Wednesday, April 22, 2009

"If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly, our whole life would change." Buddha

Happy Earth Day!
I awoke to a beautiful sunny day! Something we haven't seen since last week.
I am feeling better and better-of course the warm sunshine could have something to do with it.
Anyway, thought I would post these projects I was able to finish in the last week.
The first one is something that I had done awhile back. The main portion was posted on my flickr over a year ago, but it always looked unfinished so I took another look at it and decided to add it to a background to give it more depth. The inspiration to update the piece came from looking at Judy Wilkenfeld's work. Especially her piece in the book 'Exhibition 36' by Susan Tuttle. (If you haven't seen the book, I suggest you go out and buy it right now! Great stuff in there.)
I think I like my piece much better now. The old book cover is attached to a canvas board that was painted with layers of paint and oil pastels. Then I applied a piece of tapestry fabric that I distressed a bit with fraying and ink. Under the book cover is a piece of
river birch bark that was peeling away from my tree and just begged to be incorporated into the piece since I already had an actual leaf attached to the old book cover. Of course the leaf is a maple leaf but the birch bark didn't care.

This piece is titled "Abigail Loves Autumn".
'Abigail' is the name I gave the little girl in the tintype photo in the center.

This next piece is titled "Love Birds". This piece was started several months ago
and I got very discouraged with it. I had printed out a pair of birds (not actually love birds,but the color that I wanted) on a transparency and I was planning to use the transparency over the background which is a canvas board layered with an old tissue paper pattern and then a layer of chiffon over that. I also added a poem titled "We Have Lived & Loved Together" on top of the tissue pattern but under the chiffon.

The plan was to put the transparency over the chiffon and under the cabinet card. Well, I had to secure it with gel medium in order to make it stay put. BUT I FORGOT TO SPRAY THE TRANSPARENCY FIRST with a fixative. SO, when I put the transparency on the gel medium it made a transfer of the print onto the chiffon. BUT when doing transfers
you really need to use a bit more gel medium than I used, plus I always have better luck with a fluid matte medium vs. gel mediums for transfers. It didn't transfer very well. In fact it looked as though I should just toss the whole thing in the trash. I have real hard time tossing things. I always try to fix it; make it work!
So I set it aside until I could figure out what to do. I was planning to print out another transparency and apply it on top after spraying with a fixative of course. BUT then after staring at it for a few days I decided to try and paint over the areas that didn't transfer well. So I painted... Still unsure... Let it sit a few more days...Painted some more... Used pastel pencils...Let it sit... Used charcoal pencil...

Then I gave in and finished the project. I added the huge letter 'L'
which I collaged old papers onto, inked and painted. Added the cabinet card wrapped in tulle, distressed. Drilled holes in the canvas board and added the ribbon and the stick to hang it from.
***Sorry to my friend Marsha--I know from reading a previous post of her's she doesn't like buttons**
Choose to live a creative life!


Janine said...

They are both fascinating, but I like the lovebird more.
I´m glad you finished it.
It looks fantastic.
There was this painter in television, Bob Ross, the one with that microfon-hairdo.
He used to say, that something like mistakes do not exist, when you paint just happy accidents.
I think he was right.
And to say it with his words.
Happy painting, and God bless my friend

Cathy Mendola said...

Dear Janine, thank you so much! You're so sweet.
I like to think mistakes are just a little roadblock and there's always a way to get around them!

Terri Kahrs said...

I'm intrigued by the way you're integrating fabrics into your pieces. Love the interest and texture they add. Reading Janine's comment made me smile . . . I LOVED Bob Ross and his happy accidents! Your serendipitous mistakes are responsible for beautiful artwork! So glad to hear that the sun is out in your part of the world and that you're feeling better! Hugs & Healthy Blessings! xoxo

whymsicalmusings said...

Cathy I always love the intresting way you put your pieces together. Simply diving:)

Cathy Mendola said...

Dear Terri & Becky, thanks so much for the comments and compliments.
Yes Bob Ross was a riot! His voice and hair always cracked me up.

Susan Tuttle said...

Such beautiful work Cathy. The second one draws me in -- the birds give it such warmth and a strong feeling of Spring.

Thank you for the kind words about my book.

Kims Art said...

I love both of these pieces. You are just so good at arrangement. It's not too much and not to little. Perfect! I love the color combinations. They are both very organic in feeling and I just love that!

Gaby Bee said...

Both pieces are fabulous.But I think the first one has to be my favourite. The colors are fantastic and all the embellishments make it just perfect.
Gaby xo

Cathy Mendola said...

Thanks you so much everyone!
You're very welcome Susan, the book is so fabulous.
Thanks Kim, I always worry about when to stop
adding elements. That's why I went back to the first one and re-did it. Now I really like it.
I really love the organic feel to things as well.
Thanks Gaby, the first is my fave also!

Karenann Young said...

Beautiful collage!!! I'm glad you stuck with it until you were happy with it!!! Your a better person than I am!

Stephanie Kim said...

i love all the different mediums your incorporated! beautiful!

Judy said...

Everythng looks wonderful I especially like the final piece - nice aging.
Thanks for your lovely compliment too.

Cathy Mendola said...

Thank you Karenann, Stephanie & Judy.
What lovely compliments coming from so many talented artists!

Tumble Fish Studio said...

You are so funny! Cathy, I love your buttons! I may be afraid of them and have to kind of visually delete them for myself to fully enjoy the rest of it, but if they are on your artwork I love them!

I loved reading your process. Wow, you are determined. I am so impatient and impetuous. I would not have been so tenacious to finish this and I truly admire that . . . especially because you ended up with a GORGEOUS art work in the end. It all works and is perfect in every way, even the buttons.

Both pieces are beautiful. It is always inspiring to visit you and see you go, go, go in all of your artistic splendor!

Have a great weekend!

Cathy Mendola said...

Thanks Marsha! I'm so glad the buttons didn't scare you off. Your comments as always are too kind!
hugs and a great weekend to you.

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