Friday, February 23, 2018

Raidiant Rust Workshop

When I saw that Ink Pad NYC was offering a class called "Radiant Rust" with the super talented Seth Apter, I jumped at the chance to sign up. I love his work--the way he creates art that has a grungy look, but artfully so. And he had just debuted a line of new embossing powders--Baked Texture, produced by Emerald Creek--so I couldn't wait to learn from the master himself. The class was held in the small West Village shop, so it was cozy and intimate.

We all followed Seth's directions for layering on the paints (we used Seth's line of Fresco Finish chalk paint, which dries faster than regular acrylic) and distressing them to get the signature grunge look. But...we also added sprays of gold and a stamped, embossed texture with both the Patina Oxide and Chunky Rust, which added extra depth and texture to the grungy background.

Seth's Chalk Paints were used to create our Radiant Rust pieces.
A background of midnight chalk paint was covered with strokes of terracotta and smoked paprika.
Layers and layers of paint were added, in different colors, to achieve the grungy look.
On the left, textured paper was used to apply the paint; on the right is the finished background.
Step two was creating a stamped center piece to go on top of the rusted background. We started with a piece of watercolor paper, and painted it with Green Patina chalk paint, then added texture with Terracotta. I liked the painted aqua piece, which would then get stamped with one of Seth's designs, and placed on top of the larger, darker rusted background.

Top: painted green patina/terracotta piece. Bottom: textured paper that was used to apply the colors.
 The sample that Seth showed us looked fabulous. We all aimed to have a finished product that would look as good. Mine, however, did not. I went a little overboard with the stamping and basically made a mess.
Finished Radiant Rust piece by Seth Apter.
I added a few of Seth's stamps, but wasn't happy with the color choices.
I added more and more stamps in the hope that it would look better.
I wasn't happy with the designs I stamped, or the colors I chose, so I didn't finish my piece, but brought it home and worked on it the next day. I used  Gwen's Art Deco Sun Medallion stencil with with acrylic paint on some aqua painted deli paper and liked the effect. While it was wet, I sprinkled Patina Oxide powder on it, then blasted it with my heat gun. Later, I added more of the chalk paints over it and around the edges to create a distressed look and a rusted edge.

The deco stencil with Patina Oxide.
Various chalk paints were added to achieve a distressed, rusty look.
Below is the finished deco center section, with a black paper border, placed on top of the rusted background. It looked good so far, but kind of empty, and I knew it needed more.
I auditioned several items to possibly go in the center of the green deco design. While at the Ink Pad workshop, I purchased some Lynne Perrella stamps, so I printed two of them to see how they worked. I decided on a small face, printed it in black on deli paper, and once dry, also distressed it to create a rusty, aged look.

One of the arrangements I considered for the center included the word "seek."
She seemed to need a crown, so I chose one of the Dresden Trim Bourbon Crowns from Gwen's website. It was way too shiny to go with the rest of the elements, so I used a little of the chalk paint to distress it.

The piece seemed to need more, but I wasn't sure what, so I send a few "process photos" to my Artist Tribe sister Jackie Neal for her input. She suggested adding something organic. Since I live in midtown Manhattan, organic matter is in short supply, so Jackie, who lives upstate and has lots of woods and lakes near her, mailed me off a "care package." I received dried flowers from her garden, feathers, rocks, ferns, sticks, bark, dried berries and tree fungus.

Tree bark and fungus were auditioned for the center of the piece.
A feather might have worked, but this one was too large and too dark.
The final choice was a rusted crown, fungus and dried berries.
I settled on using the dried tree fungus and dried berries, and was really happy with the way they looked together. The tricky part was getting them to stay on the artwork. A strong glue worked for the fungus, but the berries and branch were too delicate and didn't sit flat, so I carefully poked a few strategic holes with my awl and stitched them to the piece.

A closeup of the organic matter in the piece. A few of the stitches are visible around the berries.
I love the combination of the faux rust with the forest might just be my favorite piece ever!

In February, many of the Gwen Lafluer Artist Tribe members are showcasing creations that honor Chinese New Year. You can check out their work here, and also save 15% on any of the items in the Exotic Orient section of the website with the coupon below.

For information on Ink Pad NYC, click here.
For Seth Apter's website, click here.
For Lynne Perrella's stamps, click here.


ann barnes said...

I am over the moon in love with this piece Linda! I am so glad that you never just accepted it and continued working towards perfecting it. In my opinion some of the best works are the ones that we reach beyond; when we know what we want to achieve but have to work for... this is AMAZING! Absolutely one of my favorites!

Jackie PN said...

Wow Linda! I too am happy that you said :no" to where it was and brought it home to let your muse work it out in her time!This piece is Amazing! I love having these detailed photos to look closely at the layers you added...those colors and that embossing powder-WOW and WOW!!And the Lynne Perrella stamps- well the perfect choice!
Have to say one of my favorites as well! You nailed this piece!
Happy to share my nature with you, always!
hugs & love,Jackie

SandeeNC said...

LOve your finished piece, it's gorgeous! I would have loved to have been your art buddy at the class!

sonja said...

A good finish to a amazing workshop Seth's work is inspiring as is yours.

Gwen Lafleur said...

Totally agree that it's great that you were willing to wait until the right idea came to you rather than force it during class... it was worth the wait! Love all the natural elements too - they work beautifully with that gorgeous rusted background!

Lynda Shoup said...

Linda this piece is stunning! It has a magical feel to it. Those organic elements worked really well. Thank you for posting your progress shots as I find it fascinating to see how it came together. This piece is a treasure.

Darlene K Campbell said...

Oh yes, a class with Seth Apter! Was this your first class with him? I was so impressed with this piece and doubly impressed that you took it home to finish in your time and studio. I must say you Jackie certainly is the right candidate to consult with and organic was the perfect finish...especially materials from her back yard. That's pretty special. Cheers-