New Artwork

I finally finished an artwork that I made for a coworker’s nursery.  She sent me some color requests – pinks and grays, 2 quotes she liked and a general idea for the artworks.  I got to work, slowly, much more slowly than normal.  But, hey, it was a busy spring for me.

The quotes are printed and then collaged onto the canvas. I sealed the collaged areas in my favorite collage material – gloss gel medium.

The flowers are also collage, done from painted pages from an old dictionary.

I used a palette knife to rough up and wrinkle the collaged words, for a more aged effect.

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The flowers were inspired by some of favorite and currently blooming flowers – peonies.  This huge, pink beauty of a bloom was picked from my backyard earlier this week.

I started with watercolor paint for subtle all-over color.  Then, switched to thinned tempera paint for the bolder magenta hues.

During this project, I actually ran out of white acrylic paint – the first time in forever!  A good problem to have – it means I am actually creating something.

 

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My pile of scraps and old credit card that I use to ensure a smooth adhesion to the canvas.  This pile of cut petals and printed scraps was a goldmine for my daughter’s budding creative mind.

“Can I make something out of this pile, Mommy?”  she squealed with delight.

“Of course, you can!  What do you want to do with them?” I asked her.

“You’ll see,” she replied with a grin.

She set to work, glue stick in hand – gluing, tearing, cutting, and arranging.  She set up her paint space and requested her paint colors.  I was amazed at the care and time she vested in her painting.  She was so proud of her careful brushstrokes and the fact that she did not get any paint on anything other than her paper.

Her finished masterpiece. We will be doing much more of this kind of collaborative work in the next few weeks, now that school is officially out for me.

A book is a dream…


I make so many false starts when I make art. I don’t document then very often, as I usually recycle them, squish them, paint over them, or hand them off to my children to tear and cut up into collages.


This time, I decided to give the false start away with the finalized artwork. I started off very enthused about using the polka dot theme my colleague was using in her new baby’s nursery. Partway through, I came up with a different approach – more aerial and dream-like.  And so, I abandoned the polka dots.  In the end, I gave her both. I know, I know, total cop-out and not having to decide to throw it out, right?

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Sorry, Morgan, I promise I wasn’t trying to put the decision-making on your shoulders. One time, I was all ready to throw out my false start art for a friends’ tropical themed wedding gift, but she asked to see it and ended up wanting it as well. When I’m my worst critic, I send along the false starts now as well.  I’ll happily dispose of false starts if I am passing along a terrible task, as I have read Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, and really appreciated her entire section on gift-giving.

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In other news, despite the loud silence on this blog, I have been extremely busy and productive as of late – my own artwork, school samples, cooking, baking, organizing, decorating, and crafting. You name it – I’ve been working on it.  My hours have been spent creating, not documenting as of late.  Be prepared for a floodgate of posts on here at some point…

Ich Liebe Dich

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I will be an aunt again soon – but this time it will be a nephew arriving!  So, of course I started on some more baby room art.  Nothing like a deadline to make me complete artwork – I love being forced to work.  This time around, I took a different approach, and strayed away from the more cutesy colors/motif.  Honestly, I have mixed feelings about the end result.  I am always my own worst critic, especially when I am making artwork for others.  It turned out a little darker on the bottom end than I anticipated, but hopefully once it is in the red frame I found, it isn’t too depressingly black and gray for a baby’s room.

I started with a watercolor background – sticking with grays and reds and some blue.  I used salt on the wet red paint to achieve the frost-like texture at the top of the red section.

Hammock, watercolor on paper, 18 x 24", July 2007.

Hammock, watercolor on paper, 18 x 24″, July 2007.

Liz, you may be getting a round 2  of your ich liebe dich, artwork in the near future.  I did this very same thing with a tropical island painting, see above, that I made for a friend’s wedding.  She asked to see my reject, and then liked it enough that she asked to have it as well.  I was so frustrated with the reject and the ugly shadow below the hammock, that I did not even take a photo.  The only image I have is of beach scene 2.0.

Ich Liebe Dich, watercolor & collage on paper, 8 x 11", July 2015.

Ich Liebe Dich, watercolor & collage on paper, 8 x 11″, July 2015.

After the painting background was dry, I created the words, “Ich liebe dich,” which means I love you in German, from magazine collage.  The finished baby art – primary colors with a hint of minty green.

Paper Airplane Mobile

airplane.mobileThis nifty and very easy to make mobile is now hanging in a corner of the our completed nursery.  Hooray for a finished and lovely space for baby!  I will give you a tour of the rest of his room in due time.

red.stickTo make this mobile I simply found an interesting stick from our yard and cleaned it up a little.  I trimmed the ends to shape it, and then wiped it off in preparation for painting.  I used a high gloss red spray paint to cover the entire stick – this color is a theme throughout his room.  There are some interesting areas of black that poke through from underneath the red due to the texture of the bark.

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Then, with the help of Eric and this fun (er, challenging) book, Awesome Paper Planes, we made a few paper airplanes.  By we, I mean Eric.  I have always struggled with origami and anything that involves precision folding and following step-by-step directions.  My cranes always turn out mangled and sloppy.  I always feel bad about this lack of skill, because every year I have a student who is dying to try origami and I have yet to master the most basic projects.

mobile.closeupTo assemble the mobile, we hung the branch from a small hook installed in the ceiling.  Then, I hand sewed three lengths of thread through each airplane.  These three pieces of thread create a triangular shape – think like the stability of three legs of a stool.  The three strands help each airplane hang like it is flying.  Each airplane was then tied on to the branch.  It is soothing to watch the mobile spin slowly in a breeze and look forward to rocking my son under it.