Sunday, July 5, 2015

Creating An Adventuresome Mini Birdhouse #1

You have to always be aware of things that you look at for new ideas. As I have discovered, ideas can come from just about anywhere. Looking for a new design after painting solid, yellow and orange, I wondered now what? Since I always layout a design (well usually) on paper to give me a kind of roadmap on how to put the design on the actual item, I did three designs, generally all Early American, or my interpretation of them, then penciled them on the actual birdhouses. I made a mistake by reversing the designs on the blue and orange birdhouses not realizing it until I was all done. What to do? I could erase but both actually looked doable on the background colors I had used. They were intricate and very detailed. The blue and yellow ones would be the most demanding or at least so far.

Early Americana
Michaels had a mini birdhouse sale recently and when going there with the person in charge of crafts, I decided the 50 cent price was just too good to pass up. I bought a few as well. Since I was in charge of another craft I wanted something different than what I was doing the first time. I wasn't especially proud of the birdhouse I created for the first class I teach on the 14th of July, however, it could be as easy or complicated depending on the ability of the artist. This time I wanted something different and more daring in color.

Projects always look awful, at least to me, at the start. I paint in the background with solid areas first. I know that is a more complicated way to do things but it works for me. Its the details that elevate a piece to art and something different and exciting. Inspiration in this case was from a tapestry from the 1700's I spotted in an Early American craft book. I realized I had never seen anything like this; coned flowers, interesting hairy leaves and of course birds. I had wanted birds on either side of the hole and perch and put them in as well.

Everything I do has to have a heart somewhere and in this case its front and center front and back. The birds are aqua with lavender wings. It took awhile before I would commit to that. Choosing colors in important and I wanted to continue the vibrant tones. Teal and aquas grace the leaves and my trusty Sharpie pens added detail. Its too bad the photo just doesn't show the vibrancy and yes, immediacy of the design. I used a matte finish and discovered there was still a little sheen that complimented the entire project. The final coat of varnish gives vibrancy to each piece.

I have created another version of this design with a larger images that will make it easier to paint. Larger birds,  leaves and coned flowers. I think using the end of a brush to make dots will be a hit! If approved I get to paint the sides of the birdhouses and put on the pattern with pencil. Other than designing it, I will wait to see how the first class teaching seniors turns out. Finally, after years of trying it looks like I will finally get a chance to teach a class.

What is disturbing is that people seeing such items want one and in away expect to get one for free. I am brave enough now to say, they're not free. If you want one they can start at $25 and go up from there. "You have no idea, despite the size, of the amount of work that goes into this, upwards of 15 hours each!" I haven't sold any yet. That doesn't stop me of course. I don't mind giving them to those who have done favors for me, people I care for and I know will appreciate the gift.

Get looking and painting. There are a million ideas out there. Don't be afraid to make your own!

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