Archive for the ‘Uncategorised’ Category

How to Stretch a Canvas for Painting

Monday, December 4th, 2017

When I first started painting, the thought of stretching my own canvas was frightening, but after a few attempts of stretching a canvas it came to me automatically. I was able to make canvases for half the price of store bought ones. Also, stretching your own canvas can trigger off the beginning of the creation through the hands on process of doing it yourself. Hope this helps.

Materials and equipment

Pre- made stretcher frame/ or self-made

Canvas material cut 10cm approx larger than your stretcher frame

Canvas staple gun

How to Stretch a Canvas

Lay your canvas on a flat surface wrong side up then lay your stretcher right side down on top of canvas. Pull the sides of your canvas up and round to the top of the stretcher.

DIAGRAM 1 Secure the 4 points with staples or tacks to create a diamond shaped wrinkle in the canvas. Check diagonals and adjust the stretcher for squareness before going further.


CANVAS DIA 1DIAGRAM 2– Secure the canvas to the stretcher with staples approx. every 6 cm. around the edge, working from the center points outwards. Pulling the canvas as you go. Continue working out to the corners in this pattern. Do not overstretch the canvas. When applying tension, the canvas pliers should not be forced to pull the canvas in place. The tension of course will become greater as you work towards the corners.

CANVAS DIA 2FOLD– the corners under; as neatly as you can, leaving no exposed tab that maybe caught and damaged. Staple or tack excess canvas that wraps around to the back of the frame.

HINT– Once finished and your canvas and is not as tight as you would like, fill a small spray bottle with luke-warm water and spray the canvas on the back. Once dry your canvas will be as tight as a drum. Happy painting!

Back to Outlook8studio  Tutorials

© 2017, Jenny Davis. All rights reserved.

Rust & Decay. Experiments with Rust Paint.

Sunday, November 19th, 2017

Everybody who knows me, knows, how much, I love metal, rust and decay. Many years ago, I collected old rusty, metal objects from the roadsides and turned them into sculptures. I also gained my certificates in welding. At the time, with myself and 3 children to support,  I welded in factories to make a living and in between, I made sculptures from the rusty found objects. I don’t weld much anymore, as it’s a problem for me to move around the heavy metal, but I still have a large collection of smaller bits, I use, to rust up, paper, objects and textiles for my projects. Lately, I have been playing around with some commercial rust paints.



Clay, Botanics Rust Paint, IOD Décor Moulds



Today, I tried out, Botanic’s rust paint, from L’essential in Australia. I love the fact they are all environmentally-conscious products, free from nasty additives and are preservative-free where possible. They smell good too. I’m very pleased with the result and it does, really look like rust.


Clay, Botanics Rust Paint, IOD Décor Moulds


The problem I have is, I need large amounts of rust paint for my projects and now looking for a brand with reasonable prices.

Maybe I could even make my own…



© 2017, Jenny Davis. All rights reserved.

Homemade Gesso Paint!

Saturday, November 18th, 2017

I love Gesso paint and use heaps of it in my work. It’s gritty, chalky and can be applied to artwork to give a translucent or opaque look. It’s also very expensive so I decided to make my own.


Gesso is used for many things such as a primer for canvas or on paper to give a good base for painting, drawing or mixed media work.  When making collage I use it as a gluing medium to stick on papers, in-between, painting and drawing layers.

The recipe below makes 2 litres of Gesso paint

( If not using straight away, this Gesso will last approx. 4-6 weeks)

Homemade Gesso


1 cup Plaster of Paris or fine white plaster powder

1 cup of PVA or white glue

1 cup hot water


3 cups white acrylic paint


Container, cup and mixing stick or spoon

RATIO: 1-3

Plaster Mix 1 – Acrylic paint 3


To make the plaster mix. Add the plaster to the hot water and stir ( Safety purposes: always add the plaster powder to the liquid, not liquid to plaster, as it will blow up into your face and always wear a dust mask)

Dust Mask

“Plaster of Paris” and cup

Hot water and mix

Next add the PVA or white glue, stir.

Finally add the white acrylic paint and mix. ( I used some acrylic powder paint I had and made it up with water) You can use any kind of acrylic paint or colour .



I was very happy with the result. The gesso is translucent with the gritty bits I like. You can also do several layers of gesso to give a more opaque appearance. It covered my canvas very well with only 1 coat. When adding more than 1 coat you can sand in- between to give a really smooth surface for detailed work .

