Friday, March 8, 2013

Combined Natural Surfaces

Carol Sloan here again.
I don't think that I posted last month so I am trying to make up for it this month!

One of the things that I love about hiking is that you have time to look at the world around you.
Really look.
We tend to miss so many of the little things because we are so focused on the big ones, thus losing out on a myriad of visual pleasures.
I have a folder on my computer that holds hundreds of photos that I have taken while hiking, kayaking or camping. The vast majority of the photos are not sweeping landscape shots but macro shots of tiny mushrooms, lush emerald moss or grains of sand that are clustered onto a dried creek bed.
Kind of like this -

A tiny little world growing on top of a moss covered rock

Long hair moss among the short

Looks like acres of emerald moss but it's really on a six inch rock

Alien growth stretches from a skinny limb

Love, love the textured tree trunks of my favorite
forest by the river

Be sure to enlarge this one

Dry creek bed

Not necessarily a natural surface but certainly
has been altered by natural forces

The peeling paint is a perfect surface to try out
some crackle paint

I wanted to create a panel for a triptych that I am working on based on the combined attributes of these natural surfaces.
Even though it isn't a drawing or sketching, I thought that you all might be interested in it just the same.

It is a combination of plaster, joint compound, molding paste, acrylic paint and crackle paste.
Oh, not to mention the fabric that is underneath all of that - vintage lace, canvas, tulle and organza.

6" x 8 1/2"

All of those crevices in the surface look
just like the rocks, compacted soil and tree trunks in the
photos above

I love the way that the fibers work their way up
to the top after sanding the surface

Lovely, unexpected surprises

I added crackle paste after I took most of the
photos above. I may go back and add more.

I hope that you've enjoyed the trip through my "natural surface" photo album.
And the beginnings of a new piece of art work - a triptych that will be based on one of the sweetest spots in Nature that I know of.


  1. FABULOUS post, Carol. Beautiful textures. I'm getting out my crackle paste and heavy gel...

    1. Thank you Jane. I love crackle paste...

  2. The sanding makes a big difference. Thanks for that hint.

    1. Yes, Denise, sanding makes a HUGE difference. Layer, layer, layer. Paint, sand, paint, sand...

  3. These are some of my favorite things to look for during hikes in the woods! I've never even heard of the crackle paste stuff! (I'm an oil painter who is just hearing about these multi-media things from y'all in this blog! So very cool and beautiful! Do you do tutorials, too?

    1. Roxanne- check the "tutorial" tab at the top of the blog. Also, each individual artist may have tutorials on their blogs, so check there as well. We do put tutorials here so just keep reading!

  4. Very cool, love this so much!! Thanks for sharing

    1. Thank you Desiree! It was a lot of fun to create.


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