ArtPrize 8 is right around the corner and I am very pleased to say I, with Russell’s help, have just installed my entry at the Holiday Inn Grand Rapids Downtown.
Birds, Bees & Blossoms features whimsical birds conversing, while bees buzz amidst white and pink blossoms on light green backgrounds. It is a grouping of 9 mixed media pieces, all visually connected by the leaves and branches. Acrylic paint, decorative papers, fabric, plastic, colored pencil, ink, and embroidery floss are used throughout the individual pieces.
This grouping began as my own wishing and waiting for warmer and brighter days, filled with sounds and sights of springtime.
ArtPrize8 begins on Wednesday, Sept. 21 and ends Sunday, Oct. 8, in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Come and fill your senses with a wide range visual delight! It’s a great place to see art, and meet artists from all around the world!
Last February/March, I began thinking about what I wanted to create for ArtPrize this year.
For me, my creative process begins with a thought which my mind looks at, stretches and pulls in many different directions. To help reign in the concept, I write the thought down and continue to write everything else that flows from that one thought. In this case, my thought was Bee Cause. What do I visually want to say about the bees? What cause … a cause for the bees or a cause for mankind or both? I look at it more, and write more down. I draw out my thoughts, literally. Bees. Honey. Honeycomb. Hives. Branches. Leaves. Flowers. Messages. Movement. Light. Sound. All of it I look at to consider.
I knew I wanted it to suspend from the ceiling. I knew I loved working with the decorative papers and wanted to incorporate those into the piece. I knew I wanted it as lightweight as possible. What could give my branch structures little weight but lots of strength? Ah yes, the bamboo splints Catherine and I used last year in our bird kites. But what formation of branches? Flowers, hmm, yes, crepe paper. What color pink, white, magenta? What about the flowers’ centers? Too crazy of a detail to dwell on now. Leaves! Yes the decorative paper and the roll of green sheer fabric would be perfect! But how, how am I going to make those leaves? Glue will add more weight … sewing? Possibly. Bees … that’s a tricky one … they need to be lightweight, moveable by breezes, some color, something to possibly reflect light … plastic? Yes, a thin plastic, like from the pastry shop or grocery store. Perfect! Messages … what do I want it to say, what words? Bee Cause … what?
What helps you to work out your thought process? I would love to hear from you!
I’m very excited to have this shop as it is one more way to have my work available to the public. Bluebirds of Happiness are the latest creations I’ve been working on at the Farmers Market and what doesn’t sell at the market will be available at my Etsy shop.
One of my goals as Springtime approaches, is to incorporate bees into three collage/paintings measuring 11″x14″. Above, you will see the beginning stages of my work using my blossom sketch, bees I’ve drawn and cut out pieces of paper. I find as I walk outside and see beautiful pink blossoms on the trees and pink and yellow tulips popping, I want to incorporate those into my artwork.
Shown above are the blossoms I painted this morning as well as the background color and the collaged leaves. While working, the thought crosses my mind, “do I want to apply any ink to these paintings, or just stay with embroidery for detail?” Time will tell!
Prior to the NoBo First Friday show (in the usual creative frenzy of thinking I will get even more accomplished before the show), I began nine more bluebirds for 5×7 paintings. I finished my first one last night! A section of it is shown in the upper right corner of the photo.
I began with a small canvas and applied color to the outer edges. While at one of my favorite stores, Two Hands Paperie, I found a beautiful pack of papers. After choosing one of these lovely paper as a background for the bird, I cut it to the desired size and applied it to the canvas. Using one of the previously painted nine birds, I trimmed it out (similar to the one with the white background) and applied the bird to the background. At this point the background competed for attention with the bird and I brushed on a glaze to tone it down.
Next, I painted more leaves and branches. After allowing drying time, I picked up a pen and added lines for shading and outlining. The ink added more depth and dimension to the piece. All that is now left to do is sign it!
If you are so interested by this little bluebird and would like to inquire regarding purchasing, contact me through the “contact” tab above.
Spring is right around the corner and my mind goes to spring! The thought of warm breezes and the sounds of birds chirping away!
In preparation for the NoBo First Friday Show tomorrow night, I’ve been working away on various forms of 2 and 3 dimensional collage. Three bluebird canvases will be there with acrylic, ink, fabric, paper and embroidery! Here are a couple detail photos …
In addition, I’ve met a clothing designer named Melissa Bell who has generously given me scraps of her fabric! From those, I’m making collage animals by combining her fabrics with mine and adding embroidery. Each animal is from my original design.