2 litres of Gesso

Gesso on stretched canvas

Gesso on paper



To see this and more of my free tutorials, please go to  Tutorials I even show you how to make my large studio easel.


© 2017, Jenny Davis. All rights reserved.

The Power of an Object. Identity through Object.

Sunday, November 12th, 2017

One of my life- time interests is collecting vintage, antique and found objects. I believe, through objects, stories can be told, and through imagination, new ones found.

Objects and their stories, often inspire my art making too. I deconstruct items for sculpture. Old clothing and antique quilts, are often used in textile pieces, artist books and collage. Aged  surfaces and patinas of collections, make their way into my abstract paintings, too.



Lately, I have been asking myself a few questions about, collecting and identity. Especially after the passing of my step father a few years ago, when I had the huge task, of cleaning out his house and shed. Overwhelming at times, the hoard, has found it’s way into my life & studio



Having only known him for a short time, (5yrs) I’ve discovered, through his belongings and objects, a hidden or, new identity.



Strangely , I now find myself imagining, a new “make believe identity” through the objects he hoarded



This has lead me to many questions…

When alive, do we really know a person? and can things and objects help us to see, a new, or different identity?

Through objects and belongings, can we feel connected to that person?

Can objects change, how we see others & ourselves?






© 2017, Jenny Davis. All rights reserved.

In the studio this week.

Wednesday, July 19th, 2017

I hurt my leg a few days ago so I haven’t been in the studio this week. Hopefully, next week, I’ll be back on track .




Recent paintings. Some are finished, others are paintings, still in progress.































Also, while resting my leg, I’ve been sorting through my many art journals. Below are some images from my art college journal in 1994.  I noticed the colours I was using back then, are similar to what I’m working with now.




What did you do in your studio this week?




© 2017, Jenny Davis. All rights reserved.

From This Place. Help Raise the Profiles of Women Artists!

Monday, July 10th, 2017

“We wanted to elevate our fellow women artists, to raise their profile in a world where it is often hard to cut through. One of the most telling statistics we found was that only 5% of artists hanging in permanent galleries worldwide were women. We took this fact and decided to do something about it, and where better to start than in our own beautiful region – on the banks of the Yarra River, in the mountains and forests we all call home?” Lindy Schneider

Lindy, Angela and to all the other artists…You are all such an inspiration and amazing creative women. I feel very privileged to be part of this project.

Photography Copyright  – Angela Rivas

Lets get behind this project and support women artists, everywhere. Please check out our Pozzible campaign ! We only have 8 days Left and your pledge will go along way to help publish this book, that will be a wonderful resource and inspiration for all people, artists, creatives and especially women.

Pozible Campaign






© 2017, Jenny Davis. All rights reserved.

A new series of collages and textiles.

Friday, February 17th, 2017

A new series of collages and textiles, capturing the “beauty & hope” in decline, before its gone continues my investigation into, the disintegration and decay of the environment, of life and the human psyche.

Rescuing and renewing things for decades. Many of my artworks are created from discarded materials and old bits & pieces in a state of flux. Renewing and recycling, discarded objects, changes their meaning, opening up a whole different way of thinking.  Allowing for new perspectives and ideas to form using the conscious, subconscious and unconscious mind.

The collages below were created from old book covers, torn, worn and too precious to throw away. Inspired by, the randomness of barges, flotsam & jetsam observed along the river Seine in France.



TITLE Turkey Red Night
MED 1800’s textile scraps, Parisian essence, wire on linen card book cover sealed
SIZE 34 x 24cm.
Ready to hang. (Unframed)



TITLE Summers Gone
MED 1800’s textile scraps, Parisian essence, metal object, wire on linen card book cover sealed
SIZE 30 x 22cm.
Ready to hang. (Unframed)




TITLE Riverebb
MED 1800’s textile scraps, Parisian essence, paper, wire on linen card book cover sealed
SIZE 30 x 24cm.
Ready to hang. (Unframed)




TITLE Barge along the Seine
MED 1800’s textile scraps, Parisian essence, metal object, wire on linen card book cover sealed
SIZE 30 x 22cm.
Ready to hang. (Unframed)




TITLE Chequered Flight
MED 1800’s textile scraps, Parisian essence, metal object, wire on linen card book cover sealed
SIZE 29 x 22cm.
Ready to hang. (Unframed)

New textile pieces coming.


© 2017 – 2018, Jenny Davis. All rights reserved.

Small Abstract Oil Paintings. Still & Interruption.

