Sunday, August 26, 2007

Grace Realized

“Grace Realized” is a collage I made for my Aunt Dorothy (my mother’s only sister) for her 80th birthday in 2005. She loved it! :-) Unfortunately, she passed away just six short months later in September. The family held on to the collage for my uncle, as the piece was hanging in their (and then his) room at the nursing home where she had spent her last days. Unfortunately #2, my Uncle Merlin passed away just this past week and the funeral was yesterday.

Is it vain of me to admit that I was proud to see the collage displayed along with other photos and keepsakes from his life? Much as it had been for my aunt’s funeral… Afterwards my cousin told me that they wanted me to take the collage home. But to my thinking, I had made it for my aunt, and wanted it to stay with the family. I wanted my cousin to either keep it, or give it one of their girls.

But then, she told me that it was Dorothy's wish that the picture be returned to me She wanted me to have it. Okay, so now what? I really didn’t know what to do, and told my cousin as much…

I ended up bringing the picture home. We will honor Dorothy's wish, and I will keep it, for now. It is in my dining room right now, and whenever I see it, I smile, and think of my aunt, and how much I loved her. It gives me a feeling of peace. Though some day, I may still re-gift the collage back to the family.

The collage is a 12x12 canvas with homemade background papers, along with bits and pieces of other art papers, inked around the edges to give it depth. The photos are my aunt and uncle on their wedding day; the two little girls are my aunt (on the left) and my mother. There is a “key to my heart” dangling from a mini-hanger in the bottom corner. I had had trouble with placement of the larger items until I consulted with my fellow Altered Art Divas, who had helpful suggestions, and which culminated in the finished result. And the poem, for which there was no other when choosing one befitting my aunt, reads:

Grace Realized

Every single moment of our lives,

Whether borne of joy or pain,

Has the potential for grace realized.

Whether it’s an opportunity to learn something;

Or an unexpected connection made;

Or finding love where you thought none existed;

Those are the gifts from God!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Swing Time

Sooner or later, I do get my projects done! :-)

This one actually started nearly a year ago. I was thumbing through my latest issue of Somerset (and sorry, no, can't remember which issue it was now), and was inspired by a background layering technique. So I pulled out some odds and ends of papers and paints and inks and glazes, and a 9x12 canvas board, and went to it!

I knew from the start that I wanted to showcase this (ten-year-old) photo of me and my daughter, so I played around with my Paint Shop Pro using various colorized versions. I settled on a black and white with just our tops colorized, which I then had made into a 5x7 print.

However, when I placed the plain ol' black-and-white colorized photo on the background, it looked...blah! So it sat. And sat, and sat, and sat...

I came across this unfinished piece last week and decided to give it another go. I took a printer copy and watercolored the background, which I actually liked! But the photo itself had better clarity, so I cut us out of the photo, and layered us over the watercolor. Getting closer!

It still lacked something, so I grabbed my roll of metal duct tape, rolled it up, flattened it, and used alcohol inks on it in coordinating colors, and voila'! MUCH better!

The metal "frame" of the duct tape was hard to photograph because of the shinier surface, so the colors don't ring as true in this online version.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Revitalized Clock

Third post in three days! I really am on a roll! I think it's more trying to get things done before school starts back up because I know from past experience, once I get home from work that first month, I feel like doing nooooooooot-a-thing!!

So anyway, here is yesterday's little project. After the bathroom re-do, my cheap, plastic, maroon colored clock was just not cutting it. Maroon doesn't exactly go with yellow, blue, and green anyhows, but instead of just buying a new clock, I grabbed a can of white spray paint. Of course, that wasn't going to be good enough! :-)

So I painted the hands a nice sunny yellow (the yellow in my bathroom is not quite 'that' bright, being a softer hue, but it works for the clock), color-washed the original clock face with watercolors, and added the little girl and gave her wings printed on transparency, with "fresh" from a 1925 dictionary. Fitting, since my tub is a cast-iron, claw foot tub made in 1925. Happy coincidence!

Now I just have to hang the clock so we know how much time we have left in which to get ready!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

A Chinese Thank-You

In a recent trip to China, my brother and sister-in-law bought all the sisters a pair of fresh-water pearl earrings - no small feat, there are four of us! They are beautiful and I'll treasure them always. While I thanked them in person, a mere verbal "Thank you" was not nearly sufficient for this wonderfully thoughtful gift.

The background of this card was pulled from a stash of water-colored backgrounds I made some time ago. The rest is just odds and ends of decorative papers I had lying around, with small white beads inlaid in a stream of Glossy Accents.

This is the first Chinese themed anything I have attempted, so I hope I pulled it off!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

My Tish Stool

Entitled "My Tish Stool" because our white Persian, Tish, seems to think this is her stool. :-)

The stool itself was something my grandfather made decades ago while tinkering away in his garage. It was originally painted a "John Deere" type of green and was nearly tossed out when we went through my grandmother's things, dubbed as an item not likely to sell. Well, the packrat/sentamentalist/artist in me could not simply toss out this little stool created at my grandfather's hands! So I hauled it home and stared at it for a few months (part of the creating process...;) until I knew what role it was meant to play in its new home!

So I painted it black and used Tulip Colorpoint Paintstitching paints to create this faux cross-stitch look. The paint is simply little beads of paint in sem-straight ;) rows.