This is part of a series I've been posting as I complete them, with monochrome watercolor and gold leaf. This one was a little more therapeutic in nature because I've been dealing with some stuff lately, but it felt good to get it out. 12x18" watercolor and gold leaf on paper.
And a couple in progress shots because that's a thing I do
I painted this in a craft swap with a friend who is a Whovian, and love how it turned out! I used liquid latex to keep the white areas white, then used an iridescent medium in the paint to give the galaxy a sparkly effect. It really shimmers in real life! The yellow tint is just because of the lighting, it's actually on bright white paper. 6x9" watercolor on paper.
This is "Perception," another watercolor and gold leaf on paper, 18"x24". I tell you, those circles were hard! After jerking around with my compass for what seemed like ever, I finally just found a template. UGH. It's hard to tell with this compressed file size, but the color fades down to little bits of dandelion fluff.
Hello all! I haven't posted for awhile, I know. My art output has just been utterly barren for the longest time, but I'm back on board, with a departure from my usual style.
This is "Ascension," watercolor and gold leaf on paper.
As always, here are some process shots, because that's a thing I like to share.
If you're curious about the gold leaf, it's actually pretty simple. I got some gold leaf adhesive and 24kt gold leaf from Michael's. The adhesive is about the consistency of cream, and you paint it on with a brush (a lot like liquid latex). Takes about 20 minutes to dry, then you lay the leaf over it and gently press it to the adhesive, and brush away (and save!) the excess with a stiff paint brush.
Thank you all again!! To answer some questions, the mosaic was glued to an ordinary canvas from the craft store. I didn't do anything special to prep the canvas, just water colored right onto it for the background (which, if you've ever water colored canvas, looks really mottled and uneven, but that's what we wanted for the "lead lines" to give the background texture).
The paper is just ordinary heavy water color paper. We painted large sheets with the colors we needed, using the ultra-saturated dabbing/dropping technique that I've talked about in the other paintings I've posted (rather than using brush strokes and pale washes of color).
To make it "glow," as someone upthread asked, we made sure our colors were super, super saturated, as vibrant as possible, then used high contrast on the light/shadow areas, so the brightest and lightest colors were paired right next to the darkest colors. I think that gives it the effect that light is really shining through it.
So after we painted the papers, we cut them up into tiny little pieces, separating them into a ton of little bowls by gradient and shade. Then some of the pieces were individually painted to get a specific gradient (like trying to construct the very tiny, oddly-shaped pieces of the face, while still conveying light and shadow).
We used ordinary Elmer's glue to glue everything down (painted onto the back of each piece with a paintbrush), then it's sealed in glass and then framed, so nothing is coming loose. The quills on the feather headdress are stitched on with bronze thread.
Wow!!! Thank you all so, so much for such kind words!!!!! Well, since I've posted, we've had the Final Friday gallery show and the gala auction. It took the second-highest bid of the night, at about $2K! We had tons of people come up and tell us it was their absolute favorite piece, and that they couldn't believe how detailed it was! The folks who bought it are partners in a law firm downtown, and said that they lost the bid on our piece last year (the city map papercutting), and were determined not to lose out on our piece again this year. Then at the gallery show, there were several people who came to look and didn't intend to go to the gala, who ended up buying tickets specifically so they could bid on our piece! *swoon*
So long story short, it was a raging success, and I'm so happy. After all the hours and work that we put into it, it just really thrills me that we were able to raise so much money for the charity, and even better, ended up getting more people to come to the event just for a chance to bid (hence raising more money). Plus, they always serve these incredible little bacon-wrapped chestnuts, and I swear to god I ate like, thirty of them. Those little things are like candy, my self control utterly crumbles when faced with them.
Here we are at the gala, being all fancy at the country club!
Every year I volunteer as a mentor artist for a big fundraising auction and gala to benefit juvenile arthritis research, in which I'm paired with a teen who has juvenile arthritis, and we create a big piece of art together, then auction it off at a fancypants gala for the charity. You might remember the city map papercutting we did last year! So this year, we wanted to top what we'd done before, and decided to do a paper mosaic, in a stained glass style. WELL. Let me tell you, hand-gluing over 100K pieces of paper the size of a grain of rice or a bean TAKES WAY FREAKING LONGER THAN YOU'D THINK. It took us a full 6 weeks longer than we thought it would, oopsie!
Our piece "Wichita Proud" is a 28x36" watercolor, Tiffany-Style paper mosaic mounted on a watercolored canvas. Each piece was individually painted, cut, and meticulously hand-glued to create a stained-glass effect of the iconic Keeper of the Plains silhouetted against the Wichita flag (I also included a pic of the Keeper- he is an iconic symbol of our city, a 44-foot tall steel sculpture created by legendary Kiowa-Comanche artist, Blackbear Bosin). Many of the pieces of paper are as small as a grain of rice, and had to be placed with tweezers, with final details stitched to the canvas in bronze thread. The work was incredibly time consuming; the Keeper's headdress alone took more than 18 hours.
We worked together (often with enthusiastic help from my kitties) to paint, cut, and glue, with frequent breaks to watch movies, sing showtunes, and learn to play ukulele. Oh, and play with the kitties, of course. With this piece, we wanted to create something that would inspire hometown pride in the viewer (three cheers for Wichita, woo!), showing off some of the iconic imagery that is unique to our home. With the Wichita flag illuminating the Keeper like a setting sun, golden light and twilight shadows surround this symbol of our city. The map last year was a huge hit, and we actually got quite a few requests for another show-stopper that was city-centric (a lot of the winning bidders have downtown office buildings or are city officials, so quite a few of the art pieces hang publicly, and the Wichita-themed stuff seemed to really get people excited!).
And some process pics, because why not?
Some of the many little bowls of colors, all nicely separated out so we could pick precisely the exact shade and gradient and texture of little bits of paper that we needed.
This is Rufus. He was very helpful, as you can see here.
And here's a photo of the Keeper of the Plains, watching over the city at the confluence of the two rivers. We liked the way the sun and shadow looked on this particular shot, so we tried to emulate that in the shading when choosing our individual pieces.
Thank you! For the translation, I used a guide, plus a java translator, which gave me a loose visual of what I wanted, then once I made sure my letters and syntax were correct, I arranged it all in an aesthetic manner, trying to keep it "readable" (if someone were capable of reading it linearly).
This is the guide I used, which explains exactly how to translate it, and what each symbol means and how it applies. You'll see that there is no C (with the exception of the CH sound); you need to first translate your text using S or K where appropriate, so mine read:
It matters not how straight the gate, How charged with punishment the skroll, I am the master of my fate, I am the kaptain of my soul.
I used this java translator, which you can download, and gives you several different visual representations of the sentence structure that you can use. I didn't keep to it exactly, but did manage to study it enough in comparison to the guide that I could pick out words and punctuation, and arrange the words appropriately.
When I arranged each line, they are each contained within a double circle, which indicates a sentence. The outer circle contains the whole sentence, and the inner circle (which divots inward where there is an empty space) contains punctuation. The whole stanza is a paragraph, so all four circles are contained within a single larger double circle, as well, to indicate their cohesion as a set phrase (see the big circle? You can see the outer double line of it on the upper left, just to the left of the first line of the poem, and it contains all four lines of poetry within it).
In retrospect, I think I could have arranged the lines of poetry in a more aesthetic manner, so they all fit against each other more nicely, but hey, it was my first Gallifrey project, go easy on me.