Sunday, November 20th, 2016

Small Abstract Oil Paintings. Still & Interruption.










I spent a lot of time trying to get the surface just right, on these 3 paintings, as I wanted each piece to stand on its own, as well as, together as a whole. I also wanted to convey a feeling of stillness. A space to sit awhile.









The 3 below have colour and movement. I feel they are not yet resolved and will probably work back in with more layers.








I’m enjoying, the smaller scale paintings at the moment, especially after all the large ones I did over the past year for my “Wallmatter” exhibition.








Its a whole different way of working. Large paintings have huge sweeping strokes, where the whole body is involved. Smaller artworks allow me to come in close and are not so hard on my body. I can work longer on them, without too much pain to my back and neck.

© 2016, Jenny Davis. All rights reserved.

In the Studio. Rust. Tea. Vinegar.

Saturday, February 13th, 2016

In the Studio. Rust. Tea. Vinegar. Experimenting today, with rusty things.




I usually rust textiles by wrapping them around rust objects then leave them to weather, in the elements a few weeks.




Today, I sprayed rusty objects with vinegar




and soaked pieces of cotton cloth in tea. I then put a layer of rusty, fence droppers on top. (Apparently, tannic acid in tea and rust, heated gently, gives off orangey, red marks)




Then, covered it all with another piece of cloth.




I weighed it all down with concrete tiles to give good contact




I also want to try out saltwater and coffee as the wetting agent for rust dyeing.


© 2016 – 2018, Jenny Davis. All rights reserved.

Abstract Painting. Creative Process. Layering.

Saturday, January 23rd, 2016

Abstract Painting. Creative Process. Layering.

The life of a painting, sometimes takes on many layers. My abstractions, may have as many as, 5 to 50 layers. They can take days, weeks, even months, to complete.



This painting, started out very busy and chaotic, as, I wanted to get the paint and marks down, as quickly as possible. During the process, I eliminated many layers of paint and marks, to calm it all down, until I was satisfied.

The beginning splashes of acrylic paint and marks.



Somewhere in the middle. Around 10 layers of paint, ink, powder pigments and shellac.



The final stages of the painting after, eliminating layers and using a more subtle palette. I wanted the painting to have a lot of texture with a calm, stillness about it.



This painting, links to “found marks” in urban landscapes in Australia and Europe.


© 2016, Jenny Davis. All rights reserved.

Heat. Bush Fire. Painting.

Sunday, December 20th, 2015

Heat Bush Fire Painting

After 3 days of sweltering heat and bush fires nearby it’s time to relax and do some mark-making on big sheets of paper

Jenny Davis_ Mixed Media on Paper in Progress 4

using dyes



Jenny Davis_ Mixed Media on Paper in Progress 5

ink and pen


Jenny Davis_ Mixed Media on Paper in Progress 2

with hand painted papers


© 2015 – 2016, Jenny Davis. All rights reserved.

Play things on my studio bench.

Friday, December 4th, 2015

Play things on my studio bench

Handmade mark-making tools


Silk tea bag pouches


Rusty fence droppers found in outback


Old used paint brushes

Workshop Finds_ Outlook8studio 2

More handmade tools


Japanese ceramic toy & stack of vintage tobacco tins

 Workshop Finds_ Outlook8studio

Metal detector finds. Suspender buckles and other types. Brass and copper. 1850s-1890s


Deconstructed  vintage chair


Antique watch faces and parts

Workshop Finds_ Outlook8studio 4

Felt & thread pad from vintage chair


Mail art sent to France


© 2015, Jenny Davis. All rights reserved.

Joie de vivre!

Sunday, November 15th, 2015

Joie de vivre!

Paris has become like, my second home over the years. Today, my heart, thoughts and love, go out to all my Australian & French family’s in Paris and to every other Parisian, after the recent tragic events.
No matter what… You will never lose your joie de vivre!

Excerpts from Paris journal’s over several years, by Jenny Davis

© 2015, Jenny Davis. All rights reserved.

In the Studio. Painting & Study.

Thursday, September 24th, 2015

In the Studio. Painting. & Study.

After a short break in warm Queensland, (freezing today in the Yarra Valley) I’m back in the studio, working on a series of large paintings for my next solo exhibition.

Jenny Davis_Painting 4s

I’m also feeling, very inspired to create something with a pile of old sandstone blocks, I’ve had laying around for years. They have weathered beautifully!

