Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Start of Art--or--*La Nouvelle Orleans*

How do I even begin to describe this work......sigh.....

This piece has brewed in my head for a very long time. Probably as long as from the first time I went to New Orleans, or from the year I brought home the acorns from the live oaks (and forgot them in a ziplock bag in my purse, only to discover a month later worms had hatched....), but I never managed to collect any leaves to go with them. The acorns....not the worms. Each year, there seemed to be some reason I could not get them; weather too wet, me too forgetful, the parks dept. had swept things up.......I could not imagine any of the locals being happy with me yanking leaves off their lovely live oaks. Thus, the idea just rolled in the grey matter, way in the back of the cerebral file cabinet.
It waited.
And waited.
And waited.
Recently, however, two things happened almost simultaniously; Silke @ Metamorphosis said she would be glad to send me some live oak leaves (and I am sure stifled her laughter of the requests of a crazy woman!) and Marie @ Art From My Heart surprised me with a bag of lovely little metal fleur de lys charms.
The piece now HAD to begin process!!!
But when you have held an image in your head for so long, it is difficult to start. I stared at the heavily gessoed canvas for days, trying my best to figure out precisely what to do. Oh yes, I saw what I wanted in my head perfectly......it was just getting from the head to the hands to the canvas, and kiddies, that is not necessarily an easy journey.
I decided the safest way to start (yes.....safe, as in, NO RISK, as in, UNSURE, as in, SCARED TO DEATH!) was to take a couple of Fleur stamps, stamp four images and see how they looked in the canvas corners, as in the top photo.  


This was to try out size for the actual pieces I would do out of paperclay. As much as I loved the fancy one, it was quite obvious that the smaller one was going to fit the piece much better. So out came the paperclay, and I stamped and trimmed out the four pieces for the corners.
I love working with this medium. It is easy to handle, can be put in a toaster oven to speed drying, and a heavy nail file (the type for those big, honking fake nails) is perfect for smoothing the edges. They are easy to hold onto, can be purchased cheaply in packs at the dollar stores and can also be used flat on the table to sand the backs of things down even.

So here I was, with a plate of clay pieces, metal charms and dead leaves. That's an art-starter for me for sure!
Next step was thinking about the leaves. Oak leaves are by nature leathery, and seem to take a very long time to become brittle, which is good in that I had then a couple of weeks before I could figure how to use them. I applied a couple of layers of acrylic glazing liquid which made them more pliable, but the leaves seemed to absorb some of it slowly--they were not quick to dry. The second coating was gloss gel medium, and that appeared to give them a bit more body.
And then there was the pesky canvas......white, glaring at me.....okay buddy, you're getting a nice circle painted in the middle and those few light coats of color, brushed on, wiped off, repeat, repeat.....that broke the mental block. The detail in the gesso showed up wonderfully and seemed absolutely perfect detail wise! Now I knew where I was going, and I was pretty sure of some of the tools I would use getting there, but there were still challenges ahead.
I will be doing this in a series of posts--they may not be every day--but will show the piece in progress. I am delighted and excited about where I have it now. It has been slow, meditative work which is perfect for recouping from the arthritis. I have been forced to do one or two steps and quit.
And wait.
Again.
I hope you will stay with the progress reports and enjoy the ride!

Pax.

46 comments:

Marilyn said...

Okey Dokey....I am here waiting patiently for the next step!! You have piqued my curiosity!!
Rainy here today....good morning to go find a stamped embroidery piece to do for my Giveaway!!
Have a Great Day!!
Love,
Marilyn
xxoo

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Hey Marilyn,

Good to have you Back! Dreary here too....I never made it for groceries yesterday so, ICK, I'm going to have to do that this morning.
There probably will be a lot of *next steps* in this one! :)
Have a good one!

XXOO!!
Anne

Janet Ghio said...

I love it when you show the process!! It is so interesting. And I didn't know you could stamp paperclay!! I have lots left over from my prim doll. Oh fun!! Look forward to seeing what comes next on your canvas!!

teri said...

Anne, great start .... I will check back in to see what you post .... off to the shop now.
smiles
teri

yoborobo said...

Hi Anne! Ooooh, you got gifties! I'm telling you, blog friends rock the house. :) I love your start, now...um... I want to see more!!!!!! xoxo Pam

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Hi Janet,

I need to do a tutorial on paperclay. I love the stuff...LOVE it. It is so forgiving and affordable.
Actually, there probably is a semi-tute within the process pics on this project---I can't remember! LOL!
Too many steps for this old mind.... ;)

XXOO!!
Anne

Vicki~TheMiddleSister said...

I ready to see more!!!

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Hey Teri,

Have a good day--think you'll like this piece when it is finished....whenever that happens to be! ;)

XXOO!!
Anne

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Hey Pam,

Yep, blog friend DO ROCK!!!
And like said--it was the perfect catalyst to get this piece going. Blogger was being a turd yesterday when I tried to post; don't hold your breath that a post will be up tomorrow. Dang.....

