mixed media

Wanderlust: butterfly in rust

Series: Wanderlust 2021 #20

This week, instead of working through the process of making a finished art journal page, Kasia demonstrated two techniques — dyeing fabric with rust and making “ink” from blueberries — and suggested a starting point for creating a page.

I didn’t have any blueberries in the house, but I did have some rust-marked fabrics in my stash from when I experimented with the rust technique a couple of years ago. Rather than buy anything new for a recycling-themed project, I chose to go down the rust route.

Kasia’s starting point was to rescue some junk mail from the recycling and create a patchwork base layer. Our paper recycling was collected only a few days ago, so we had very little junk mail lying around; instead I used bits from an old takeaway menu, a Southbank Centre members guide, and an Ocado magazine (a great source of food images and textures).

Once I’d got the collage layer down and dry, I added translucent acrylic paints over the top to make it feel more cohesive, while allowing the textures from the papers show through. My next idea was to repeat the stencil outlining technique from Dyan Reaveley’s Wanderlust week. That looked okay, but then I was inspired to cut my butterfly from the fabric and glue that over the masked area, turning the rust-dyeing into the focal point.

I don’t have any small butterfly stencils and I didn’t feel like stopping and making my own, so I picked a small feather stencil instead. The matt black paint was a little too subtle, especially on the darker areas of the background, but a light layer of copper sponged over the top perked it up nicely. After adding copper and black splatters, all that was left to do was glue some rust-stained gauze onto a couple of the edges of the page.

Given how busy the initial collage layer was, I am very happy with how this turned out. The green, orange and black palette is really rich and sets off the neutrals well.

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