Wednesday, September 3, 2014

What A Difference A Style Makes

"Abstract Hearts Mini Birdhouse"
The other day I saw an abstract heart watercolor that tweaked my fancy. Looking at it between coats of paint as I worked on my "Norwegian Village Birdhouse" something seemed to click. Grabbing a small wooden birdhouse I began to doodle on it starting with the heart similar to the watercolor then expanding it on each side. I wanted to make sure that my creation was as composed and whole in three dimensions as the watercolor was in two.

As I began to outline my pencil lines with Sharpies and other permanent ink pens, I noticed that they feathered on the dry untreated wood. I then put a coat of sealer on the sides and returned to my other project letting that dry.

A wonderful discovery was that while the sealer did stop the running or "feathering" of the inks, it still allowed a watercolor painting affect. Next time, however, I will put the background colors on first and then fill in the design with the inks. The watercolor effect on untreated, dry wood would be similar to painting on dry watercolor paper. While you will know what the lines will be and where, the colors would be free to roam!

I might add DecoArts Traditions Extender to my acrylic paints to achieve much the same effect as I could with watercolor paints. In fact, now that I think of it, I could use watercolor paints as the background colors, seal the wood once they've dried, put on the lines and then varnish the entire completed birdhouse!

Back of "Abstract Hearts Birdhouse"
You may wonder about using watercolor paints but they have a transparency you rarely get with acrylics no matter how thinned down. Its all about pigment. They may be a bit more fade resistant though I would have to look into that. Since this is not great art, I would be long gone by the time there would be fading if someone still kept this in their family.

To me, the beauty of this concept, using abstract designs is that is gives me another dimension to work with and no matter how its viewed, on any side, the design shines through. There are many, too many cutsey and shabby chic birdhouses out there but few that mimic modern life. In fact, I feel because of this modern, abstract look it invites you to pick it up and look at all the sides! The birdhouse becomes a contemporary canvas where the design trumps the utilitarian purpose of the birdhouse.

But alas, while I was planning on a series of these mini and then hopefully larger birdhouses, since I posted it on my Etsy store, it hasn't received even one view. So, am I ahead of my time or is there  room for yet design motif on the common birdhouse? Maybe I am too anxious. Its only been a day

The other thing I did was add round beads for feet. This seemed to dress up the birdhouse and adds a bit of flair to what was a rather boring, plain base. However, don't use Gorilla Super Glue to attach them. It literally took ALL day for it to dry. I haven't used a glue that took that long since the days of Elmer's White Glue.

If you are so moved, let me know what you think. Is this something that has potential? Or, do I just go ahead, artistically blind and play away or walk away? Stretching what we do and know is always fun and brings some interesting discoveries along the way.

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

No comments:

Post a Comment