Sunday, January 30, 2011

Painting and Stitching and Making Art

Painting on unstretched canvas is very satisfying, I must say.  It's not a stretched canvas, so I don't get that deer-in-the-headlights thing that happens when I think, "Man.  I spent a lot of money on this canvas.  I better paint something really great."  Which, is dumb.  I know.  I am learning to let go, and painting over stuff I don't love.  But when the canvas is just an unstretched bit of fabric, it seems less daunting.  Does that make sense?

Anyway, I start by painting just some inexpensive white latex housepaint (from Home Depot or somewhere) on the canvas, otherwise the fibers in the canvas just suck up too much of my acrylic paint.  After it dries, I painted just a bunch of circles in varying sizes all over the canvas.  Some whole, some wandering off the edges.  Then I painted little ruffly flower petals around some of the circles, and left some of the circles, well, circles.  After all the paint dried (this is one of those projects I started in November, and finished in you can imagine, that is more than enough time to let paint dry.  ha ha.)  Anywhooooo, after the paint was dry, I went in with my Caran d'ache watercolor crayons and added little details to my flowers and circles - stripes and scallops and polka dots and outlines.  So fun!

I let all of that simmer for another few weeks (because, muse went AWOL for a bit.  See previous post.)  I finally got the mojo to cut these canvas into heart shapes.  And I love them!

At first, I couldn't stand the thought of cutting into those beautiful paintings.  But then, realizing how much I loved them, I vowed to paint them again on stretched canvas for paintings.  Yippee!!  Deer-in-headlights?  Get a move on!

You know how I love a quote or inspirational phrase.  That's what came next.  My sweet little alphabet stamps and my quote journal.  I hand-stamped some of my faves onto the hearts.  I had created larger and smaller hearts.  To the larger hearts, I attached little streamers made from vintage seam binding in all of my favorite colors.  Then I stamped words onto vintage ledger paper and stitched those onto the streamers. 

So cheery and whimsical!  The smaller ones are simply little pillows to sit on a bookshelf or windowsill.  The larger ones can do the same, but I've also added a little wire loop-de-loop to the back so they can hang on a wall or door. 

I am really loving the way they turned out, and have several in my studio.  They're a bright bit of color on these grey Pacific Northwest days. 

I also listed a few on my Etsy shop

I've grown to love writing my descriptions for my Etsy shop.  Do you get the J. Peterman catalog?  I love that catalog!  And I love reading their product descriptions.  For example:

When I spotted the original in Paris (where else?), it sent my categorizers into a "what to categorize it" frenzy fit.
Is it a sweater?
Or a jacket?
Or a blouse?
Or all three?
As a noted French designer said on the subject, "The Americans are category crazy. As long as it's chic and will be the envy of other women, who cares?"
We filed it under pending. the description for this jacket.

Don't you just love that??!!

So, I've decided to get a little creative with my own product descriptions.  For example:

You plow head-first into your dreams. You believe with all of your heart that you can, and you do. When someone asks "why?", you answer with a resounding "why not?!" You're as sure as the day is long. You go girl!

That's my description for one of my canvas pillows.  So much better than just "acrylic paint on canvas, cut into a heart-shaped pillow and says blahblahblah.  More fun to write, and hopefully, more fun for peeps to read. 

What are you up to on this Sunday?


Kwiltz by Stephanie said...

"she believed she could, so she did" I just LOVE your sayings! Always happy. Always with hope!

Sandra L. said...

I like the J. Peterman idea. I am a big Peterman fan from way back. And of course I loved the "Seinfeld" episode re: Elaine and J. Peterman! LOL

The hearts are great! It's very grey here right now, too. Oh well...the Groundhog will be out soon.

Judy Merrill-Smith said...

Lovely, lovely hearts!

Cassie Shella said...

Love this! I am always so inspired after reading your posts. Thanks so much for getting me motivated this week:)