Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Shadow box #21 ~ Grazing

12" X 12". The background painting is a watercolor with pastel and charcoal. As with "The Light Trees", I sprayed the finished painting with polyurethane to fix the pastel dust, then coated it with acrylic gel medium. The inset of the horses was done with acrylic on watercolor paper which has been wrapped around a block of foam core. It stands out from the background.

The stick has been sanded and coated with acrylic gel medium. It is secured with jeweler's glue.

The thin, brown frame around the opening edge is watercolor paper painted with acrylic. The outside, natural wood frame has been sanded and finished with varnish.

Shadow box # 20 ~ A Lizard's Life

This one is 9"X12". The lizard design is one I came up with in my series of twelve animals drawn in the proportions of the golden spiral.

The painting was started with charcoal and white acrylic on Bristol board. Color was added with watercolor and pastel.

There are two carved wood "beams" painted black and sanded. A leaf preserved with acrylic gel medium sits on the top right shelf. On the bottom are two land snail shells and a painted masking tape ball wrapped with yarn.

The frame has been painted black and sanded.

This shadow box was a hit with twelve-year-old boys at the Chautauqua show this past weekend. They recognized the "golden spiral" immediately.

Shadow box #19 ~ The Bunny and the Berry Tree (commission)

This version of The Bunny and the Berry Tree is a commission for my friend Carolina ("Bunny") Ford. It is slightly larger than the first version and uses her favorite colors, turquoise and garnet.

The bunny is made of Sculpey and painted with acrylic. The window is made from a piece of watercolor paper painted with acrylic. The painting on the canvas, visible through the opening, is done with acrylic and charcoal. I've used some gold foil on the outside frame.

Shadow box #22 ~ The Light Trees

I like this one a lot. It sold at the Chautauqua show this past weekend. It's 10"X10".

I wanted to create a scene I love to see, where trees in the foreground are being lit up in front of a bank of dark trees in the background.

The painting is done with watercolor, charcoal and pastel. I sprayed it with a polyurethane which fixed the pastel dust and made it possible to coat it with acrylic gel medium without smearing. Doing this brought out the colors wonderfully.

The "floor" is covered with drinking straws that have been wrapped in painted masking tape strips. A few beads have been added in the front row.

The frame is made with carved wooden strips, painted and sanded. The box has been painted black and sanded, also.

Shadow box #18 ~ Rocky and the Blue Bird

A variation on The Bunny and the Berry Tree. This little guy is also made from Sculpey and painted with acrylic. He stands in front of a pencil and watercolor illustration on watercolor paper that has been glued to a curved surface (foam core cut on a curve). The sides of the box are lined with black mat board with a design drawn on with colored pencil.
The box is 8"X8".

Friday, June 27, 2014

Shadow Box #17 ~ Inside and Outside Series ~ “The Little Man In The House With Much Heart”

The idea for this one started with the painting fragment that serves as the fa├žade of the house. It is part of an acrylic painting I did a while ago. (I used another piece of this painting for Shadow Box # 11 ~ “The Heart Has Its Reasons”.) The holes were part of the original painting, and when I cut this piece to fit into the space, the large hole suggested a door. That led to the idea of the little man.

The little man is a spinoff of the 365 project series (2012), namely the projects that called for making something out of materials of all the same color. I made a series of horses using wadded up newspaper as a supporting structure, then covering that with fabric and wrapping it with yarn. At that time, I had thought of trying to make little human figures. The little man didn’t want arms, or even much of a distinctive head, for that matter. But we know he is a little man.

The heart in the window is made of painted Sculpey.
The inside is lined with a drawing on Bristol board. It shows the wallpaper in the house and the sky, the outside walls and the little front yard with stepping stone walkway. I painted the outside frame with colors that match those on the inside walls.

The black frame around the opening is mat board with the title of the piece, plus some decorative do-dads in colored pencil. All coated with acrylic gel medium.

This shadow box is 8” X 8”. Granted, it’s a bit silly, but I love it. I don’t think it’s an accident that when I started making it a few nights ago I was listening to On Being with Krista Tippett (WV Public Radio) and her guest was Dr. Stuart Brown, a “pioneer in the research on play”.

The little man will be back, I’m pretty sure. 

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Shadow Box #16 ~ Inside and Outside Series ~ "Morning and the Leaning Trees"

Number 16, 10" X 10". Started with the drawing of the trees, which I did on a beautiful spring morning, before anything had leafed out very much. I was sitting in our field with my friends Stan and Judy, who were also sketching. We all did different things. The arrangement of these trees is what caught my eye. It's a graphite and charcoal drawing which I later boosted a bit with acrylic.

The frame around the drawing is watercolor paper painted with acrylic. I painted the reverse side blue before cutting and folding the window opening. The sticks, painted black and gathered with a wrap of fabric and thread, are resting on a piece of rice paper painted with ink. There are some touches of gold paint and two beads tied into the thread. The rice paper is adhered to the watercolor paper with acrylic gel, which coats that whole surface.

Just behind all that is a piece of canvas painted blue and behind that is some natural tone Thai banana paper on the surface of the box.

Around the inside edges are drawings of trees in colored pencil on the Bristol board that lines the shadow box.

Carved wood pieces, with, in each corner, small pieces of watercolor paper, painted with acrylic and edged with gold, frame the opening. The surface of the frame was sanded after painting. It and the carved wood is coated with polyurethane.