"Take the attitude of a student, never be too big to ask questions, never know too much to learn something new."
I live with the Question Queen. That is a title we have bestowed upon Darling Daughter. Ever since she learned to speak she has been full of questions. They mostly start with, Who, What, Why, Where, When, and How...maybe she should have been a reporter. She has always had an insatiable curiosity and her catch phrase today is, "Hey, I've got a question."
I admit to not always being able to answer her questions, often being amazed at the things she was curious about. When I did not know the answer I would tell her I did not know but I would find out. Nothing like being given homework by your child! Many times we would sit together and look things up, the meaning of a word or how something worked.
The "Why?" questions were always the hardest to answer because the why of something or some situation is not always clear. She once asked why ducks quacked and cows did not. That was an easy one, because that is the way God designed each one of them, unique and special in their qualities and abilities. When she asked why some mommies and daddies did not love their children and were mean to them, that I could not answer as readily. The biggest question she ever asked me was, "Mommy, who IS God?" That question sent me off on a journey of exploration that still continues today but that is a whole other blog post!
I am wondering if there are any other question queens out there who might have a question for me, something that visiting here at Quill Cottage has made you curious about. I thought it might be fun to answer some of those questions in a blog post.
I was recently asked by someone viewing my archives if my kitchen floors were maple. The answer is, no, they are knotty pine. We left the pine natural and coated it with three coats of oil based polyurethane which gives the floors durability and a honey golden hue accenting the dark knots and grain of the wood.
Penny, who is a fantastic mosaic artist (Lavender Hill Studio) and decorator (The Comforts of Home) recently asked, "What is Matte Gel Medium? Is it like Modge Podge?" after viewing this post. I sent Penny and email telling her probably more than she ever wanted to know about matte gel medium and I wanted to share some of that information here with you in case you too are curious.I use Liquitex brand Matte Gel Medium (MGM), there are other brands such as Golden, Studio, and Grumbacher, etc. MGM is an artist acrylic glue that is a heavy bodied, translucent gel that creates a matte, non-reflective finish, unlike Modge Podge which is thinner in consistency and has a shiny finish when dry. You can get MGM in a gloss finish if you so desire. Gel mediums also come in regular, soft, medium, or heavy consistancy.
(I used MGM on the above project to adhere not only the paper pieces but the lace as well)
It is an excellent glue for collage or to use as a transparent ground for acrylic paintings. MGM is opaque when wet, dries translucent and matte. It will retain brushstrokes. MGM can be used to extend acrylic paint volume, it slows the drying time and enhances blending. It is permanent, non-yellowing, flexible, and water resistant when dry. You can not only use it to adhere but to seal as well.
(I used MGM here to adhere paper to wood)
You can mix it with acrylic color but do not mix with oils. You can thin it by adding up to 25% water if its paste like texture is too thick for your use. Since this is an acrylic based product, clean up is simple soap and water.(The box above was made for a mermaid art swap I did. I used MGM to apply fabric to a paper mache box)
QUICK TIP: When washing out a brush after using an acrylic product, never ever use hot water! Hot water will actually set the paint or glue in your brush by hardening it and ruin your brush. Always use cold water for acrylic clean up.
(MGM even has a great bond for heavier paper like some of the thicker handmade papers like the ones I used above to cover mini blank journals)
You find this product in most art supply or hobby stores. Both Hobby Lobby and Michael's carry it. It is found in the fine arts department usually near the oil paints and artist canvas. This product is quite pricey with a small container being $10.99. I use the store coupons for Michael's or Hobby Lobby to purchase mine with to cut down on the costs.
One of the ways I like to use MGM besides adhering my collage work is to add a little acrylic stain or paint to the gel, mixing well, and top coating a project to give it an antique finish.
(MGM was invaluable in its uses for this Valentine Assemblage, from gluing on glitter to paper and beyond)
You can also use gel medium to make transfers onto paper or fabric. Here are links to two fantastic tutorials one using inkjet copies for transfer onto fabric and another using photo paper to transfer onto paper:
A Spattering~ Toni is a wonderful artist who was featured in the winter issue, volume 2, of Artful Blogging. On her blog she shares her wonderful talents and techniques. I am in awe of her bird paintings!
(Eastern Phoebe by Toni Kelly)
So, now that you too know more about matte gel medium that you ever cared to, if you have something you would like to ask just leave your question in the comments section or email me, my email link is on my upper sidebar. I will address the questions in an upcoming post and with your permission link back to you if you so desire.