XXOO!!
Anne

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

hey Vicki,

As per previous comment, providing Blogger PLAYS NICE.....
It may be another day before I get the second post up; had a horrible time with this one and really have a lot to do today. ICK.
But the piece is *beautiful*!!!!

XXOO!!
Anne

marianne said...

oh what fun! looking forward to watching this progress... and glad to have you back at it. i seem to be posting more photos lately too- it's always nice to have that art option, but time to get the hands dirty again-

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

But I soooo enjoy your photos!
Sometimes you just have to do what you have time for; right now, I have time for an art-mess. (and yes, it IS a mess!)
Then in the off time, I stock up on photos.
I think trading off allows for a good creative balance and makes us appreciate the time we have in studio.

XXOO!!
Anne

Leslie said...

Wow, can't wait to see it.

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Me too Leslie!
There are a few elements I am working on that have me a little nervous....I'm sure it will be okay, buuuuuut......you know...LOL!!

XXOO!!
Anne

Georgina said...

Hey girl, don't have any oaks around here, not that they don't grow here, just not as popular as other trees, so I can send you.....huh.....hmmm....dirt!!!!???
LOLOLOLOL!!

Glad to see you're back...you were missed, my insane one. I know we've been emailing about important stuff, but you know, that gets old after awhile, then it's off to Insan-o World again...I like the weather on that planet!!

The project is looking good...so get going and keep working on it...I wait with bated, or is it baited, breath!!??

Love ya,
G

audrey said...

Hi Anne!!!
I am doing my best to get back into blogging and catching up on all I've missed.
I was sorry to read that you were having so much pain with your arthritis. I hope it is getting better. How inconvenient these viruses and pains are - getting in the way of our lives!!! hahaha
I look forward to seeing your next steps in your latest piece. It is fun to see what you do!! It is already obvious that this is going to be GOOD!!!!
♥ audrey

Deborah said...

Oh so pretty already. I love that Marie and Silke sent surprises in the mail. I am behind in my letter writing but not in my yoga! Soon enough the cool morning will be gone and I will be happy to sit in the house...soon enough. Now go get some groceries! **blows kisses** Deb

Tristan Robin Blakeman said...

how the heck did you make those cute little charms from paper clay and stamps????

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Hey Georgina,

I got more dirt than I know what to do with, and it's all in my HOUSE!!! LOL!!!
Hmmmm....I think it is *bated* breath. Because *baited* would be like if you were holding a particularly tasty fish lure in your mouth...and I don't think you've gone THAT FAR yet! :D

XXOO!!
Anne

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Hey Audrey,

Glad to see you back! I'm telling you, whent he body interferes with BLOGGING...there is just something wrong in the universe....LOL!!!
Hope you are feeling much better; I was thinking of you this morning.
Take care!

XXOO!!
Anne

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Hey Deb,

I am NEVER going to buy groceries again. EVER. NEVER.
2 1/2 hours trying to get from the bank to the pharmacy to the grocery. And it's all in a town the size of a PISS-ANT!!!!
OMG......just kill me.......
AAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!
(ahem)
Hope you have a great day!

XXOO!!
Anne

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Tristan, are you talking about the big fleurs or are you being ornery and talking about the metal charms Marie sent?
You just messin' with me.....right??? ;)

XXOO!!
Anne

Gloria said...

This is good! Very good! I love your start Anne and I can hardly wait to see the colors come into view. Oh I bet it is going to be fantastic. The love the step by step processes. Karin does that to from time to time. Thanks for sharing and I feel sexy right now, your music has taken me there. I feel like Lauren Bacall winking at Bogey.
Tee Hee.

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

hey Gloria,

I am really picky on Jazz I put on here; I know some folks don't care for a lot of it, but the standards are usually well loved and accepted!
I just hope I remembered to take pics all the way with this---sometimes I work and forget!
Or maybe that is middle age...LOL!!!

XXOO!!
Anne

Marie S said...

YAY!!! you started. This is going to be fun. I am so excited to see the next step.
I love the fleur de lys you made, they are wonderful.
I am thrilled to be a catalyst in the starting of this and with Silke too, makes me happy.
If you need more of the little charms you let me know.
If they junk up the piece, do not use them.
YAY!!
You go girl.
Have fun dear one.

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Hey Marie,

Yep, it's in process and I bet you'll love it!
I think I know exactly where the little charms are going...they should work fine! :)
It's gonna be cool.....

XXOO!!
Anne

Anna Rosa Designs said...

