Some Past Painted Pretties~
I have painted so many wonderful things for folks on their slate frames...but this last one, was so much fun! A customer had purchased one of my mini slate frames, ( I have two currently available in the ETSY shop) at Williamsburg last year, and this year she brought it back and asked me to paint it with 'creepy crawlies'.
Oh. My. Golly. It came out so cute I can't even stand it! I am going to have to paint something on mine now! This frame is tiny~ not even 12" long slats
There are microscopic little ants traveling in and out of the peg holes....butterflies, may flies, caterpillars...a snail, various little bugs, all inspired by 17th c embroideries. The yellow bug above is my favorite of them all, inspired by a bug on the bottom of a mirror in the Burrell collection.
In addition to slate frames and various spool/thread palettes and winders, I also paint 'other' things...like this antique Singer sewing machine puzzle box....they originally had the sewing machine implements in them. The owner of this box wanted me to paint it in blackwork, what ever I wanted to paint on it...but she liked a certain 16th c painting of a young man leaning against a tree...so I redrew him lounging instead, so he would fit on the box. She is going to finish the inside and keep her needlework tools in it~
I love monochromatic painting~ blackwork is my favorite, but was thinking of maybe painting something up in indigo....it is a true challenge to see how much depth and detail I can achieve just using one color of paint. I thought it would be fun to share with ya'll how the top of this box progressed, from being quite flat and lifeless, to looking pretty awesome. The design is first drawn on with India ink and a quill pen. Some parts I dont ink in first, like the building above, because I wanted it to be further off in the background, and not such a focal point. So it got painted first...just a hint of a building, not too many details.
The difficulty in painting this way with watercolours, is the nature of the paint itself....water colour. Each consecutive coat of paint, if not mixed right with the correct water to paint ratio....can remove the layer of paint underneath of it, instead of adding to it. It is a very light touch I must have, so these pieces are the most challenging for me. This panel, by the time I got finished, probably had close to 20 coats of black on it, or more. So the next picture, above, the building and garden is now finished, and gentleman has hit first coat of shading
I left the pictures large so you can really see the details~ he is coming along. I love how the woodgrain shows thru the watercolours on these pieces.
After gentleman was mostly finished, I start on the border. Watercolours are so fragile before they are varnished, they cannot be touched, or the paint will literally just wipe off. When painting a large piece such as this one, I must start in the center, and work my way out, so that I don't accidentally place the heel of my hand or my pinky finger on the surface, and take the paint off.
Once finished with one side, I left it to dry a few days before lacquering that side, so I could move on to the next side.....so it is a slow process
I love how he came out, and can't wait to see it after Sharon finishes the inside.
This is how it looks unfolded
The ends, when closed, make a complete design.
I do love to paint.