I was lucky enough to find these awesome Nature Magazines at an antiques shop nearby; I love the cover illustrations here by a person named Hexom. I think they are engravings, but not sure. Great colour and composition. And take a close look at that otters expression!! Not the happy-go-lucky fun loving little guys we thought we knew.
Take a white porcelain swan, gesso it, then paint any which way you want, and ta daaa, Rainbow Swan!
There is a nice messy pile of paper on my studio floor right now, a pile of brush-y, ink-y paintings in various stages of finished and not finished. I've been playing around with water media as of late, including inks, watered down acrylics, gouache and yes, even watercolour. Reacquainting myself with media that is waterproof and that which is not (india ink I am looking in your direction). That beautiful blue you see above is a serendipitous mix of raw umber and phthalo blue.
The faces you see are from both a pink spotted deer with one googly eye, and the face of a smiling puppet that is vomiting love.
I have finished the conjoined rabbit puppet, but wanted to post an in-progress picture of its clothing. I finished off the outer gown with small pieces of red ink dyed cotton stitched on randomly, and tarted up the arms of the body outfit with tiny multicoloured beads. The arms are my favourite part now; I can't resist a good shower of colourful beads. Not a literal shower though, I'm ticklish.
My next project (among many others, in various stages of halfway to almost finished) is a set of 10 or more small, dyed, beaded puppets. The picture above shows half of them already dyed a pale umber and ironed, the other half is freshly dyed light red and squeezed out, in the process of drying.
When I am working on a puppet, I will often have a general idea of how many, what size and their overall look I am going for before I start. As I move along, I am open to any changes, additions or details that occur to me, or that the in-progress work might suggest. For example, I would like these little puppets to have a contrasting look about them of roughness and richness, I suppose like an old threadbare tapestry. To achieve this, I will incorporate beading for certain, as well as the possibilities of embroidery, painting, and the addition of other materials.
If I plan out a puppet too tightly and precisely, it will rarely "work". I must always be conscious of leaving room for exploration within the object, and not have a highly detailed map from start to finish. Part of me wants to do this precise planning, but I am much happier with both the process and the finished project if I let go of the reins, so to speak.