Saturday, August 20, 2011

"Butterflies on Yellow" - 12x12 - Mixed Media Collage

This piece has taken me forever to finish. Mostly because, I haven't really liked it since the process began. I started off by painting the canvas in shades of bright red and orange and gluing red and orange pieces of scrap papers to it and then toning the whole thing down with lace paper. But I just didn't like it. 

Then I went through more color changes via paint and paper.  I added more scrap papers and ended up painting over them. Then I added lace papers until I felt a little happier and I repainted the outside edges of the canvas in yellow oxide to tone down the existing color (whatever that was at the time). 

Next I added the butterflies and fossil leaves, followed by the little butterflies and the "bubbles". The butterflies and bubbles are all from 90 pound watercolor paper with Bomomo designs printed on them. Then I decided I wasn't too keen on that. The inks smear slightly when the varnish is applied and I thought the color was garish. I detailed their little bodies by using extra coarse pumice gel tinted with metallic paints and adding antennae with black fabric paint. I started to like it a little better. But, so many times I came very close to pouring a pint bottle of black gesso over the whole thing. (OK, that's a slight exaggeration, it was only 237 ml.) 

Finally, yesterday, I added the finishing touches by outlining the butterflies in gold metallic fabric paint and then gave the whole piece my signature splatter of gold acrylic wash. And suddenly I realized I could live with it. It's a little too girly for my taste, but I can envision someone else liking it. 

So, there you have it! A painting with a story, although not an exciting one. :/

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