Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Seed Flower -- Layered Nature Piece

I'm so glad I have some new art to post.  I mean very, very glad, since I haven't been making much new art in a while.  This is a small piece, a 5x5 inch art squared piece.  For a long time, that was the main format size I worked on and I was very comfortable with that.  Then I chose to start working on larger formats, which I enjoyed also.  And I must admit, it's a bit hard to come back to this smaller size, but it's a good thing, IMO, not to get too attached to any one size or format.  You know -- keep your options open, right?

The base on this is frozen pizza cardboard (FPC), which I used so often in the past, but then lately worked more on chip board.  Well, I still have a great stash of FPC, and I'm glad I do.  It works quite well for smaller pieces.  I glued down some patterned sepia wallpaper from a sample book, and then etched random lines over it with a sharp awl, then rubbed over it with paste brown shoe polish.  Then I glued down some fine lace fabric over that, and rubbed it with the shoe polish.  Then I pulled a small textured fabric piece, from another sample book, and started fraying it to produce some nice fringe.  The threads were thick and great for some more texture, so I glued some down, then glued the fringe down.

On top of that I glued down the seed fronds from my yard.  For living in metro Denver, I'm happy to find great nature items in my yard.  One wouldn't necessarily expect that, living in a big city, but I do often find great items for art just in my own yard if I take the time to go looking for them.  I encourage you out there to try that too, and see what great finds are in your yards.   Then I sealed this with Acrylic Floor Finish (AFF) from the Family Dollar store, which gives a matte/satin finish, and flicked on Aztec Gold Pearl Ex while it was still wet. 

Then I raided my rusted found object stash for the rusted washer.  Oh my, I love my RFO stash for sure.  And also my stash of old vintage keys.  I think this rusted key is very cool.  I have no idea what kind of key it is or what it might open, but the small size was just right for this piece.  The seeds for the flower are squash seeds, which I always wash and save for my art.  The other seeds are smaller seeds from cantaloupe I think.  I pretty much save all seed for my art, never knowing when I'll want to use them.

I thought this piece was done at this point, but then I spotted a piece of netted fabric on my work table, and chose to add that at the very end.  I'm not sure if it helps or hinders the piece, because sometimes I don't know when to stop.  Then again, it adds more texture, a different kind of texture, so I think I'm glad I added that piece.  At any rate, I did, so it is what it is.

As with a lot of my art, I didn't plan this out at all.  The interesting thing to me is that this piece ended up being so layered, and yet I wasn't all that aware of layering while I was making it.  I was just playing around, adding this, adding that.  When I actually THINK about layering in my art, or plan it, then I get very nervous and choke up about it.  As in fearing how much to layer, and covering things up.  Whereas if it just happens innately, and comes natural as it did in this piece, without me thinking about it....I'm so much more okay with that.  It's like I don't realize how much layering I've done until the piece is finished, and then I stand back and think wow, did I do all that layering?  Ahhh, if making art could always be innate and natural,  just playing around and having fun and not THINKING about it.  Those times are when I enjoy making art the most!!!  Do you agree with your own art?


Cory said...

Small pieces can be very strong paintings...this is one of them. I love working in this size.

papercracker said...

Very cool piece Val. To answer your question about not thinking and just playing: yes, I find that quite often it is MUCH more satisfying to just relax and see what develops instead of having a distinct plan in mind and then trying to achieve that. I wish I could develop that mind-set more often, as I tend to be a think first then act person. The problem with that style of art making is that I spend more time thinking than doing!
On a different topic, I finally did a post about your rust papers! Remember we talked about this months ago? One of my recent digital collages uses the rust paper, so thanks again for your permission to use your map image, and for generously sharing the information on your blog as to how to achieve that effect.
Debbie of Senses Engaged

Mar said...

i don't know why i haven't checked in for awhile but
you have amazing pieces from since i WAS last here!!!the dolls
the nature...oh my
the nature pieces are so peaceful

aren't cardboard boxes just the best!
i recylcle them too

in a more timely fashion i shall be back!


Redfish Artwork by Vickie Fisher said...

I love the natural look and I think you did great on the layering and texture. For the last 2 days I have been out in my back yard picking up nature that look interesting too and ready to make a similar project. I think it is that I am looking forward to a change in seasons like fall. Beautiful piece, you really have inspired me to get my project going.

mary schweitzer said...

This is another lovely piece. Very peaceful.
I have some fungus grwing on a tree stump. Would you like some?
I haven't reached the place where I just create yet. I still aggravate myself by thinking everything to death.

Zora said...

Wonderful Val, esp. the inclusion of the seeds. And yes, quite often intentional attepts to layer just get fraught with pressure and don't work out while the serendipity layering always tends to work out for me. Well done! Thanks for sharing - you're stuff is always inspiring.

gale said...

What a lovely piece of art!
Love and Laughter,

Linda East said...

This piece is awesome honey...you are so inspirational.

Create & Share
Linda (Okla)

Ashlyn said...

Love it!! Love it!! Love it!! This is so amazing, I'm totally inspired!! and I'm going to start saving my seeds!!

Thanks so much for sharing!!

Hugs, Ashlyn

Gail P said...

Yet again another fabulous VAL piece. It's like your personal signature is all over this one. Love that!

Therese said...

Another great nature piece, Val! I've been collecting leaves & flowers for pressing to add to art. The seed effect is great...will have to look for some around the neighborhood. I have a lot of trees that drop big seedy kinda cone things (several sifferent styles) that I may spray paint & glitter for a center piece for Autumn, my fav season.
Keep up the inspiration!

Musing said...

L love your nature pieces Val and this one is lovely. On the issue of "thinking", I usually just go with the flow to start and then somewhere in the middle I start to over think, lose my way and hate the result because it never seems to measure up. Hence I am concentrating on digital art for a while. I love the fact that I can get rid of any layer I dislike!

parasols and maryjanes said...

Enjoyed the process of your art on this. Very nice finish.

Seth said...

Great piece. Love the layers, the organic feel, and of course the grungy background!

Deborah said...

I think this piece is very nice Val. The addition of the net was inspired I think. I often do work in an unplanned manner too -- never know where I am going until I get there.
I love that you use such simple materials in your work. Where do you get your FPC?

Marilyn said...

And this too is wonderful. I like all the various textures and the natural elements. I have some pizza boxes I got from CPK for art. I guess I should get busy and use them.