This was a fun project that I started for one reason and finished just because I loved making it. 🙂 Originally thinking I’d enter it into a competition, I didn’t get it finished before the deadline but that didn’t stop me from completing it. The drawing/coloring of all the mandala “leaves” was much more time consuming than what I thought!
After getting them drawn it was on to adding the background paint and then it needed to dry for a while, it had gotten quite saturated!
Once it was dry, the first details I tackled were in the tree trucks.
Then on to the leaves. That was the slowest part of the process.
I used a semi-limited pallet so that the piece would have some continuity, which added to the challenge.
The finished piece is still in the studio as I decide how to frame & display it! I’m also thinking it needs a better title than “Mandala Tree” – what do you think??
Yes, there are supposed to be a couple more posts about the up cycled artwork but I couldn’t resist sharing some new images with you. I’ve not used my camera for “fun” for a while and have really gotten into it the last couple of weeks. Right now there is an abundance of blooming peony bushes in the yard so they’ve been an awesome subject. Here are a few of my favorite images:
Next time I’ll share some that I photographed & edited to be high-key, light & contrasty. More fun!
Okay, so I know I’ve been trying to catch up with all the upcycled/recycled artwork from last year but in the meantime I’ve been doing some other fun art so I thought I’d take a little “time out” and share something new with you before we finish up with the last half-dozen or so pieces from last year. My obsession with trees continues, both in my art and at home. Both in the form of bonsai trees! I’ve adopted a little juniper bonsai tree and have two other types I’m trying to grow from seed (as I wait impatiently for sprouts!). I’ve always loved the “personality” of trees, how they branch this way and that, twist, lean and each just seem to have a story to tell us if we listen closely enough. With the way bonsai trees are pruned and trained into such interesting shapes I suppose it would be inevitable that I wouldn’t be able to resist them and, after trying for several years, I gave in. My sketch book is slowly filling up with trees from my imagination and now I am producing some in a more presentable manner. The first three started together with a (very) rough outline of the trucks and limbs.
From there I added some softly blended layers of color to the background areas.
After that dried I began adding the areas where the leaves would fill in the image.
I am always amazed at how much difference adding some shading can make in an image. Suddenly the tree has some dimension and looses that flat feeling!
If you know how I like to make art you might have guessed what happened next. Yes. Doodling, Zentangles, whatever you want to call it…lots of tiny detailed patterns!
After the patterns were all added then came the color! I’ve clumped together the rest of the progression shots, you can click on them to enlarge the images and scroll through at your leisure.
All of which leads us up to the finished image:
Since this is the first one that I finished I took lots of progress shots with my camera. When I share the other two finished pieces there is not near as much to see!
Here’s the third piece of artwork created from a section of an old metal filing cabinet, titled “Carefree” –
Unlike the pieces I’ve shown previously, the piece of metal wasn’t cut apart but instead I used the plasma cutter to etch & cut the design in the metal, cutting openings within the design. Here’s an image of the metal after cutting and sanding, before anything else was done to it.
The next step was to paint the entire piece black, using spray paint.
From there it was time to start adding in all the details. I spent a lot of time sprawled out on the floor of my studio with paint pens adding each little mark! I love creating tree art, no matter what the media, so what some might see as a long, tedious task I enjoyed each moment of.
Once all the details were finished I mounted the piece on a large wood panel (also painted black) with pieces of copper sandwiched between the metal and the wood. I am happy to report that this piece has found a wonderful home and I had the honor of being invited there to see where it had been placed. I couldn’t have been more pleased to see how it seemed like it was just made for it’s location. The light from nearby windows made it dance and change as the sun moved through the sky and the room lighting highlighted it perfectly as well. As an artist you can’t ask for more than that!
Another new piece of art today…or at least MY version of it. If you recall I had posted the line drawing of this image on the blog and Facebook page giving people permission to download it and create their own art. It’s been so much fun seeing and hearing what people wanted to do with it! I’ll post some of the images in the future. It’s still available to download if you get inspired!
Here are some of the progress images of my version of the piece:
Finished detail drawings
Close-up image to show the shading that was added
Entire piece with shading added
After the drawing process I painted the piece with watercolors and added highlights with ink. This shows the details, shine & surface of the finished piece, you really need to see it in person to appreciate it!
And, finally, here is the completed piece:
I continue to lean toward trees, branches and organic shapes as I create, I am really enjoying them!
It seems a lot of my recent work includes these twisting, turning, swirling leaves/blades of grass/vine-type organic shapes! Remember “Dormant No More”? They are just what flows out of me right now. Here are three digital drawings that all have that type of “feel” to them…
I’d almost guarantee that you’ll see more that are similar in style! I’ve also been more than a bit obsessed with drawing/creating trees. Perhaps it’s indicitave of growth? I don’t even know why I do what I do…I just do it.