Hi Anne,
Great ideas, instructions and photos of how you started this piece.
Now, I just want all the tools, tricks and stamps that are in your studio! lol
I'm looking forward to the next piece.
Glad to see you back in the studio in full swing.
Hugs,
Anna

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Hi Anna,

I have spent a whole day with GROCERIES and errands...I guess I will not have a blog post for tomorrow, but the next day!
You would have fun poking through all the *stuff* here.....some might call it JUNK.
I don't....LOL!!! :D

XXOO!!
Anne

Jan said...

Good beginning, Anne. I will be watching this space. I have come to really like the paper clay stuff too, it is so versatile and light weight and easy to use.

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

I love it too Jan. I have hit the point where *easy and versatile* far outweighs *difficult but perfect*! LOL!!!
I wish it was just a bit stonger, but really, for how I use it, it is perfect.
Although if you had a bracelet blank, and covered it with the paperclay stamped pieces.....hmmmmm..... >:)

XXOO!!
Anne

Queenmothermamaw said...

I can hardly wait to see this progress to something beautiful. Old Arthur has gotten ahold of me too. My right shoulder is aching so bad I could scream. I upped the Alene to one at night and resumed my exercises I think it is gonna get better. Blessings
QMM

Mary Helen-Art Saves Lives said...

Pace yourself Lady...you have had one helluva a year so enjoy the journey to Na Orleans. Imagine and Live in Peace, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart

Julie ZS said...

Very cool, I always love seeing your work process, glad you are taking pictures as you create the next masterpiece. Your info on paperclay makes me want to try it. I know I've bought some at some point, wonder if it is all dried out and useless yet? Hmmmm....

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Hi QMM,

Ask your Doc for a Rx for some Mobic---it has worked wonders on my knees and would surely help your shoulder. Of course, this weather has NOT helped anyting! LOL!!! Except painkiller sales!
Take care!

XXOO!!
Anne

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Hey Mary Helen,

I absolutely HAVE to pace myself---ended up worn out from errands in the rain yesterday. I am *hoping* for studio time today.
Last night could not even get into Blogger to post.....
Off for more coffee!!! :D

XXOO!!
Anne

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Hey Julie,

Supposedly paperclay can be rejuvinated when it dries out. I believe there was something on the package about that (or in instructions I never read...HA!). If you find you have some that is dry, try breaking off a small piece, let it soak a bit and see what happens. It should be the texture of a very dry cookie dough---just enough moisture to roll smooth but not sticky.

XXOO!!
Anne

*Ulrike* said...

Finally! I have been back and forth on your blog, and every time I go to leave a comment the phone rings, hubby comes home, daughter comes down!!! Soo...I better type fast! Love what you are doing with the canvas, a Savannah photo or New Orleans would look so pretty in it! Can't wait to see what you are doing! Now, I guess I better get off this computer and get busy...so many things to do, and a veggie garden to re-plant as the weather has been crazy!
Take Care!
Ulrike

Silke said...

Your process is wonderful to observe - you are so patient. But then, I find as well that little steps are greatly meditative. I've started on a series of paintings and today, I was measuring, drawing lines, cutting paper, gluing it down - it felt so soothing... Next, I'll play with tissue paper.

This is exciting and it's fun to see the oak leaves "at play." Can't wait to see what's next!!

Love, Silke

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Hi Ulrike,

I was talking with the farmer down the road, and he just recently started planting and setting things out as it is the same here. I would swear there was light frost this morning on the grass....geez!
You'll love where the piece goes; I'll post the second installment tomorrow, if Blogger lets me! HA!

XXOO!!
Anne

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Oh Silke, it is not patience per se, it is being too anal about things! LOL!!!
I do get into a medatative mode though on one of the work. However, there are other parts where I am having a swearing fit....like last night when I ended up with heavy gel medium in my mouth and down my chin. (don't ask)
I do guarantee---you will LOVE the leaves! But boy are they work...

XXOO!!
Anne....clean faced now! hahaha!

Ces said...

I must be dreemink. I saw and red this post so many tymes and I remember riting a koment and eye dont cee it. R you trahying to meyk me go crayzee?

Ces said...

What???! WHUT!!!??? COmment moderation??!!!! When did this start?

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

LOL!!! Ces, since *I* am crazy, I expect everyone else to go along for the ride in the same mental condition....(and I am on meds so I can make that remark and not be politically uncorrect! LOL!)
It is, no doubt, Blogger trying to make us ALL go crazy....don't get me started..... >:\

XXOO!!
Anne

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Oh, dear Ces, comment moderation started when someone in China (actually several someones) started leaving vulgar spam comments.
Being the loving soul I am, I decided to share their IDs with the Blogger team.
The spam has slowed...... ;)

XXOO!!
Anne

studio lolo said...

Wow, you're inspiring me like crazy!! This is a great start. I'm off to the next step!

Oh by the way, the poem you wrote on Emily Rabbit's post...hilarious and OH so clever!

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

LOL!!!

Thanks Lolo! I have fun with Emily... ;D

XXOO!!
Anne

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