Monday 30 October 2017

Annie Ruffles

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of spending three wonderful days on an art journalling retreat run by Art Workshops. The teachers were Birgit Koopsen and Nathalie Kalbach.
Wow! Did they ignite a fresh creative spark in me!

This piece of work is an amalgamation of inspiration from these two ladies and from Laly Mille, who has also had a great influence upon my work.

Here we go with a lowdown on my creation, which, incidentally, I completed this afternoon and evening.

First, I selected a canvas, 20"x16", and I wrote freely about my lovely Grandma Barnes, my paternal Granny. Didn't worry about grammar, punctuation etc. Just wrote from the heart using a Pitt pen  which is waterproof.

Next, I selected a range of fragile papers and collaged over the top, using matte medium; finger painted some neutral colours and stained it with acrylic inks.

I gradually built up a background, leaving some of my writing visible. I used some of Nathalie Kalbach's Foamy stamps to build up my background.

Next, I placed the photo of my Grandma onto the canvas.

I glued the pic down and sealed the very glossy photo with clear gesso and painted over her with a selection of acrylic paints. I also added some drippage to the top of the canvas and some inks in the bottom left corner for foliage.
I added some darkness around the frame using a black stabilo pencil with a wash and some distress stain.

It looked unfinished somehow, I knew that the sky needed something else. Over to my large box of leaves and some lovely Acer leaves from my garden that I pressed last year. they echo the colours on my Grandma's coat really well.
A few close ups.

In this photo, you can see that I drew in the missing pieces of the tyres.

So, the final piece. I am so relieved that it turned out so well. It meant so much to me to use this wonderful photograph.
Thanks for looking. This has been one of those pieces that makes my heart beat faster.


  1. This is wonderful Hazel....such a great piece of art.

  2. Oh my, how lovely...both the meaning and the canvas...beautiful!

  3. This is the background and the really love the way you painted the main image!

  4. What a wonderful canvas Hazel, from start to finish you have created a real treasure. A beautiful way to share your delightful Grandma with us all which will evoke memories for many many years to come. A real masterpiece, Thank you for sharing.
    Hugs & Wishes Tracey xx

  5. What a beautiful and significant piece of work, Hazel. I really enjoyed reading about how you created it. Xx

  6. I love your process information. It really makes this piece come alive. A wonderful tribute.

  7. Such a wonderful scene you have created, and great pic of your Grandma. I was so inspired by a depth background with many layers. I love the red her coat and maple leaves. xx

  8. As I told you last night Hazel this piece brings a lump to my throat and I would say even more so now I've read your post. Love the creative process you describe and the layers with the loving words enclosed within. A really beautiful and an absolute treasure.

    Lesley Xx

  9. This is so very beautiful, Hazel - gathering depth and meaning from all those layers and that very personal photo - what a wonderful amalgamation of inspirations from all those sources into something which is very much your own.
    Alison x

  10. I absolutely adore this, Hazel.
    Fabulous work, all around the photo on the canvas, and also on the photo of your grandma. This is a great idea to paint over it!!! Without fear... as I guess that this is the more complicated thing. and your colours are wonderful.
    And this is partly thanks to you that I discoverly the work of Lally Mille..
    Fabulous trio of artist ladies who inspired you so well.
    Corinne Xx

  11. That is wonderful, I love the different layers of papers, etc.

  12. How wonderful! Oh I just love the life that is busting out from this beautiful panel! I love that you finished the tires and the vivid colors that bring this old photo to life. The layered in handwriting is the most precious idea. What a triumph! Hugs, Autumn