Thursday, September 25, 2014

More Painting with BLACK INK Papers!


Since the summer of 1985 we have had a small water garden next to our patio.  Recently it has been neglected, however the Mrs. Perry D. Slocum Empyreal Lotus (not a typo--that was its name from the supplier) in my garden remains healthy.  And in fact, it has taken over the pond, as it will do in any body of still water.  The growing season for lotus begins with a few leaves floating on top of the water.  As warm weather ensues, the leaves begin to shoot above the surface of the water and open like a big umbrella.  Then, in June, the flower buds rise above the umbrella leaves and begin to open.  The first day, they are at their most vibrant color--a peach striated bloom.  Each successive day, the bloom changes in color and seems larger, until it is dinner plate size.  And the day before losing its petals, the blossom is pale yellow with very few peach striations in the petals.  But this plant isn't finished yet.  As it matures, it reveals a small greenish pod in the center, and after the petals fall, it continues to mature into the typical brown lotus pod you see in floral arrangements, with big brownish seeds in the holes.  Then they begin to lose their seeds, and the pods become fodder for floral arrangers.

So in the past, I have recreated Mrs. Perry D. Slocum in watercolor, oil, and an etched zinc plate, which led to many signed and numbered hand-pulled prints back in the early 1990's.  Now she is displayed in my latest creation in 3-D constructed with Black Ink handmade papers from Graphic Products Corporation.

Thanks go out to Beth Grubb, the amazing artist who introduced me to Black Ink papers last year when I got my fingers all messy with Mod Podge and those wonderful papers and made some art with them!  She inspired me to again do a floral piece.  She had a class last weekend at our local PlazaArt store, and she brought in some of Black Ink's newest papers.  These papers jumped out at me and screamed "Lotus in a pond!!!"  So we were given a square canvas, upon which I began the re-creation of a lotus blossom.  I would have loved to show the umbrella-like blooms floating above the water, but it would have had to be displayed lying on a table, not hanging on a wall!  So instead, I applied a portion of a leaf three times around the edges, giving the illusion of 3-D leaves.

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Side View Showing Leaves on Canvas Edges
The new papers are so luscious.  Tools needed for this project were a pair of scissors, a jar of Mod Podge, and a disposable foam brush.  Each piece going onto the canvas is covered on top and bottom with the Mod Podge and carefully placed and shaped as it dries.  This was the method used to suggest the shapes of the leaves, the stem, and the petals.   As I added the final petals to the bloom, I used a bamboo skewer to coax them into shape.  The canvas is covered and wrapped in one of the new papers that suggested water to me.  I love the turquoise, yellow and greens in this paper.  Two different kinds of green papers represent the lotus pads floating on the water.The blue and purple papers under the blossom are glued flat to represent a shadow on the water.  The papers used for the blossom are from the same style of papers as the water. To create the bloom, I used two of the available papers in this style with the colors of orange and yellow on one and pink and orange on the other.  All papers are highlighted with a metallic gold or silver.  This inclusion really adds depth to the papers AND the project!

The center of the lotus depicts the pod with some of the papers folded and crinkled to build up the center so the pod has a little height to it.  The top of the pod is made from a piece of packing paper that was scored to make it similar to honeycomb. 
 This paper reminded me of the lotus pod, so I cut a piece and glued it on top, keeping the openings a little flexible so I could glue pearlized beads into them.  The beads represent the seeds in the pod.  To imitate stamens around the pod, I used some eyelash yarn from my stash.  I have decided I like this lotus art better than any done in previous years!  Now I need to create two more close-up flower blooms so I can create a pleasing arrangement of canvases on a wall!  So what's next?  I am thinking a magnolia (since there are so many here in the South); and an iris, our state flower in Tennessee, will make nice additions to the lotus and the sunflower shown in a previous post here on the blog.

Close-up of Pod