Thursday, September 25, 2014

Art: It Doesn’t Have to Be Complicated


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After spending several months getting pieces ready in hopes of being accepted into the Artisan Market, I still had the urge to let a little creativity flow.  But I wasn’t so interested in getting to involved in one piece.

Recently I was walking through my grandchildren’s garden and spotted these leaves left over from their bean plants.  The insects had made many meals off of them, transforming them into botanical lace.  These simple little leaves had already inspired a painting, but I was wanting to do something else with them to show off their beauty and give them more life.

I had also collected yet another moth.  It was just laying there on the floor at work.  I was trying to find something to put it in when a friend offered her snack wrapper.  I was surprised it made it home in one piece.  But it was still in tact enough that I could use the wings.

Anyone could do this, if you like it enough and want to try, here’s how…………….

Build a barn wood canvas:

I happen to have three pieces of barn wood that I nailed together using slats on the back side of the barn wood.

Then simply apply two coats of white gesso to the front side of the wood.


Arrange the leaves in flower like shapes onto your canvas just like you want them to look when finished.   It doesn’t have to be bean plant leaves, it can be any kind.  They don’t even have to be half devoured by insects.  Leaves are beautiful anyway you find them.


Remove one leaf at a time, apply Mod-Podge Decoupage solution with a brush to the spot on the canvas where the leaf will lay and place the leaf back down in it’s spot.  Then lightly apply Mod-Podge on the top of your leaf.  Move on to the other leaves, one at a time, until finished. Look for areas of the leaves that may have popped up slightly, gently brush those areas down.  Allow to dry.

If you happen to have an insect or two you could put on this collage, glue on with regular glue. 

Or if it’s flat, like my moth wings mostly were, use Mod-Podge again.  Apply a pretty thick coat, using tweezers place the wings on top of the thick Mod-Podge Decoupage solution.  Let this dry and then coat the top of the wings with gentle brush strokes using the Mod-Podge solution.  Allow to dry.


I used copper tacks to create the middle of the flowers made of leaves.  I also put one right in the center of the moth wings where they all touched.

Using DecoArt Craft Twinkles Gold and a thin small brush, I painted stems onto the flowers.


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Using Plaid FolkArt Metallic Inca Gold, I wrote in script at the bottom of the collage.  Mine says, “It’s the simple things” and then I signed it.  You could letter what ever saying you’d like, there are a lot of great quotes out there.


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This took about 30 minutes of work not counting the drying time.

If you decide to try this, I’d love to see your creations.

Don’t forget to visit me on Facebook or follow my blog here for more interesting art projects.

Thanks for stopping in.


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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Art: Rows of Beans




This picture was taken from memory only.  It is quite amazing the wonderful things our minds can recall when we try.

I get so inspired by nature and the scenes I see as I ride.  This particular scene, we have all been blessed with so many times in our lives as we ride down the road or walk down a road in a rural area.  The idea began with my grandchildren’s garden.  We were looking at the leaves of their bean plants.  The plants had pretty much stopped yielding beans and before the plants were leveled the caterpillars and other insects were having a fiesta with them.  The leaves looked like lace they had been munched on so much.  At first I wanted to do something with those leaves, but when I got home and started working on an idea, all that came to mind was that scene of rows and rows of beans.  The next thing that I pulled from my visual memory was the lone tree standing in the middle of a field.

I always wondered as a little girl, why that one tree was left.  Later I found out that the tree was a resting place for those tending the crop.  I have seen this particular view so many times in my life, I didn’t even need a photo to paint it by.  I thought that was quite amazing considering I think I have to have a photo to paint just about everything I paint or draw.

This painting was painted with acrylic paint.  The canvas is barn wood with a thin coat of white gesso applied.  The barn wood was planed, so no sanding of the surface was required.

I am so thankful for the beautiful scenery God has given us.  He places certain things in our minds and in our hearts that we can recall at will. I’m also glad that among the things we would like to forget or ignore, there are also these wonderful bits of nature that we know and are familiar with even when we don’t realize it.  He is working in our lives even when we don’t realize it.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Art: Painting Peace



Even when your mind is in turmoil and you can’t seem to find a peaceful moment, you can change that by painting the peace you desire.  Little did I know that as I began painting this peaceful scene that it would actually change my mood and ease my mind.

We all have certain things that we enjoy and look forward to.  Things we find comfort in, sometimes when we don’t have the time to do them, just thinking about them can bring about that peaceful feeling.

I use to be able to roam the country side, through the pastures and areas where hardly anyone ever walked.  Scenes like these were a daily part of my life.  Now all I get is a brief glimpse every now and then as I travel to work and back.  I don’t know anyone any more that has this kind of land where I would feel free and welcome to roam.

I long for those days.  At least though, I have the memories I can flash back to that helps to put my mind at ease after four, 12 hour work days at the factory.

The painting was almost finished at this point…………….

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………….but I really wanted something else in it.  So I added the round hay bales, which gave it that more complete, finished look.  And the hay didn’t take away from the peacefulness that the landscape and sky created, it added to it.

This view; the sky, the land, the trees, are all gifts that God has given us to help ease our troubled minds. If we will just be looking for it, beauty like this is everywhere.  I thank Him for that.

About the painting:

The paint I used for the entire painting is Apple Barrel Colors by Plaid

Before beginning your painting apply two coats of ProArt Gesso Canvas Primer.

To create the sky, I used Tropical Blue, Dark Gray, White, Yellow Flame, Apricot and very small touches of Cardinal Crimson and Nutmeg Brown.

The line of trees in the back ground were made with English Ivy Green and Nutmeg Brown.

The green pasture was created with English Ivy Green and Lime Tree.

The lone tree was painted with Nutmeg Brown, Dark Gray, English Ivy Green and Lime Tree.

The hay bales were created with Nutmeg Brown, Yellow Flame, White.

The painting was rendered on an old piece of barn wood.

I hope you enjoyed viewing this painting.