Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Water Lily

Honestly, I have been doing art! I just haven't really finished anything, therefore I haven't posted.

Right now I have 5 pieces I'm working on. Three are almost done. Why in the world I don't finish them I don't know, but I am close, so soon I should be bombarding the blog world with my latest creations.

This Water Lily piece however, I did manage to finish. It was a present for my mom's birthday, which is why it actually got done. ;)

I knew I wanted to make something handmade/artsy for her, but I just couldn't figure out what. You know all those artists out there who have a string of ideas running through their head and they can't create fast enough before new ideas pop in? Yeah that's not me.

Ideas do not flow freely for some reason. I think my brain is cluttered up with a lot of useless day to day worries, which blocks my creative juices. It's a crying shame, and someday I hope to be able to roto rooter around and find my muse, but until then, I have to take my chances with inspiration randomly striking. If it doesn't, I turn to magazines, other art blogs, books, etc. to find ideas.

This is what happened with my mom's present. As I was flipping through a craft magazine, I found an article on an artist, who created pictures with tiny bits of fabric. Hmmm.....That got me thinking. I have fabric. I like fabric. Fabric is pretty. I can make a fabric picture too!

I started out really ambitious. I was going to do most of the picture in fabric. I sketched out a scene with a lily pond, mountains, trees, and sky. I bought the canvas. I organized my supplies.

Then I went to the fabric store.

Oh the choices!! I was like Robin Williams in that movie Moscow on the Hudson where he passes out in the grocery store, because the choices of coffee to choose from is just too overwhelming. The fabric store was the same way.

I knew I wanted each item in the picture to be made up of different fabrics and colors of various hues. This meant the trees would have their own set of brown and green fabrics, water, blues and greens and so on.

45 minutes and a pile of fabric later, I realized it was too big of a task for an amateur like me. Not to mention expensive. I had to scale this down, especially if I wanted to finish it in the three days that I had.

So I nixed the mountain scene and went for a more Monet lily pond look. Though at the time, I honestly didn't intend to do that. Monet was a big influence on my early art, so I guess it just seeped through unconsciously.

This time only the flower was to made up of fabric. At first I wanted to do a bunch of different purple and pinks to make up the flower, but as I surveyed my options, I couldn't help but be drawn to brightly colored patterned prints. Pinks and purples never seemed to make into the cart. Ah well, I can't fight inspiration.

The background also changed throughout the flower creating process. The first background was painted with light and dark blues. It turned out really good. However, my original plan was to create something in my mom's favorite colors pinks and purples. Since I wasn't doing the flower in those colors anymore, I thought I better find a way to incorporate them into the background. So I painted over the blues with pinks for a more abstract water look. This turned out beautiful. However, as the flower became more and more evolved, I realized the background had to go.

The flower was completely lost in the sea of pink. At last I finally decided to go back to the original blue, but add some purples to it. The flower stood out a lot more this way, so I'm glad I changed it.

I also tried something new for the lily pads. They are actually dyed/painted paper towels. One thing I found out, is that paper towels are super durable! They certainly can stand a lot of liquid. I learned this tip from Tracy Bautista. Those paper towels you wipe your paintbrushes on? Are perfect for this! As is old paint water. That combination plus a few randomly placed drops of dye, created my lily pads.

The last bit of this picture I did was the middle of the flower. Although you can' t really tell, it is made up tiny beads and glitter. I love using beads, but I tell you, it sure is a challenge placing each one in the right place. Tweezers definitely come in handy! Plus it's super time consuming. Luckily I didn't need too many, so it went relatively fast.

I have to say the whole fabric thing was definitely an adventure. Honestly, I almost canned the project about 4 different times when I didn't think the flower was coming together right. As usual the art creating process taught me a valuable lesson.

Finish an idea to completion, because you really don't know how it will come out until it's done. I can't tell you how many times, I thought it was coming out all wrong, and the colors weren't right etc, only to finish the project, and see it turned out much much better than I imagined the original.

Hopefully some day I'll actually learn this lesson and not get so frustrated when things don't go exactly as planned. After all there are no mistakes in art. Right?

Or if there are they can at least be covered up!