This week for my Mixed Media Monday post, I would like to share a photo and description of one of the eight canvases I made as end-of-year gifts. Amazingly, I made all eight of them in six days! I’m not sure where my Muse has been for the past several months but welcome back!
The first one I finished was for my new friend Margi (who happens to be my new friend Grethe’s mom!), a 2nd grade teacher at Jefferson. She collects pigs, and I wanted to make something with a pig as a fun way to say thank you for all the many ways she helped me with my transition to half days at a new school in April. She knew a little about me already, and was very understanding, allowing me to hang out in her classroom during my break time. We had some great chats and not only did she become a friend, her classroom became a “safe” place for me, something that is very important and sometimes hard to find.
The idea for this originally involved owls, and I still intend to make one with them, but one night a few weeks ago when I couldn’t sleep, I realized it would work just as well with pigs! Aside from pigs, she also told me that she really liked black, white, and gray together, with a little red. So here’s what I did:
The canvas is 12 x 12, so I took a 12 x 12 piece of thin chipboard and cut out a 6 x 6 square on one side to use as a guide. I then placed it on the canvas and painted the black square on the top left, the white square (I painted a white canvas with white paint!) on the top right, and the gray square on the bottom left. The striped square on the bottom right is a piece of black, white, and gray patterned paper I had in my collection (which I obviously cut to 6 x 6).
Each square with a round pig is a special combination of each of the three main colors (black, white, and gray). The first pig I made was the bottom left; the colors are a black pig with white embellishment on a gray square. I used an old CD to make the body, a lid for the head, and cut the “B” for his nose and “S” for his tail out of a piece of patterned paper. The legs, ears, and eyes were also cut from patterned paper. The eyes were a bit of a happy accident – the scraps just happened to be black with a sliver of white so I cut circles freehand. The legs, tail, and eyes became a sort of pattern for the other pigs as well.
I used the same process for the top two pigs, the one on the left being a white pig with gray embellishment on a black square, and the one on the right being a gray pig with black embellishment on a white square. (Did you follow the color combos for those? I was very specific in my design).
Finally, for the fourth pig, I wanted him to be different to fit the quote I used that says, “I am who I am. No approval required.” Making him red and square were the obvious differences. I also gave him a straight tail, wings, a mouth, a tie, and a crown, and the eyes are gears and a button. (The tie was another happy accident with my scraps!) It took me a little longer to finish him but I think he turned out just right, and I was happy with the finished piece.
Of course I was hoping Margi would like it, but I never expected the reaction I got the day I gave it to her – she showed it to several other teachers, telling them all about it. That made me happy, not because she was sharing my art, or because I had made something awesome, but because it made her happy!
I would say that was a mission accomplished in more ways than one! I’ll try to write posts about the other seven canvases in the next few weeks so be watching for them. For now I will leave you with a little teaser. (I’m trying a new format for sharing several photos at once so let me know what you think!)