Sunday, May 12, 2013

Rocket Cactus Birdhouse

Increasingly I am finding that the line, for me at least, is blurring between my crafting and what I hope others consider my fine art. My "Rocket Cactus" is certainly a case in point.

After painting the series of cactus plants; before, during and after flowering, I was done. I had moved on and tried out the old beat up pick-up and more recently the nasturtiums and lobelias seen once in a flower bed in my yard.

Yet one morning I woke up and realized the rocket birdhouse I had seen at Michaels, didn't have to be a rocket at all. Why not a flowering cactus? Why not a ROCKET CACTUS! Heavens, I certainly had painted enough cactus' lately, how hard could it be?

It turns out, plenty. It is one thing to paint a 2-dimensional canvas and quite another to try it on a 3-D surface. It was a challenge too good to pass up.

I sketched the surface after I painted the whole thing with DecoArt's Black Green. It looked pretty sad at that point. After sketching the lines in for the "flutes" of the cactus I started working in layers going from dark to light. I noticed walking one day that the seams between the flutes are quite pronounced so I made sure each one was there. It made an immediate difference.

I wanted the hole to be a flower but felt that one was not enough. So I added one to the top and then, since I spotted those coming out now as well, two buds.

The ends of the flutes tend to be lighter and often pinkish. So I made sure that was included just as I had on the paintings. The spikes though are the final touch. They are fun to do and leave no doubt what they are. I was both surprised and happy with the result. I think that I managed to capture the feel of a cactus, rocket or not!

Check it out on my store, You will have to admit its fun and pretty real!