My friend Jess just got a new job in a new school district. With that job came a new job title, new responsibilities, and a new office. I was touched when Jess reached out to me and asked if I would paint something for her office. Of course I said sure, I would love to.
She sent me the color palette she was going to use in her office and I sent her my pinterest link for images of pods and flowers/plants that I am interested in. She narrowed it down to 3 or 4 and told me to pick from there. Amongst the choices were a flower that reminded me of home...the dogwood.
It would be a challenge as I hadn't really painted flowers in my current style. I've stuck mostly with pods of one kind or another. But, I gladly took it on, and I am glad I did. I created my background first, then laid down the composition of the branches. Then I stopped. I wasn't quite sure how I would do the flowers themselves. I thought back to the chinese lantern and decided to put the petals onto wax paper and glue them on after painting.
Did you know that if you write in sharpie or marker on the wax paper and put the texture medium on top, when you peal the dried medium off, the sharpie/maker remains on the bottom. I didn't either, but I do now.
Anyway, I painted the petals, glued them down, and once again, stopped. I had to create the center of the flower still. Then I remembered the extra corse pumice medium I still had from the milk weed pod. It worked out perfect.
I am happy with the artwork and I hope that Jess smiles every time she see's it in her office.
For the past 3 years I have participated in a Halloween Charity Photo shoot with an amazing group of women. Kelly from Happy Soul Photography sets up a day in October where she photographs our children in their halloween costumes. In addition to the photo shoot, there is a raffle. Donations range from a photo mini-session to wines from Twin Liquors to a spa retreat to crafts made by the women of the group. Almost all the money raised gets donated to a charity that Kelly chooses. This year the money raised was donated to help MS research because a dear friend of ours had been diagnosed with MS earlier this year.
I like to participate in this charity photo shoot by donating a painting I create. In the past I have created the paintings first and people would bid on the finished work. These are paintings from the past.
This year I did not have time to complete a work before the event, so I thought I would try a different approach. I would give the winner of the painting 3 choices of canvas sizes and let them choose the color scheme and the subject matter. I would then do what I do and create a custom work. The canvas size choices were 16X20, 20X20, and 22X28.
My winner chose 20X20 and after looking through my pinterest inspiration page, she decided she liked the Queen Anne's Lace. We discussed color schemes and I was off.
Having just completed my Chinese Lantern painting, I had a good idea of how I wanted to create the flower. I would use a lace or crocheted doily to act as a mask. I had a doily from my grandmother that I liked, but thought it would be great if I could find something else. I bought some lace and did samples of both. I showed both samples to the client and some other women and everyone liked the doily version best.
I painted a red/red-orange scumbled background and was on my way. I laid down a couple of flowers from the side view and was very happy. However, things didn't go as I had planned. See, my sample was a small version of the flower from the top. But, when I made the flower from the top view, I had gone much larger. I hated it. I ended up scraping off the texture and was surprisingly pleased with what was left behind. It was a happy mistake.
When I tried to replicate the happy mistake, I just couldn't. I tried in two different places on the canvas, but it just wasn't working and I was completely unhappy with it. So, I got our my red paint tubes and painted over the background, leaving the first two flowers I had painted. You could still see some of the texture under the reds, but I wasn't bothered by that.
I came up with a new composition and began painting. It took a while to do all the flowers because I only had the one doily and could only use so much of it at a time. Another problem I was facing was that every time I rinsed out the doily, the age of it began to catch up with me and it began to deteriorate. Luckily it held up long enough. I was close to finishing, so I thought I would give a teaser on facebook for all to see.
I still had concerns about the texture that was left behind from the happy accidents, but once I had all the new flowers in, I decided I liked the texture. It added another layer and some more depth to the painting. My last step was to add a little bit of depth to the flowers themselves, so I went over the texture with some white and some iridescent white. I was happy so I called it complete.
I showed my client a picture of the final piece and she said she really liked it. I have been staring at it for about a week now. I am a little sad to let it go, but I am excited for my client to see it in person as photos just can't capture the texture quite right.
Queen Anne's Lace, Acrylic Paint and Texture Medium on Canvas, 20"X20", October 2014.