At the Craft and Hobby Association (CHA) trade show, I always make a point of stopping to visit with any book authors in booths doing signings. I really enjoy chatting with talented artists who have crossed over as successful writers. Since crafting and writing are two of my passions, it's a lot of fun to meet others who enjoy both as much as I do. Last January, I met Carrie Schmitt and came home with her book Painted Blossoms: Creating Expressive Flower Art with Mixed Media (affiliate link).
I read through the entire book a few weeks ago, marking the pages that were the most inspirational to me. The very next day, my friend Yvonne posted a project she had done from the very same book! She mentioned that her artwork "looks like nothing from the example or anything from the whole book!" Now that I've finished my artwork, I can say I feel the same way!
I've never painted in an expressive style, but it was definitely fun to try. I started by covering a canvas with gesso, then selected five paint colors:
I pulled out my Frisbee and mixed up a few shades of green, then used those to paint swaths of color on the canvas. Once the background was dry, I used a clean brush to add large flowers (orange and yellow) and small flowers (purple and pink) to the canvas, covering about 60% of the background. I should mention that I did not clean my brush even once while painting flowers. I loved the interesting colors I got by dipping into a new color while there was still a hint of the previous color on the brush. For the most part, I went from light to dark, but I did go back and add the yellow and orange centers to the flowers after making the purple flowers. I did that by adding a lot of yellow to the brush and mixing thoroughly in the Frisbee.
Here's my artwork, inspired by Carrie Schmitt's Time to Bloom.
After living with my artwork for a day or two, I decided it was incomplete. I used Schmitt's Surprise Garden chapter to add to my piece.
I immediately hated it. Part of Schmitt's motto, and indeed that of pretty much every mixed media artist, is that if you don't like something, just cover it up. That's very unfamiliar to me, but I gave it a try. I used her Blossoming as my inspiration this time.
I really enjoyed the process and the experience of going outside my usual style. Out of curiosity, which of the three versions do you prefer? I like the third best (which is good, since the 1st and 2nd are now hidden under the 3rd!). I'm going to pick five different colors and try again!