But the acorn was roly-poly and I needed it to sit flat.
Enter the heavy emery board...some sanding...some checking......
.......A good portion taken off, down to the nut center.....
....And there you have it. A self-supporting acorn embellishment to go with the leaves!
And then I had those marvelous metal fleurs from Marie, which I knew just how to put to use, but they needed a hole driven through them with an awl, then a small esceution pin to hammer them in place. I really should have photographed one of these next to a penny so you could realize how delightfully tiny they are!
More grit and gel, and the addition of some leather salvaged from old gloves (very soft), the fleurs hammered into the wet mixture, and a trip to the.......
....handy dandy hair drier to get everything good and firm during this humid weather. I had several photos of the grit area being painted, but evidently the Photo-Pixies were in a humor that day and each and every one was out of focus. (couldn't be that I had my contacts out...no.....)
Below, I decided to add a thin layer of crackle finish to the four sides, just to bump up the texture a bit more. If you click any of the pics, you should be able to see all the detail much better. I coated this with some acrylic, working it in with an old brush and quickly rubbing off the excess so it would not dry. A lovely, light crackle-craze finish. Very subtle.
Okay, this is not so subtle. Sometimes elements just won't behave and you have to remind them who is in charge!!! That leaf was having NO PART of staying stuck down with the gel! It was most stubborn, so I called up the reserves.....and put them to work!
A while later, everyone was behaving nicely and the new focal piece for the top was in place and dry. All the leaves are outlined on the canvas with a bit of acrylic, smudged on and most of it wiped away; only enough left to look like a slight shadow.
Another view, with the corners finished and the leather aged and given a bit of the black mica gel. I liked the way it gave it a more fragile look, as though it was starting to flake.
This also shows off the layers of color drybrushed onto the grit only that was in the gel medium.
I felt the central background was a little too clean and plain, so I used the black mica gel there also, laying some on with a brush and rubbing it in with my fingers, to get it exactly where it needed to be.
Another close up with the addition of the black mica, and that delicious texture showing through the paint in the center! The only thing I really felt needed one more bit of bumping up color wise was the golden glow around the central elements. I felt the color was too close to that of the acorns.
I added some Quinacridone Crimson mixed with float medium, so I could control the build up of the color and it was perfect! That tiny bit of extra warmth brought the whole piece alive!
And finally, finally, may I present my labor of both love and insanity:
"La Nouvelle Orleans"
......looking through Jackson Square (or as it was known before, Place de Arms due to the military keeping live armament there) to St. Louis Cathedral and the Cabidillo.
That ends this trip through process and time and city......thank you for your patience and for coming along. At some point, I hope y'all have the chance to see this beautiful vista in person, sipping cafe au lait and enjoying the Mississippi breezes and the soft notes of jazz floating on the balmy, magnolia-scented air.
I bid you.....