Mostly for work, I paint big murals on walls. Lately, going in a new direction, I make cool little collages for book illustrations. Last week, the two worlds collided, when I answered a voice mail message about making an art piece out of a client's photo...
|Eiffel tower photo...before.|
My client, Connie, had been given this huge print, by the graphics guy who does the art on their company vehicles. They recently traveled to France. Oh, wait, does that sound like I mean her and the graphics guy? Oops! I don't know where Graphics Guy got the photo. Presumably not
on the same trip as Connie and her husband. Are we all clear on that, now? Good. Let's start over...
Since Connie and her husband had recently been to Paris, she loved the idea of using this photo to anchor a grouping of her personal photos on their living room wall, which is roughly half the size of Texas. The only problem was that the photo was too bright blue, and too, well, modern. She knew who to call.
|Eiffel Tower photo, altered with gel medium, texture medium, tissue paper, acrylic paint, and kraft paper.|
Her first thought was that perhaps I could tone down the blue, like she had seen done on a smaller print at a home decor store. She snapped me a photo on her cell, but on closer inspection, I realized that the artist had actually done a lot of embellishing over the photo, even adding strips of wood. Connie didn't want that much dimension, but she liked the idea of adding some sort of texture, and maybe a vintage postcard or travel poster.
|Eiffel Tower altered photo close-up.|
Since I had some real vintage postcards in my stash, from the days when the original lettering was done by hand, it was easy enough to duplicate it, on a giant scale, down to an authentic name and address not to be found in any clip art anywhere. I added texture first with tissue paper, then with texture medium trowelled through a large scale stencil from Royal Design Studio (they have lots of really cool designs! click here to check them out: royaldesignstudio.com
). I brushed in both ochre and blue paint, then scumbled on umber glazes, until it said it was finished. Once it's framed, I'll post a picture of it in her living room, where it looks even better than either of us imagined. I love it when things come out exactly right!
I also love it when I hear that my work has made other people happy. I did a color consultation awhile back for Prairie Oaks Institute (prairieoaksinstitute.org
), an organic farm educational center, just outside of Belle Plaine. I don't really have the time or desire to go help weed their gardens (hell, I don't even weed my own), but I'm happy to help with things like picking colors for the farmhouse. I intended it to be a volunteer thing, but when I popped over there on Saturday to see if they were ready for the next phase, I was told that folks using the overnight facility were glad to see I had saved them from beige, and I even got paid a little bonus...
|What's in your wallet?|
And speaking of eggs and France, would you like to meet a friend of mine? Well, actually, she's in Belgium, which is just north of France, reporting for NPR. Usually, she interviews foreign dignitaries, UN advisers, and guys like Colin Powell. This week, it was her neighbor's chickens...Teri Schultz for NPR
. I wish I could show you a photo of her from our childhood. She and I once made a giant chicken parade costume, that laid eggs. Not sure how that led to her career choices, but the route from that to where I am now is pretty short!
|This little balcony is the newest addition to the rustic elegance that is Rubies & Rust|
Oh, and as long as we're wandering from one topic to another, speaking of chickens brings up thoughts of barns, and that reminds me that I should let you know the next Rubies & Rust Wedding Barn open house is coming up on April 29th. Unable to convince me to get married again (I haven't met one I'd share toast
with yet, nevermind a lifetime
), Cindy is looking for a couple to have their ceremony that day. Interested? It's free, and it's easy to enter! Click here for info on the open house and the contest: rubiesandrust.com
If you would like to see what else a childhood of crafting paper mache chickens has led to, you can check out my portfolio of creative decorating samples at theartofthehome.com
Questions or comments can be left below by clicking on the word "comments", or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org