Saturday, May 29, 2010

"La Nouvelle Orleans"--Finis!

Finally....the end of this journey. As I had mentioned before, rough emery boards come in handy for many things. I decided the top of the piece needed a visual *finial* and a small branch of two leaves and an acorn seemed appropriate.
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
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.....



Janet Ghio said...

Great job! The aging on this is just incredible and the blue is beautiful!!!!!

yoborobo said...

It is simply beautiful, Anne. I love the rich colors of this, and the use of the green leaves/twigs/acorn as texture. I have no idea what black mica gel is, but I think I have to buy some - hahahah! Fabulous piece, thanks so much for sharing the process with us! xoxo!

Tristan Robin Blakeman said...

Anne, this is simply stunning. The plethora of techniques and products you brought to the project certainly came together in an inspired way.

I absolutely LOVE it.

Have a lovely weekend.

...I really just absolutely LOVE it!

Anonymous said...

I looked at this for the longest time, its such a thoughtful piece. The organic pieces make it seem so ..real an the colors very warm. My favorite parts...those little leather corners!! small details Really count! love it.

Wickedly Divine Creations said...

Gorgeous as usual Anne :)
Your blog always makes me want to get out my canvases and paints and papers, and embellishments and stamps and Ahhhh too many ideas. I really should read these crafty segments earlier in the day. 11:30 in the pm will keep me awake for HOURS waiting for daylight to break so I can get out there and play...or drive me nuts to create something at 3 in the morning ;)

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Thanks Janet,

I always feel like the blue makes things *pop* a bit....I use that or a darker aqua frequently, depending on the background color.


Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Pam, you would love the black mica gel. It would be great for *atmosphere* on some of your tiny paintings, and maybe even on the little dolls, especially the skellies!


Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Thanks Tristan!

I need to try and varnish it today if it will dry.....LOL!!! (Indiana, Memorial Day Weekend, Humidity....oh yeah....)
I love it too. I need to hang this one and not squirrel it away somewhere....
Have a great weekend!


Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Hi Lori,

I dithered the longest time about how to do those corners and make them look old and worn. At first, I did not want anything on the leather.
Well, one sloppy paintbrush goen awry.....and I discovered that it looked BETTER.
Mistakes make good things happen! :)


Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Hey WDC,

Here's the solution:
Get the stuff out the night when you're reading, make a few notes, then sleep on it.
I have to let things stew frequently and have learned that I often get better results.
I had to make lists with this piece dur to working on one area, then on something totally different.
Thankfully, it worked! ;)


Annie Coe said...

Amazing work! I love everything about it. Worth the work. xoxo

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Thanks Annie!

I have to admit though, I am glad it is done and that the varnish is going on today.
I think my attention span was stretched just a TAD on this---as I normally just DO and don't think and write! LOL!!!


Jan said...

Anne it is divine! Thanks for taking so much time to photograph your process and write about it, we all know that took a lot of your time that you might have spent on something else. All the lovely details, so painstakingly done to perfection. And I know this would look even more fantastic if seen in person, photos show a lot but they just can't show detail like the real thing. This is quite nearly perfection.

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Pssssst.'re peeking at me....
LOL!!! (love the new pic!)
It really was fu doing this one. I just got distracted with a few too many other things here and that got me sort of lost for a while.
The varnish is on and is drying well, so it has an even different texture now, though one that wuld not photograph.
these are definitely *pick up and hold and turn* pieces....


Georgina said...

I'm impressed, Anne. This turned out wonderfully. Would love to know what you're smoking 'cuz I want some...great ideas!!

I love how you found a good use for that old hair dryer...I just might borrow my mothers when she doesn't use it...oh yea, she uses it every Thurs. when she get her hair done...maybe I'll inherit it then!!

