Saturday, July 4, 2015

Making Do

When we are searching for something to use for our latest project often we get confused and say, "Do I want this style or that. Will that style compliment the item and on and on." Are you ever that way? If you are then I am in good company.

Box #1 Study. Combining Rosemaling and Pennsylvania Ditch
As I get back into the crafting mode again, I have decided to "blend" styles and add my own touches along the way. Why not. 90% or all art springs from a variation of art before. The impressionists were not really new. Turner led the way in their own time but wandering the Prado in my youth I was stunned to see flashes of it in Goya, Velasquez and other famous artists from the Low countries. El Greco could be considered the father of Cezanne.

I have looked at three blank wooden boxes for awhile now and finally decided that I should work on at least one of them. I took a kind of Rosemaling "S" and wrapped it around all sides so that no matter how you viewed it, there was the red vine snaking round each side with interesting things sprouting from it. Details came from my love for Pennsylvania Dutch and when combined seemed a harmonious whole. Remember though, this is my first attempt at this. I discovered its the details that can set a persons style apart from others.

The completed box.
Choosing colors is always a dilemma for me. I love color and want each piece, usually, to be vibrant and alive. However, that can cause problems because you can easily box yourself into a corner. You love these two or three colors but need another. Oh, dear! Which one? Here the problem was what wash do I use on the wood that will bring out the colors, keep them bright but not overpower them? Taking a shower at decision time I had a vision of using Burnt Umber as a wash giving the box a teak like finish. I loved it. You get ideas at the strangest times and places! I often have dreams that solve that kind of problem for me.

One new wrinkle, for me, has been the way I handle the dots that spring from flowers. Its traditional of course. In my haste, however, by using the end of a chopstick, the paint may not have time to dry on the first side. I discovered that had happened here and wondered how I could get rid of that. Then it hit me, why not add even more? The effect is like adding baby's breath to the dots and is very attractive. I imagine, this will be my signature in all subsequent pieces!

I use this box as a catch-all; reading glasses that don't work, keys, a small transistor radio in case the big one hits, extra watch, TV remote, coins...the detritus of life. It sits right by my reading chair on a table my grandfather made for my grandmother using burled wood and an old sewing machine base.

I have two more such boxes and haven't decided what I will do with them. I have been more or less captured by my mini birdhouses and finished one of those as well.

What I am saying is that the possibilities are endless, they really are. We can copy others but you will have far more satisfaction if you add your own touch!

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