Wednesday, June 20, 2007

The Garden Room

So what is the new painting project that has been taking me so long?
I will try not to bore you (too much) with the lengthy list of trials and tribulations because it is SO tedious (and I’m extremely short on time with all the parties and shows coming up) so I will just sum it up by saying that I have finally decided to close out the Botanical Bioforms concept with a series of 33 square botanical paintings entitled *The Garden Room*. The series began as bold but simple graphic/illustrative botanical compositions featuring the
Botanical Bioform Building Blocks
, drawn with black ink on 8.25” x 8.25” 110#, Acid Free, Archival Drawing Paper.

The inspiration for *The Garden Room* series derives from the accumulative thoughts of the Botanical Bioforms concept over the past 6 months along with a concentration on my Wildflower Meadow. I have also been thinking about textile design and pen and ink Illustration (William Morris, Aubrey Beardsley, decorative flower and leaf designs, floral ornaments, Victorian foliage designs, Katsushika Hokusai… the list of inspiration is endless and ever changing).

At one point while I was working on these images I realized that I was subconsciously creating the pieces as décor for my future garden room, hence the series title *The Garden Room*. With all of this planting and great new stuff sprouting up everywhere I have been doing a lot of daydreaming about building an addition off of the dining room (much to my Mr.’s dismay!). I’m envisioning a room that is soft, sunny, pretty and feminine that would be the perfect spot for rest and relaxation. Doesn’t everyone dream of a space like that? With that in mind, I am striving to create paintings that are bold, bright and colorful but still calm and soothing enough to evoke that warm, sunny, happy, relaxed feel one is looking for in a garden themed room.

The original plan for this series was for me to *try something different*. I wanted to keep the process relatively fast and simple by adding color to the ink drawings with markers and colored pencils. My intention was to put the focus on the black line work with the goal of creating a flatter look similar in style to the Japanese woodblock prints that I so admire. However, after completing a few of the pieces in colored pencil I decided that I REALLY didn’t like the end result. The color was too flat. So I came to the frustrating conclusion that the finished images would make me MUCH happier in paint. Not good. The real issue being that my usual painting process will add many, many more hours to the project then I was anticipating. Ugh. I have already invested over 200 hours into *The Garden Room* series so I can’t quit now. But, with everything coming up, I don’t know how I will find the time to complete all 33 images. Unfortunately, I don’t see another acceptable option that will satisfy me... A true dilemma!

Anyway, so this is where I stand at this point in *The Garden Room* series:

1. The 33 pen and ink drawings have been completed and made paint ready (that means that they have been coated under many layers of acrylic medium so the paper wouldn’t warp and bubble too severely when paint is applied).
2. The 33 under paintings have now been completed as well (the paper eventually held and stopped curling with the additional weight of 12 pennies taped to the back of each piece, but we won’t go into that!). In the under painting stage I have attempted to color coordinate the set of paintings in a way that one could select any combination of pieces to create a personalized set to match their own décor.
3. The black architectural gallery style frames have been custom made and are arriving here at the studio on Friday.
4. My spot in the show has been reserved.
5. I have the fabulous mat designer Heather from Bean’s in mind to make mats for whatever paintings I am able to finish and decide to include in the show.

So now I am working like a mad woman to complete the final acrylic glazing process. I love this part because this is where the real *magic* happens!
Check out my beautiful new glaze colors:

Pretty exciting huh?
Well, normally it would be for me, but now I am in a panic because I only have a week and a half left to complete my mission and a million other things happening all at once! Susie’s Medallion party is THIS Friday night. I have exciting new display items shipping here this week, so in addition to painting, I’ll have to figure all that out and reorganize my Exalted Beauty party presentation as well. And then the last day of the Plainfield show drop off is NEXT Friday night! Oh my! Tick tock! Oh and by the way – if you’re wondering about *The Panic*, it is due to the fact that I must complete ALL 33 paintings in time for the show because right after that I have more Medallion parties scheduled and I promised to make new Exalted Beauty Medallion collections! Oh dear. What was I thinking? Is anyone else picturing me running around like a headless chicken? :)

Keep checking in because I will begin revealing the finished Garden Room paintings as they happen. I hope to put up two or more a day until the show! Or not? Wish me luck! :)

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