Love ya lots,

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Hey Georgina,

LOL!!! I use that hairdryer on my overly bleached, long hair! Blowdriers just rip it to shreds! (I really need one just for the studio...)
Try looking at Goodwill or other thrift stores for one; they are amazing when you need something to dry and the weather is not helping. Don't steal your mothers..... you'll just have to go to WalMArt and buy her another! ;)
I'm studio cleaning artistic ideas here. A few questions WHY it has gotten so thick!
Take care!♥


Gloria said...

It's awesome Anne. All the textures make you want to reach out and feel. You can see that this was a time consuming and loving project that now contains your soul for all to see. Have a great Memorial Day weekend. Say a prayer for our men and women.

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Hey Gloria,

It is fun to hold and touch!
When one of these are done, I just sort of look at it with fresh eyes and I suppose do what anyone else would; feel the smooth parts, touch the rough, look at's sort of like *I* did not make it; that they make themselves!
My DH is in the AF reserve full time....we have many on our prayer list.....


Ces said...


Oh so intricate, the quercus virginianus AAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!

Okay you have completely turned me into a stammering woman.


I have to come back after I have regained composure.

Next time WARN ME!

Warning: Oak leaves and acorn ahead!!!

You must do that.

I came here to ask you about the color of your eyes since you say they change color and quite frankly my dear Anne, I failed in my attempt to do you because you kept smiling. STOP SMILING. This is serious business.

Oh, I need to take a cold shower to calm me down.

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...



(yells louder...)
(offers up icebag for dear sisterfriend to SIT ON....)

LOL!! See, I have been a busy little wood-nymph while you have been busy healing. (and yes, I am trying to do less hand stressful work too.....pfffft!)

I can send you your own image to enlarge, or you can snag it here! Aren't Silke's leaves just wonderful? And the acorns from my last trip to NOLA??? Yes? YES?

My eyes....usually mottled hazel blue/grey. When I get mad or excited, green. I had some very large Bubba tell me once (I was waiting on my car being repaired and he was a hayseed but most sincere...) "Lady, you got the greenest eyes I even seen! Are you a witch?"
I told him occasionally, but with a *B* for the first letter..... ;)
I will send you a non-smiling picture.....
Love from the land of acorns and nuts in general...


kj said...

okay anne, first things first:

maxine? no way!
barbara stanwyck. that's who. and bea arthur and meryl streep.

i know what i'm talking about.

okay, with that out of the way:

i am enthralled most of all by the sides. the colors and blends look like history in the making. very very beautiful, anne.

it is a blast to follow your process. but cut it out with the negative selfy-talk. you are a spitfire and it's time to crown yourself.



Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

KJ, trust me when I say I am turning into Maxine, except without the cig! I have the attitude and bunny slippers!!! :D
Okay, let me see....Marilyn Monroe. She was a lot smarter than people gave her credit for.
Or Laura Dern---that's who DH says I look like. (lucky her! SNARF!!!)
Yes I like the sides and they are how I wanted them to turn out; for the piece to look unearthed. Stored for a long time somewhere in bad conditions. The silt of the Mississippi that invades everything in the French Quarter.
Sometimes the work just makes itself......


Deborah said...

Oh Anne! It is fabulous! So much detail. I love how you salvaged leather from old gloves. I love how every minute space is used. Really incredible. And yes, NUTS! But a good nut you are! Definitely MUCH more fun then the turtle. **kisskiss** Deb

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...


Just so you know; the turle and I both move at about the same speed! (unless there is a glass of wine involved....that's different! LOL!!!)
I save all bits of good leather; I have a drawer full from gloves, coats, mini-skirts, etc. It always comes in handy at some point.
I was thinking about the corners on old steamer trunks....


Anna Rosa Designs said...

Hi Anne,
What a wonderful piece of art you've acheived.
Thank you sooo much for sharing your talented process with us!

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Hi Anna!

Grazie! Grazie!
(and boy am I glad it's done.....LOL!!!!)
It was fun.
Time to get the grey matter in gear again!


yoborobo said...

