Mixed Media Art. Photography. Inspiration.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Painting: Flowers and Swirls

I painted this for my sis and her hubby a few weeks back while we were visiting them up in Oregon.  I've been wanting to make them something since they got married (4 years ago...oops..sorry guys), so I finally did it!  I drew my inspiration for the painting from this gorgeous pillow my sis bought from Anthropologie .

 Oh, and most of these pictures were taken by my sister, who thinks she isn't creative...do you see this photo of the pillow...with the light and shadows and stuff...WOW!!  Impressive, right?  Face it Beth...you rock!  Without her I wouldn't have any pictures of the finished painting, I only was able to take pics of the beginning stages, so thanks sis!

I started this on our first morning there.  I had only taken a few art supplies with me because I didn't know if I'd actually work on something while there, and figured if I did, I would just go buy what I needed.  They were out of town that day and we didn't have access to a car, so my husband and I raided their garage to see what I could use.  I love a good challenge!  We found this 1/4"thick plywood, so my husband cut it, then I drew out a sketch onto it.  I then found some wall paint that they used inside their house, and started to paint my base.  I wanted the swirls to be formed from the bare wood showing, because it had such a nice, rich feel to it, and it would make it a bit more masculine and modern so my bro-in-law would like it too (hopefully).

My son was helping me decide where to put the final swirl.

After the main background was done I got a foam stamp that I had packed on a whim, and brushed the same paint on it thickly and stamped it randomly onto the painting.  I put the paint on thick enough to leave a nice raised pattern when stamped. 

The second day I worked on it, I started with a few washes of color, then used a pretty stencil that reminded me of the background pattern on the pillow (at this point we had finally gone to my favorite lil art store "Collage" in Portland to buy some much needed, fun supplies, and that's where the stencil came from). 

 Here is a close-up of the pillow so you can see the cool pattern on it.

The final day that I worked on the painting, I added a few sprays of flowers.  I did this by getting a stamp I had just bought (yay) and colored on it with a brownish water-soluable (WS) crayon, then wet it and stamped it on to form the flowers.  Then I got a green WS crayon and drew out the stems and leaves.  I then took a brush and wet the leaves and stems to soften and blend them.

I sanded some areas to distress it and to bring out the original thick stamped pattern, then I brushed on a raw umber glaze to antique it and bring out the wood tones.  My husband built a little frame behind it and mounted it so it is flush up against the edges to make it more sturdy, and make it look  like a thicker piece of wood from the side.  I then painted over the edges with the raw umber (brown) paint.  

I've never worked on a canvas this big (well, except for walls...but that's different), and I've really been wanting to, so this was a lot of fun for me, and quite a challenge.  I didn't plan the painting that much, I just let it happen, and a lot of the time I didn't know what would come next.  There were many times when I thought I had bit off more than I could chew, because I didn't know how I would finish it, but there was always an idea in the back of my mind telling me the next step.  If I didn't doubt that voice, this would've gotten done a lot sooner... but then they wouldn't have the other 3 pieces I made the day I was avoiding finishing this!  I'll explain later, along with pics of those pieces.

 I really like how this turned out.  It's a different style for me, and I like it.  It's amazing what limited supplies, a pretty view, a nice challenge and a bit of creativity will do!


Brigitte aka Scrappassie said...

It is really beautiful, loved to read about the process ! Fun idea to be inspired by the pillow, the result is a very elegant and gorgeous painting. Thanks for sharing !

Carin said...

It's beautiful! I love that you took inspiration from the pillow they had and just went with it. Thanks for sharing the process too- I love reading how people go about making their paintings.

Rita A. said...

Beautiful. I love how you shared the process. You make it sound so easy. And yes, your sister did take a wonderful photo.

beth said...

I'm telling you it's the afternoon lighting. I didn't even put much of an effort into it. Thanks anyways sis! I absolutely love this painting. Everyone that has seen it loves it. Thank you for your hard work!

Anonymous said...

Oh I just love that you show your inspiration...that gorgeous pillow...and your stages...it's wonderful that you shared it with us!

what a lovely 'late' gift...a personally painted , handmade and from the heart gift! THAT IS SO NICE OF YOU!
i do the same for my family!

ciao bella

Jaime Lynn Barks said...

I love this! You did a wonderful job, thanks for showing the stages of creation!

Kristin said...

Wow - I am SOO impressed! I love the scale (fun, hugh? I did one not too long ago and was surprised that I actually loved working big) and the swirls and the fact that you let it all come to you. Good reminder to avoid the doubt when at all possible!
Thank you too for your visit - I can't believe that I've missed 3 posts! Good to catch up (and btw, I thought of you when I used that tin, lol!) xo

Beverley Baird said...

A gorgeous piece of artwork! Love your description of the process.

Kristin Dudish said...

What a beautiful gift for your sister!

I love reading (and seeing) the process - the photo of your son helping you is great :)

p.s. How large is it?

Gumnut said...

I love this piece. Everything is balanced so perfectly, from the design to the mood to the colours themselves. A great piece of work and your sister is soooo spoilt.

Thanks so much for sharing.

(who is trying to do some work for her sister too)

Manya K Photography said...

I LOVE this!!! Now my turn, I want one too, I love swirls. It is beautiful!

Yes, Beth is awesome too!