Another Stash

So far my goal to not buy fabric is holding up well and I’ve been patting myself on the back for my restraint. I don’t count fabric I’m given as that’s simply recycling. Then I look around my studio and notice that I have substituted mixed media supplies for fabric accumulation. Oh dear.

It began with paint and a bit of glue. I already had fabric paint, but I got serious about decent acrylic paint for gelli printing. Since different collage artists use different glues I added several types to my stash to see if I liked them better than matte medium. Then of course I needed different types of paper (sulfite, mixed media, watercolor, bristol.) Followed by markers – Posca, india ink, Stabilo; I had inherited colored pencils and an assortment of drawing pencils, but found I needed markers that could work on different surfaces. And speaking of surfaces, I learned about white, black and clear gessos; and what they could do. Then came good watercolors and good watercolor brushes. Supply accumulation was somewhat easy on my purse as my family was happy to give me Dick Blick gift cards and I was happy to use them. Also, a friend generously shared her extras with me.

By this time I had swapped a small chest of drawers for rolling supply carts, and built up a stash of collage papers. Some are paintings and prints that aren’t works of art but are starting points for more work. Others are old books and music scores to print on and children’s board books to use as journals. I scrutinize all our mail for collage possibilities.

I also have magazine holders filled with fodder.

I found there are whole classes devoted to creating collage fodder. That’s one area I don’t need help with as fodder creation is the easy part. The good thing about paint and collage is that the work goes fast; the bad thing is it can go wrong really fast. Of course painting or pasting over such areas is easier than ripping out seams as long as you let the paint dry enough.

My latest mixed media forays attempt to blend fabric with paper. I enjoy all the work on paper, but so far I don’t think the compositions are as strong as my fabric work. Of course I haven’t been at it as long.

Bottom layer is a thermofax print, next layer is book page with watercolor and bits from a gelli print, next layer is fabric scraps from a curtain, final layer is markers and colored pencils

I’m linking to Off The Wall Friday.


Filed under collage, Commentary, mixed media, Techniques

12 responses to “Another Stash

  1. A few months back, one of my “grand” nieces got into card making and paper crafting, so I was able to gift her a portion of my stash. I primarily work in fabric these days. I kept enough supplies & goodies to do some paper creating when the mood strikes, but I can no longer be considered a hoarder (for that hobby, at least). I am trying so hard to not buy fabric, but I found my stash was lacking in certain colors – so I caved, but only bought the colors I needed. Otherwise, I’m with you, and I’m not buying new fabric. I did fairly well so far this year. My sister is going to gift me fabric (from her stash) for Christmas & birthday. That will be fun.

  2. Penny

    But at least it’s a useful stash, and it asks way more of you than, say, a collection of antique hat pins. And I’m happy that you’re putting my donated paint to use, as well as me finding uses for items you’ve shared!

    • I watered down that paint as it had really gotten thick and I use it for washes. So far the pigment has held together. As for my stash being useful, it’s potentially useful but I have to actuate it.

      • Penny Bruce

        Well, yeah, the hard part is figuring out what to do with it. I’m wrestling with my tiny board book right now!

        On Sat, Sep 10, 2022, 10:42 AM The Snarky Quilter <> wrote:

        snarkyquilter commented: “I watered down that paint as it had really > gotten thick and I use it for washes. So far the pigment has held together. > As for my stash being useful, it’s potentially useful but I have to actuate > it. ” >

  3. This year I have dabbled in a little collage and junk journaling, etc. — mostly because I have 90 years’ worth of sheet music, post cards, and greeting cards handed down through the family. And as one of my favorite organizer gurus says, “You can keep anything. You just can’t keep EVERYthing!”

    But then I thought this is one art area I need to cut out, to have any hope of focusing and finishing things.

    But I really love your piece above — maybe I should dabble a little longer. 🙂

    • Well, consider selling some of that vintage paper. If there’s a collage group in your area you might have a market. You can also use the sheet music for monoprinting, if that technique is already in your repertoire. I don’t want to add yet another art area to your groaning pile.

  4. I like that piece with all those layers, but you know anything with leaves is right up my alley. Materials and tool… So relatable! About fifteen years ago I gave away all of my hand embroidery materials, of course, now I’m accumulating them again. I’m curious what you thought of working with clear gesso, compared to other gesso or ? Thanks.

    • I lucked into a large stash of embroidery floss thanks to my costume shop contact who inherits all kinds of sewing supplies. They are even wrapped on those little cards and have the color #. Clear gesso is good for coating over something you want to add additional layers to when those layers won’t work over the base layers, ie., colored pencils over acrylic. You can still see what’s underneath, but get the tooth needed to take the color. I’m told black gesso is good for mixing with acrylics to tone down the color and to get a matte finish.

      • Thanks for that clear gesso info. I may have used it ages ago but couldn’t remember for what application, still can’t. Yes, regarding the black gesso, I use it a lot.

  5. Playing with ALL our supplies is the best part of accumulating them! Have fun!

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