Anne - I am just stopping by to say that because of you and Georgina, I have been craving banana bread ALL DAY! lol! I hope you are having a great weekend - xoxo!

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

We're making Pam CRAVE sweet, yummy, warm-from-the-oven Banana Bread....Mmmmmmmmmm.....
My work here is done! :D

Anne (with no bread, anyway you look at it! LOL!!!)

Robbie said...

A wonderful, stunning just fantastic piece!!! It turned out so great!!! Love seeing the entire process! And I thought those hunky emery boards for for my heels! geezzz you just never know do you!

*Ulrike* said...

That is absolutely a beautiful piece of work Anne! Everything looks perfect for the picture....great job!!!
Hope you have a good memorial day weekend!!
Take Care,

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

HEay Robbie,

I don't think I have ever used them for what they are really for! LOL!!! But I will have to remember the heels....
Love finding new uses for things! :D


Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Hi Ulrike,

Yes, I plan on taking it easy; been picking up the studio and glueing paper in a jornal....brainless work.
Just playing! :)
Have a good one yourself!!!


Linda Moran said...

Oh my goodness! I have missed so much, being away from your blog while the school year finally ended....This piece is amazing - I've been back to read all the earlier posts...old gloves, who would've thought? You can find and use the most interesting things!! I promise to be back and comment much more often - I missed not reading you first thing in the AM! Hope you're well....

Vicki~TheMiddleSister said...


kj said...

the attitude and the bunny slippers?


anne, if i were eating dinner when i read this line, well, it would have been, ah, messy. you are TOO funny.

and then you pop out with laura dern, who is by my standards hot, bookwormy and wild woman combined.

i'm out looking for trouble. you'll be invited when i find it.


Serena said...

Bravo...a fabulous piece with great textural elements. I LOVE it!

studio lolo said...

Excuse me while I close my gaping jaw!

I'm so glad you shared the process of this magnificent piece. Wow is an understatement!
I've just started a mixed media painting for an upcoming show and I have to say you inspired me to break out of the box!

This is just beautiful. I'm sure whoever buys it will cherish it forever.♥


Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Hi Linda!

Good to hear from you again....yes....I've been a busy girl (but boy everything else has gone to wrack and ruin! HA!).
Will pop you an e-mail to catch up.
I have to get set up as a follower on your new WordPress blog...


Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Thanks Vicki!

Stop by sometime and see it up close and personal! :)


Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Hey KJ,

That's me...bunny slippers, attitude, bookwormy and at one point in my life, semi-hot.
I will take a picture of the bunny slippers one day to prove it... :D
Glad you weren't eating pea soup...I'm channeling *The Exorcist* hee for a moment!


Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Thanks Serena,

I was lucky it all worked so well together. Sometimes pieces *work* but it is a real push and I have questions when finished.
Not the case on this one.
Quite happy with it as is!


Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Okay Lolo,

Close jaw.
Run to your work and GO-GO-GO!!!!
I hope it is spectacular!!!! :)


kj said...

s.s. anne,


Marie S said...

That is all. I won't let my inadequate vocabulary screw up my sentiment.
Brava and thank you.
Have a great weeekend, dear one!
Love and hugs.
Tell me you didn't get stung in the eye.

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Ah, no.....just beside it, on the exterior of the orbital socket. I made a plaster of ground Vit C, baking soda and Calahist lotion and sat for a while looking like I had a lump of Durhams Rock Hard Wood Putty on me....LOL!!!
The Benadryl is kicking in pretty good now....a struggle to stay awake but feeling better.
Damned wasps...... ;)


Robinsunne said...


Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Nuff said! thanks!!!


Leslie said...

Ces't Manufique! (sp?) Nuff said!

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

LOL Leslie!!

Nuff said! :)


marianne said...

hi anne- this turned out beautifully! thanks for bringing us along on the journey!

Sandy said...

This is beautiful! Love your art.

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Thanks Sandy!

Will be by your blog to read and look when I get a moment of sanity here.....ACK!


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