It’s true, everyone LOVES something free! And, since I’m just nice like that, I happen to have one for you today! You are welcome to download this line drawing to use for coloring, painting, zentangles, digital artwork, collage, whatever strikes your fancy. Of course there IS a catch…
The only thing I ask is that once you are finished having fun with it, please take a moment to snap a picture of your creation and post it on my Facebook Page so I can see it. I’m excited to see what everyone ends up doing with it!
One of the rewards of de-cluttering and organization is finding things you haven’t seen in a while! One of the discoveries I was excited about was in with my printmaking supplies. I’ve not made any new prints for quite some time and actually have some new materials to try out so getting the supplies together and ready made me even more anxious to explore the media again. The bonus was that I’d stashed a pile of gelatin prints from previous explorations in with the supplies, it was such fun visiting with them again. 🙂
I am going to go right now and find a spot on my calendar and mark it in bold letters: EXPLORE PRINTMAKING! Look for some newness in the next month.
This piece has been “in progress” for a few months. I’m excited to finally share it with you!
When I got the idea it took a bit of mulling around on exactly how I’d make it and then once underway it was a bit time consuming. The things we do for art! The first step was to create large pages of mandala-inspired art that would be painted and then torn apart.
I will admit to some mixed emotions about creating something just to tear it into pieces! Art from last year? Wouldn’t have slown me down a bit! While that was in stages of progress I designed the background from old pages of sheet music, watercolor paint and layer of thin paper to lay out a rough shape.
Then it was time to rip, tear and arrange the pieces! In addition to the mandala art that was used I also cut circles from some “not so successful” printmaking projects and added them for color and texture.
It seemed like a great idea but I ended up going a bit overboard. Ack! Color overload. And not very “tree like” either!
The first thing I did once it got to this stage was to paint a thin layer of irridesent white over the background to tone it down a bit (shown above after the background was painted). Then it sat for a while. And then it sat a bit longer. I wasn’t sure where to go with it at this point…I knew what I wanted, but that was about all. One day when I had a friend over to the studio we talked about it and bounced ideas back & forth and before she’d even left I was working away!
I have a fabulous stash of different kinds of paper…okay, I’ll admit it. I’m a paper-aholic! I love paper, thin, thick, solid colors, pattern, textures, flat…it doesn’t matter. So I dug into that and found the perfect piece. A nice brown tree-ish color, very loosely woven with gaps and thin spots for the design underneath to peek through while it gave the piece the unity that I’d been looking for. Happiness!! The next steps were to add highlights, shadows and outlines for definition.
The finishing touches from this point didn’t take long at all, a little charcoal, a bit of acrylic ink and it was done. 🙂 I’ve got a few other pieces that are in progress right now but I’m also shifting focus to holiday projects and gifts so they are moving slow too. Lucky for you I’ve got a backlog of art that I haven’t written about yet. 🙂
I’m reposting this from September of 2009. It’s one of my favorite posts, as well as some of my favorite photos. Oddly enough, at the end of the post it mentions “suspending” new blog posts for the week – which is exactly why I chose to do a re-post for today. I’ve been working hard the last few weeks so I could take an entire week to escape into my studio and exercise my creative muscles before they atrophy! I’ve got several new works planned and am looking forward to this time dedicated to making new art. Enjoy this re-post and a few other automated postings this week. I’ll be back with some fresh new content soon! ~ Lynne
(Continuing my musing from yesterday’s post! ) I was able to spend some time at a nearby nature preserve, taking in a quiet, peaceful morning in the woods. The sun dotted the path where it could sneak between the heavy canopy of leaves and the weather was beautiful. One of those days that was neither too hot or too cold but just right. As I mentioned before, I was captivated by the leaves that, during their plummet to the earth, had been detoured. They were hooked to branches, lying on the leaves of other trees or on top of undergrowth. Much like many of us that get caught up along life’s path when we least expect it! As I rounded a slight bend in the path I looked up and, directly in front of me, there was a leaf suspended in mid-air. It almost looked as if time had stopped at that particular place, freezing this leaf on it’s journey downward. On closer inspection the spiderweb that was holding it in place became evident. I was mesmerized! How often I had felt like that leaf! Certain I knew where I was going and what was going to happen only to be stopped in mid-flight. Suspended, going nowhere. Although that sounds frustrating (and usually is!) there was something peaceful about the leaf too. Even though it’s journey had been halted I couldn’t help thinking that dangling there gave it a chance to rest. To slow down. To not crash into the hard earth quite as sharply when if finally did touch down. Perhaps these detours and time-outs are there to help us, not just frustrate us! It was a comforting thought that I’m still enjoying as I write this post.
That reminds me to mention that I will be “suspending” my blog posts for a few days while I take a mini-vacation. (Although I am testing out the “schedule” feature to do a pre-written post or two while I am gone!) It will feel good to travel a bit, see some different scenery and change up my routine. I’m packing my camera so, rest assured, I’ll be back with more photos and stories to share! Peace & love till I return.