Jenny Davis_Painting 3s

In between, I need to finish my course with Dottie Media

Jenny Davis_Painting 7s

and start the new one with Stephanie Levy.

Will be nice when it gets warmer in Melbourne:)

© 2015, Jenny Davis. All rights reserved.

Thank you! “Upstairs at Duroc” magazine in Paris.

Monday, July 20th, 2015

Thank you! “Upstairs at Duroc” magazine in Paris.

I’m very excited, because, once again, my artwork has been chosen to be included in this, “Literary & Arts Journal of Paris”.

Everybody is welcome to ,“Upstairs at Duroc“magazine launch, for Issue 16, in Paris this October. So, if you are lucky enough to be in Paris, France, at that time, come along and join in the fun!



© 2015, Jenny Davis. All rights reserved.

Pink me up abstractions!

Thursday, May 14th, 2015

Pink me up abstractions!

4 new abstract paintings




“Winsor & Newton” acrylic paints on gallery stretched canvas




Each artwork measures Size 30 x 30 x 3.5cm.




Still untitled.



© 2015 – 2016, Jenny Davis. All rights reserved.

Work in Progress. Mixed-Media Paintings.

Friday, April 17th, 2015

Work in Progress. Mixed-Media Paintings.

A few more paintings on the way.


Jenny Davis_Over Land 1_ 30x 30 cm._ Mixed Media

Over Land 1


I’m also learning how to use my new camera


Jenny Davis_Over Land 2_ 30 x 30cm._ Mixed MediaS

Over Land 2


I definitely need to use a tripod for artworks as


Jenny Davis_Over Land 3_ 30 x 30cm._ Mixed Media _s

Over Land 3


I can see some blurring with movement.


© 2015 – 2016, Jenny Davis. All rights reserved.

Textiles. Shellac. Wood. Work in Progress.

Friday, March 13th, 2015

Not fully resolved, this is the first in a series of mixed-media art works on cradled wooden board, followed by further details of the process.


This artwork was inspired by an old piece of spotty paper.


Jenny Davis_Work in Progress 13s


I wanted to leave space around the wooden board and still show the grain


Jenny Davis_Work in Progress 10s


An old piece of canvas and hand- stitching.


Jenny Davis_Work in Progress 11s


Found papers with generous pourings of shellac and ink.


Jenny Davis_Work in Progress 9s


More papers and cloth.


Jenny Davis_Work in Progress 1 s


Jenny Davis_Work in Progress 2s


I’m still not satisfied and will probably sand back in areas.


Jenny Davis_Work in Progress 3


See Jenny’s other artworks in this series

© 2015, Jenny Davis. All rights reserved.

No. 2. Old clothes. Recycling. Art Making.

Sunday, March 1st, 2015

Follow-up from a previous post  Old clothes. Recycling. Art Making.

Playing with textiles, wax and trying to work out my new camera.

De-constructing a man’s suit.


Jenny Davis_TextileWax _13Ss


Wafers of wax, felt & linen


Jenny Davis_TextileWax s


Specimens to play with flesh- like



Jenny Davis_TextileWax _14Ss


Waxed string twined


Jenny Davis_TextileWax _22




Jenny Davis_Waxen Dig 2 _21ss



Hand- sewn surface marks


Jenny Davis_TextileWax _4Ss


Links to Joseph Beuy’s  felt works and underground spaces seen in Paris


Jenny Davis_TextileWax _9

Jenny Davis_TextileWax _7 s


Similar to scientific or, geological specimens from an antique book


Jenny Davis_TextileWax1 Ss





© 2015, Jenny Davis. All rights reserved.

Mail Art. Handmade Envelopes. New Project.

Thursday, February 26th, 2015

Hand-made envelopes made from used copy paper with doodles, scribbles and messed up prints. Sewn and packed to send mail art all over the world.

The top image is a reproduction of a 1900’s glass negative I found. I’m trying to work out how to develop a box of these.


Mail art for Adrienne in Canada

Jenny Davis_ Mailart Adreinne

A string of envelopes sewn together.


For Richard in France

Jenny Davis_ WAU 154

A box full of finished envelopes


For Jack in Queensland

Jenny Davis_ Mailart Jack

More envelopes


For PetrolPetal in South Africa

Jenny Davis_ SILLO

I discovered a good quick way to make pockets for an installation


For Adrienne again

Jenny Davis_ Stripe

I’m now addicted to making envelopes from all my waste papers.


Jacks collage.

Jenny Davis_ X

© 2015, Jenny Davis. All rights reserved.