Sunday, February 8, 2015

First commissioned art

So lately I have been doing canvas art to decorate the walls of our new house. Mum asked me to do one for them as they have a wall that needed something. It had to be forest green to match the couches & lemon to match the curtains. So mum bought the canvas and supplies for summer holiday project and my first commissioned art. Here it is completed, it is 2m high by 1.4m wide.

Mum and dad were asking about my process so I thought I would share it here.  I have idea what the finished piece is going to look like when I start, it evolves itself, therefore I did not want them to see it while I was doing it. 
We bought a canvas screen to use as it was the cheapest way to get such a large canvas.
So first I started by painting it black so I had a blank canvas to start with & to try to cover the green.

We have some tires out the back that they didn't collect during the hard rubbish collection & Dad is into motorbikes & cars so I tried to use the tire as a stamp into texture paint. Unfortunately it did not work, I think my paste was to wet, but because of the large size of the canvas it was difficult to judge drying times. Also the cat walked through the texture paint leaving nice paw prints (I tried to keep them as my parents their love cats). But I didn't like the stripes especially as it was being hung vertically now.
I have learnt about my own process  doing this for them.  I do personal symbolism.  I can't just do something.  So once I came up with the idea to put a symbol of mum & dad in the center of a circle & do some of their life influences in other circles it really started to get going.  The concentric rings are like sound waves showing how mum & dad affected NZ, SA, car/motorbike stuff & church & how it affected them.  To make theses circles I used the tissue technique that we learnt at camp one year.  So it is not rope, but rather rolled up tissues & Modge Podge.  I did look at using rope or cord but it was going to be to expensive & I was worried that it might not stick properly. I used the old pen on a piece of sting trick for a giant compass, hehe
I then used a scrunched up single ply of tissue over the entire background of the 3 canvases & painted them black, except the center large circle which was white as it was going to be the yellow 'sun' center. Finally time to add some colour!!!!
Cutting the chipboard for the tire track was not fun, it takes a lot of work to get through card that thick. But I am happy with how it looked in the end. This was the bottom left corner. 
 I was trying to blend the lemon to dark green through the circles, but I din't like how it came out.  At this stage I hated & and wanted to throw it away so I left it alone for a few days.  
Here is a closeup of 'mum & dad' in the center.  It is a clipart image that I printed & then cut out of cardboard.
I have this really cool rub on  metallic wax that i have been using on everything possible & tried it over my horrible stripes...slightly better.
and over the yellow
I was talking to mum & she mentioned wanting to sponge paint one of their walls & that set a spark off in my brain! of course! So I sponged over my hideous stripes with the dark green,much better.  I didn't completely cover the colours under neath just blended them more.  Then I decided to paint my rings solid green as they were getting lost.  But now it was to green & not enough yellow so I got my scrapbooking stamps & inks out & stamped some bright yellows over the dark green, obviously they didn't show up a lot, just enough, I was pleasantly surprised when I added the varnish later & it brought out the yellows ink more looking very cool.
Now it was to plain, it needed more...more something. One of the supplies we bought at the very beginning were some polished stones.  We glued these along with some beads & some of my CD UTEE pieces into the first ring around the tire track & on the inside of the track, hopefully looking like the stones were driven trough. 
 Later we decided it still needed more so made a glue 'paint' of sand to fill the gaps, then I sprinkled it with giant gold glitter as you can never have enough bling ;-)  Nicola loved doing the sand painting & also decided we had to sand paint the NZ corner also.

 I had a tissue paper map from some Colorado shoes we bought years ago that i decided would be great down in the bottom right South African corner.  (I miiiiggghhhttt be a hoarder of things that I am sure I will need sometime in the future.) 
Of course I had to cover the Colorado label with something....this was the first sneak peak I sent mum & dad.

To add more texture & layers I wrote some words around New Zealand about NZ &  Mum & Dad, like all their different addresses over the years. I did the same with SA.  Then I stamped over the top & lightly sand painted it as I didn't want it to be too obvious. Later I added Fimo ferns over the top (see finished photo) this was not my fave corner, but it was ok.
Top right corner had a cross in the center of the circle.  I decided to stick a metal foil cross over the top to make it 'more'.  I wrote mum & dads fave bible verses around the circle.  I just did my normal handwriting as that was part of the point that  made it for them & they could recognise that.  Then I stamped some green over the top of the writing, then came the fun part!  Mum also wanted some red in the painting & what is red & goes with a cross? Splatter time!  Some much fun!  I decided I needed to do more splatter painting! Once the 'blood' was dry I added a gold ring (see final picture above)
I did say more splatter!  Part of my original concept was that mum & dad were the center of the 'sun' but I felt that was a bit lost, also needed more yellow & SPLATTER!  Nicola & I had lots of fun with some bright yellow paint.  I covered the center with wax paper first as I didn't want any 'rays' on the center of the sun. 
 It took ages ro decided on the final placement of the cluster of embellishments around the center, many, many trails. Not 100% happy with them still, but decided I never would be.  
So finally after a month and a half  Mum & Dad got their art & I got to park my car in the garage again!
PS Sorry some of the pictures are the wrong way up, I dont know why the blog decided to do this.
Supplies used: 2 boxes of tissues, 1 bottle of texture pastes, 2 big bottles of  Modge Podge, 250ml bottle Jo Sonja's Satin Varnish, 2 lemon (Resene Smiles) testpots, 4 (Karatokie) green Resene testpots, 2 bottles black Gesso, 1 bottle white Gesso......and many,many more.......