Bright Life

Bright Life - student project

I am so excited about this project. I have some gourds but also have a small pumpkin I painted white for fall decor this year. Even though it won't be a permanent art piece, I am going to paint designs on the pumpkin as well as the gourd. As I have almost everything I need, optimistically it can be done this week.

So much for a one-week project, but I have taken the first step. My little pumpkin was molding so I painted the larger one I had on hand and painted designs in bright colors on it.

Here it is from all sides.

My biggest problem was the paint brushes. I need to find some good quality brushes that I can manipulate well. Or maybe splurge on some medium or bold point Uni-Posca markers.

Now I will start on my gourds. I have painted the inside so my next step is the white background paint. 

How long that next step took!

I have finished painting the gourds. It was fun and interesting to find that sometimes the gourds had a mind of their own. I used La Gerbe for inspiration but found my focus more and more on leafy vines. As soon as I figure out the best way to show them off without submitting a gazillion pictures I will post them. 

I finally made composite jpegs of the three different pieces of gourds I painted.

My gourds were practically antiques. When I dug them out, only one had survived intact - well almost; it had a chip but one was basically broken in half so I painted both halves.

Here is the broken base.

I liked the rings of leaves and the bright spot I put in the "cave" this piece makes when sitting on the counter. Had it occurred to me before I used yellow I MIGHT have painted it pink to match the blossoms on the broken handle piece. I just favor bright yellow in so many palettes I choose.

Here is the handle section.

This composite also shows my sketchbook page with the design model. This and the whole gourd have been hanging from a hanger off my kitchen cabinet knob so long that now I'm not sure where to put them. 

Here is the one surviving gourd. I started with the ringlet around the neck. When it was done I liked the starkness of the white so much I hated to "mar" it with the multi-colored leaflets it had intended to put on it. So I didn't.

Also in this composite are the pictures showing the two long sections hanging to dry the white background and one of the sketchbook pages that I used to build on. I loved painting on these gourds.  

Here's the other sketchbook page. 

Now I am starting on my birdhouose. 

In browsing through a book on Matisse, I found this work that I not only love but would like to have on my wall. That's saying something because I see a number of modern art pieces that I like but don't especially want to live with.

This is called Polynesia, the sky. I thought the birds and the blue and white were perfect for a birdhouse. It is my inspiration for the birdhouse palette and design.

Here is a portion of it.

Here's a sketch of my first idea for the front.

As I started the painting, I thought of modifications I wanted to make.

Also, since this is one of Matisse's cut outs, I have decided to cut out the details and attach them to the light blue, dark blue and white painted birdhouse. I want this project to have a light and airy feel. A feel of freeness. I think attaching the birds and stars and maybe a squiggle or two might help the floating feel.

Now if I can just finish it by the workshop deadline.

I finished the birdhouse. Here's are some of the cut outs as I was cutting them out.

I found cutouts easier to manipulate than a paint brush. Cutting the birds was fun.

How to attach the cutouts puzzled me at first but for someone who has spent much of her life covered in Elmer's glue helping kids with their projects, I went with the tried and true. It dries clear and soaks through. In fact, I got too much glue on the first bird. The dark blue bled through so I touched it up with a little bit of white paint. Once I got the hang of it, it was a snap.The Krylon makes an extra seal.

View of front, one side and one side of the roof..

The back, other side and other side of roof.