Thursday, 5 October 2017

Heart Mender by Leslie Lineberry

There's a machine for that, right?   

Art is my bandaid and Heart Mender, my new mixed media canvas featuring DecoArt products, is proof of that. Hopefully, it is also the first in a series of found object assemblages I have planned called There's a Machine For That.

When I was maybe six or seven, I began designing crayon-colored machines made of paper and lots of tape - hmmm, early media mixing. I remember so clearly coloring and cutting out 'sort-of-circular' coins to give to my parents and grandparents to insert in my paper 'vending' machines. When they put a coin in the slot, I would drop a 'prize' for them to pick up off the floor. Soon, they gave me a puppy... Looking back, my family probably thought I needed something to occupy my time. A lot has changed since way back then, but this remains the same: I still love 'making machines'!

I began by applying gesso to the reverse side of a 11 x 14 inch canvas. Wanting multiple layers to represent life itself, I added modeling paste (with and without stencils), texture sand paste, interfacing and cardboard. Components of the machine followed: an old Hawthorne Strainer with the spring and handle removed, a doll arm, clock parts, a clothes pin spring, and miscellaneous hardware and gears. Another generous coat of black gesso, modeling paste and crackle paste were applied next.

While these last layers were drying I started working on a couple of embellishments. I had found an Oatey test plug fitting at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore which was a perfect addition to my machine. I roughed up the surface with sandpaper and prepared it for 'rusting' with black gesso. Texture paste, DecoArt Liquid Glass, a wing nut, a screw, a broken lock part and paint completed this component. 

My 'heart that needed mending' was formed with polymer clay, as were the large bolt heads.

Setting aside these completed embellishments, I went to work on my outer walls by cutting four pieces of foam board. I composed the right and left sides with the addition of cardboard, crackle medium, paint and antiquing cream. On the top and bottom, I applied texture sand paste through Andy Skinner's 'Industrial Elements' Stencil. I wrapped these pieces with wire-edged ribbon, 'cooked' them with a heat gun and finished with crackle paste, paint and antiquing cream.

Time to paint my background. I selected a color palette of blue-greens, yellow-golds, reds and browns using two different DecoArt Lines: Media Fluid Acrylics and Americana Acrylics. Misting water on the wet paints helped the colors meld and seep into all the textures and cracks. I attached my off-canvas parts and pieces, including the 'keep out' phrase treated with crackle paste and weathered wood crackle medium. I 'sealed the deal' with DecoArt's Ultra Matte Varnish.

All that was left was to 'crank up' the Heart Mender, but then again it was already 'on' as soon as I sat down to create it. 

As always, thank you for spending a little bit of your art time with me.  I cannot tell you how much it means to me!


Product List
DecoArt Media Mediums:  Gesso, Modeling Paste, Texture Sand Paste, White Crackle Paste, 1 Step Clear Crackle Glaze, Liquid Glass and Ultra Matte Varnish
DecoArt Fluid Acrylics: 'Quinacridone Gold', 'Transparent Red Iron Oxide', 'Burnt Sienna', 'Blue Green Light', 'Pthalo Turquoise', 'Raw Sienna' and 'Yellow Oxide'
DecoArt Antiquing Creams:  'Patina Green' and 'Raw Umber'
DecoArt Media Stencils: Andy Skinner's 'Industrial Elements'
DecoArt Americana:  'Weathered Wood Crackle Medium'; Acrylic Paints in 'Dark Chocolate', 'Antique Gold', 'Burnt Orange', 'Bittersweet Chocolate', 'Burnt Sienna' and 'Deep Burgundy'.

11 x 14 canvas, black gesso, cardboard, foam board, Fimo polymer clay, Weldbond, string, StayFlo Liquid Starch, interfacing, screen, wire-edged ribbon and miscellaneous found objects


  1. Fantastic! Brilliant! Love your work Leslie❣️

  2. Great piece. Love the industrial look.

    1. Thank you Iris. Industrial, urban decay and rust are elements I can't resist, lol.

  3. WOW! This is absolutely stunning!! Be sure to let me know when you're teaching classes in Norway ;-) Seriously, I'd be there will bells on! (The kind we'd want to alter to make look that old)

    1. Thank you so much for your compliment! How I wish I could visit Norway - it is where my Grandmother was born!

    2. Small world! :) I hope you can make it over some day.

  4. What a fantastic project and wonderful tutorial, and the emotion behind your words brought a lump to my throat. Thank you for sharing something so personal and so beautiful.... Sending (hugs)

    1. Thank you Lynne - your sweet comment means so much to me. xxx

  5. Stunning project...amazing details! Great tutorial xxx


Your comments mean a lot to me and my team - thank you x