I have been a Design member of CHA (Craft & Hobbies Association) for many years. Each year opportunities present themselves to help showcase the work of members in unique ways. For the upcoming Winter show we worked in conjunction with the Charity Wings Art Center (http://charitywingsnews.blogspot.com/ https://www.facebook.com/) to create Banners Of Hope. The banners will be displayed in Anaheim, CA during the CHA show and then will be donated to the Art Center to be displayed.
I immediately jumped into this challenge. It was just the thing to stretch my designer’s brain: Fitting a lot of design and meaning into a small piece (8″x10″ stitched banner). I decided to document the progression of this piece and you (as my followers) get a unique peek into the workings of a designer’s mind as a result. I must warn you in advance it is a scattered/jump around place, but in the end it all comes together to create something of beauty.
And now, let’s go on a little journey:
In the beginning there is the Sketch. Sometimes this will pop into my head as a whole, while other times it comes in bits and pieces.
I have many materials to choose from in my studio. On of my old favorites are the Clearsnap ink pads: chalks, pigments, etc. The colors are bold and easy to use. I pulled multiple colors to “sponge paint” the canvas from a plain white sheet into a blend of overlapping colors. SADLY, this first thought did not work (this time) as I have not used my inks in a while and they were not moist enough to sponge the canvas the way I wanted. Never fear, they will be rejunvenated for use on another day.
Not known for my patience when designing, I moved onto my second choice: Acrylic paints!
Sponge painting can be fun on any surface. This one was no different. The canvas material easily accepted the paint and I was able to overlap colors, quickly covering the canvas. As I stepped back and looked at the surface I knew something was missing….Hmmmmm. Of course…how silly of me. I forgot the bling (after all, everything is better with bling). I used the damp sponge to add ultrafine glitter to the surface. Not enough bling for me, so I moved onto the next step: Amp up the glitter and seal the paint all in one step 😀
One of my favorite companies is Earth Safe Finishes (http://www.earthsafefinishes.com/). It is the brain child of Nancy Burkhart. All of their products are no VOC, Non Toxic, BPA Free, & Lead Free. I poured a bit their Fabric Magic into a cup, added about a TBLS of glitter, stirred, and then used a sponge brush to coat the painted canvas. PERFECT! The canvas sky now sparkled. I could imagine it capturing light where ever it ended up hanging.
Onto the next step: Create the focal point, a beautiful butterfly. I wanted her to be dimensional. I immediately pulled clay (I know…big surprise) for the wings. I used Premo!Sculpey wasabi since it is a color that tends to draw notice. With the clay textured and cut to shape I took a step back and looked…hmmmmm (do you feel the wheels turning??)…something missing. I KNOW! The texture needs something…Pearl Ex powder brushed over the wings brought out the texture. The wings are calling for a body, so off to my fabric stash I go. I found a great violet purple felt. Cut, stitch, stuff, and finish stitching. I added a filigree piece as a crown, button eyes, and polymer clay kissy lips. With her beautiful crown, the body looked too plain. My gold leaf pen was just the thing to add small details. Hmmmmm (yes, those darn wheels are turning again)…needs something. The wings seem a bit flat. A pinch here, a squeeze there and VOILA! A butterfly with movement!
Next step: The wording