master Telemark Rosemaler from Drammen, Norway. In painting this plate, I have followed his technique and palette. You can see some of his work here:
http://www.rosemaleklubben.org/main.asp?page=Galleri


My palette is set out according to colour family, each in the centre row, with respective shades above and highlights below, and of course, the Basic colours on the left.

Rule No. 1
Colour Harmony Choose your palette wisely and don’t be confined by the cool/warm colours of contemporary painting.
Bjoerns Telemark Colour families consist of green, red, blue and yellow family colours. He has developed this palette himself and it works wonderfully well in the traditional sense.


Painting Technique
First I laid in the scrolls, with their respective shade and highlight. It is none too balanced here, but I promise you that will come later. Scrolls are painted with a long handled flat brush in a Pettersen technique.
Rule No.2
Always paint for balance, so that if you divide your piece into quarters, each colour family will be represented in each sector.

Next step involves the application of paint on the flower and leaf shapes.
This requires the painter to paint hearts or half hearts, scrolls and c strokes to form flower shapes. I also like to paint the two shapes at the base of the flowers green, as they symbolise a flower calyx, (or small petals located at the base of the flower in nature, for those botanically challenged readers!)


Rule No. 3

Aim to not have the same colour family next to each other in painting each petal…. calyx excepted! You can see in the above photo, that I broke this rule, (the rebel that I am inherently am) because I was a little stuck and have 3 greens next to one another, yet it looked OK and was necessary to qualify Rule No. 2 “Balance”.

Flowers and scrolls completed
Now is the fun and most individualised part of Rosemaling… you can add your embellishments…. you can be as busy or as quiet in applying these as you like. This is what makes each piece your own! When I first started painting Telemark Rosemaling in oils, I tended to overdo the embellishments…. and the design can then become overwhelming and too busy. Bjoern helped me to know when to stop when painting embellishments and extra touches…

Individual embellishments on scrolls and flowers
Rule No. 4
Know when to stop with embellishments!!
Now all one has to do, is sign your work, wait for the oil paint to dry and then varnish….!!! Your project is complete.Feel free to contact me with any questions on the comments box below….I hope this blog post has provided some insight into this little known art form, which for me is mesmerizing in its dynamic impact on the eye. Something for painters to ponder about.

A tutorial on acrylic techniques to Telemark style can be found on another page of this blog: https://forestwoodfolkart.wordpress.com/2012/09/22/scandinavian-festival-tutorial-on-painting-freehand-telemark-rosemaling/

Happy painting,
Amanda

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