For me, that remains to be seen, but it's worth a try! Last summer... yes, that's an entire year ago... I started a series of cyanotype photo/mixed media art using old family photos. It started as a month-long online residency with Artist Strong, but like so many of my "good intentions" it fell by the wayside as other projects captured my attention. "Grandmothers", the first completed piece, has been exhibited in two local juried shows. As of now, "Grandfathers" is still a work in progress!
Click here to view my four-week Artist in Residence month with Artist Strong:
Week 1: Introduction
Week 2: The Process
Week 3: Choosing Photos
Week 4: Residency Ends, the Work Continues!
Time to get back to "Grandfathers"... and hopefully add a few additional pieces to my family history in photos! To learn more about cyanotype printmaking, visit my YouTube Channel for free tutorials.
And be sure to visit the Artist Strong blog to view posts by all the other talented Artist Residents who have shared their artistic vision in the past year!
I know it's March, not January, but to me this feels like the beginning of a new year. After a cold and dreary January, my husband and I traveled south to spend the month of February on warm and welcoming Anastasia Island and the city of St. Augustine, Florida. We spent a few weeks there last year and decided to extend our stay to a full month this time around. I think I could very easily become a "snowbird" and spend an entire winter in this lovely part of northeastern Florida!
Of course I did pack a few art supplies, just in case we had a rainy day. Fortunately, we were blessed with endless sunshine, but I did do a little bit of watercolor in my sketchbook a few mornings along the way. And I have plenty of photos for future work!
A blue and white cyanotype print is lovely all on its own, but sometimes the image just seems to need a little something more. One easy way to bring out the best in your cyanotype prints is to add outlining or details with a white gel pen. My favorite is the Sakura Gelly Roll size 08 pen, which you can easily find at most craft supply stores and online.
Another easy way to embellish your cyanotype prints is to print over the image with acrylic paint. I especially like the look of silver, gold, and copper metallic paint with the deep blue and clean white of a cyanotype image. I use Golden and Liquitex brand acrylic paints, but any thick acrylic brand will work. For the image below, I brushed gold acrylic to the back of the same leaves that I had used to make the cyanotype print. After putting the leaves paint side down on the paper, I covered it with paper towel and gently pressed the leaves. Lift off gently, and you now have a lovely shimmer on the finished piece!
The mat for this image was created using cyanotype sensitizer solution and a stencil with random holes. The stencil was somewhat translucent, so the resulting image is a subtle dot pattern. Gold acrylic was added to the beveled edge of the inside mat opening. The biggest problem with this technique is rinsing the cyanotype solution after exposure to sunlight. The paper layers of the mat separated and had to be glued together using mat medium. I like the effect, but the technique needs refining!
Although I love the simplicity of a fern leaf cyanotype print, and have a box full of similar prints ready to mat and frame, there are always new ways to explore a familiar medium. During the winter months, when sun-brightened days
were few and far between, I spent my studio time exploring ways to use my accumulated stash of prints as elements in my mixed media art.
Less than perfect images are easily cut or torn apart to be used to create flower pots, tabletops, or backgrounds to write on.
Cyanotype solution can also be used as a dye to color papers and natural fibers such as cotton and silk. I often use up leftover cyanotype solution on yarn, strips of cotton lace, or handmade papers to add to my options for decorative elements in a mixed media collage.
To learn how I made the silver flowers in "Dream", visit this free tutorial on my YouTube channel.
To learn more about creating your own cyanotypes, check out this class on my Skillshare site. When you do, you'll be invited to a 14-day free trial membership to this amazing site with classes in the arts, crafts, photography, writing, and technology. Check it out today!
Traditional cyanotype prints are lovely all by themselves. The simplicity of a deep cyan blue background with white images of flowers, leaves, and grasses is quite satisfying. But every now and then, you end up with pieces that don't quite work out. In this post I'll share some easy ways to use those unloved prints to create mixed media art suitable for framing.
Add cyanotype elements to a painting....
This mixed media painting was done using acrylic paints, stencils, and brushwork on 10x10 inch cradled wood. Tearing the shapes will give a softer effect. I use matte gel medium as my adhesive.
Use multiple cyanotype elements to create a collage...
This collage used several cyanotype papers along with some painted gingko leaves and images printed from an online download that I purchased from Vectoria Designs on Etsy. The flower shaped cyanotypes were made on silk fabric. You can learn how to do that in my YouTube video here. I used matte gel medium to glue the pieces to a sheet of handmade cotton rag paper with a stenciled leaf print cyanotype. The finished collage was then glued to a dark colored mat board using the gel medium.
Stitch a fabric cyanotype...
Cyanotypes can be made on cotton or silk fabric using the same process you would use on paper. The key to success is to prewash your fabric to remove any sizing that might affect the color after exposure to sunlight.
To learn more about cyanotypes, check out this blog post. You can also visit my Skillshare channel for a class with step by step instructions. This link will give you a 14-day free trial membership to Skillshare. You'll be able to access not only my class, but many more on art, digital photography, sewing, writing, technology, and many more!
Are you a first-time home school parent looking for a way to add more art to your lesson plans? Or are the kids in a hybrid plan at school this year with less time for the arts at school?