Sunday, August 24, 2014

Come-On-A My Birdhouse: A Tale of a Creation

I don't know about you but I create in fits and starts. I know, I know. You are "Supposed" to do something every day but sometimes its just not there. So I surf the Internet seeing what's on there instead. Usually Pinterest or Etsy...check out the competition but more often to get ideas. My latest birdhouse, COME-ON-A MY BIRDHOUSE is an interesting tale for all us creative types.

I started a painting just before going to the Expressionism Exhibit at LACMA and realized when I got home that still life of cherries in a colander was headed in my normal close to realistic style. I didn't want that but I wasn't sure where to go with it. I still don't. There was a blank birdhouse sitting on my workbench but I was not inspired. So, I did what needed to be done for awhile now. I started cleaning and organizing. Art books and magazines came first. Imagine my surprise when I discovered I had several of the same books! Different covers but the same info. That was an easy decision. Then books with styles I would never use made the giveaway heap as well.

The next was harder. I had purchased then stashed wooden accessory pieces all over the place. I also had paints stashed everywhere. It was time to make sense out of this so off to JoAnn's for some storage boxes to put my items in. What a chore.  Corralling all them was an all day project. I mean ALL day.

The next day was started finding and then putting all those wooden pieces I either bought or was given into more boxes. Then yesterday I finally picked up a blue bag that I kept ignoring and found the stash I purchased in San Diego in May. Oh my. What WAS I going to do with all this stuff?

My wife had made some beautiful placemats, napkins and such for the dining room. She used a decorative fabric that was red, black and white. It was striking. Later that day I saw a photograph of old apartment in Europe covered with faded patterns and something clicked. I went over to that blank birdhouse on my workbench and gridded it off and started, black, gray and white.

I certainly knew where all the wooden pieces were now. The hardest part was deciding what to use. It was a process.

Then I got my newest copy of CLOTH-PAPER-SCISSORS and they had articles about gluing paper to canvas and other objects using Modge Podge. That sounded like fun. So after watching a few videos on YouTube on how to do that (thank God I did too!!!) I was ready. Newspaper was added, and other geometric parts were hand drawn. The accessories though were a process. Each side became unique yet had to fit into the overall pattern I had developed.
Printed Paper Horoscope added to side
What most people don't realize is the amount of time it takes. I think I spend up to two-three times on a birdhouse that I ever do on a painting and yet you can't charge for that time or labor. Painting the background colors took at least four hours with stops in-between. Then the underlying designs have to be added and again you have to wait as that paint has to dry or gets smeared. Trust me, I am the master of smears! I hate the waiting!

Next comes the painting of pieces that will be added. Hours have passed, in this case over three days, more time than I have ever spent on a painting! Then the gluing on begins.

Not to brag too much, I am proud of this birdhouse. It is like nothing I've done before, but few are, and it has something interesting happening on every side. The colors tie it together but you have to admit it remains colorful but not shocking. Its a fun take on a birdhouse and one that used in the right location adds fun and whimsy. Life is serious enough. Let's have some fun.

I guess my point here is to do what you want in your own time. Be open to what is going on around you and don't be afraid to make connections. Every crafter I know is like me. Stuff stashed everywhere. Its time to start digging it out and using it. I'm sure glad I did.

Please visit my craft store at and my fine art store at Thank you for stopping by and reading!

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