|The raw unfinished cedar birdhouse|
I loved them. Each one had its own story and I was able to create two lovely Rosemaling painted birdhouses soon after. The beauty was they could go outdoors without fear and would last for years, if not decades. I was also told to use oil based Varathane as it was far more weather resistant and would not fail as quickly as acrylic finishes. "Tell clients that when they see dullness on the finish it was time for another coat" he added. I'm using sponge brushes and when finished coating them three times I throw the brushes away. You waste far more water and nasty solvents if you try to save a brush. Shop around. I've gotten sponge brushes for a little as 10¢ each! Since all of my designs are acrylic, you CAN use oil finishes on top. In fact all of my oil paintings are painted on top of an acrylic underpainting.
|Putting on the "Crazy Quilt" colors|
The "Crazy Quilt" series I created is one of the most satisfying yet grueling things I paint. The amount of time creating them is almost overwhelming! I spend far more time in their creation than even (so far) my most difficult paintings. In fact, at a recent board meeting of a gallery I recently joined, they were looking for themes. I suggested one month showing crafts and crafters. The leader looked at me and said, "What you create are not crafts. They are works of art!" It stopped me cold.
Every side of a birdhouse, tray, box, whatever you work with is more than two dimensional. In fact there are times all six sides must be painted. That happened here. I did paint 4 sides with "painted fabrics" but then finished off the birdhouse back, bottom and inside with red paint, something I have never done before.
|Painted inside and out!|
|Completed Cardinal Quilted Birdhouse|
Then I woke up several days ago and in my dream had added a hand carved bird I purchased at convention. Only I couldn't find it. Bummer! Yesterday I looked in one more place and there it was. A Cardinal ... perfect for the very red coloring of the birdhouse. I got that painted and well, what do you think? Was this the perfect addition?
If I learned anything here it was these things:
• Start somewhere. A sketch helps
• Never be afraid of making a change. If it doesn't work out, try something else
• For me, at least, color is everything. I learned during the recent LACMA exhibit on Expressionism that Saxons (my Dad was born near Dresden) love color. That is the only place though Berlin is closing in. No one I know would ever doubt that I love color!
• Embrace change. IF it doesn't work go in another direction.
• Dreams are good things. Follow them or at least give them a chance
• Have fun.
• Do WHAT you like. Success may or may not come. That has been the hardest lesson for me. Fun and personal growth are more important I've come to realize. Nearly dying makes you look at your life a lot more closely.
• Try to do something everyday. Try something new is even better.
Finally, at long last I am getting back in the groove. Hopefully someone will think I am worth purchasing but finally it will not be the driving force it was. Its fun for me to create and hopefully others will enjoy what I've created as well.
I have a store, KrugsStudio so if you are interested in a variety of birdhouses or crafts and photography one of a kind paintings, please be sure to check out that store as well. KrugsStudio.etsy.com.