Archives for posts with tag: original art

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While I plan to continue designing lots of fun graphic images for my pressed botanicals in 2014, I am also enjoying working with watercolors. This simple background of water drops on a pink and coral wash provides the support for one of my favorite plants for pressing – Mexican feathergrass. I have a second one in the wings and some thoughts of painting insects to hover above the a feathergrass meadow. Stay tuned. Meanwhile, I popped this one into my Etsy shop this morning. Happy New Year to all my friends and followers.

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I create all of my graphic backgrounds with Microsoft Word. For me, at least, this is never as easy as I expect. It’s taken me a long time to master the intricacies of adding shapes, erasing lines, modifying color, superimposing images, embedding text, and — today’s lesson — modulating color. For this swirl of Azalea leaves, I wanted a background that started light and deepened as it descended the page. I started by trying to wing it.Highlight a few lines, Click on “format” click on “shading” select a color for a stripe. Click on the same color, then click on more colors, then click on “custom”, then move the arrow…and so on. It didn’t go smoothly. Then it occurred to me to look at the luminosity numbers next to the color scale gauge. Eureka. Check out my other backgrounds in my Etsy shop.

I have other ideas that seem like they will be easy to execute, like creating a color block “vase” with nothing but lines and shapes. We’ll see. It never turns out to be as easy as I expect when I envision it at 5:OO AM.

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Last season, my botanical art was strictly about pressed foliage. Going forward, I plan to continue to exand my exploration of the design possibilities my shade garden plants present. Lately, though, I succumbed to the temptation to begin incorporating some flowers as well. I think it all started when I became impassioned about saving my blizzard-damaged Andromeda. Following the advice of a master gardener, we waited until Spring to see if our listing tree would upright itself naturally. That didn’t happen, so we’ve moved to plan B — removing about 1/3 of the plant to lighten the load and make it possible for us to force the tree into an upright position. In the midst of all of this our Andromeda went on as if nothing had happened. By the time we pruned, we were removing brances laden with snowy clusters in full bloom as well as some still in bud stages. I chose a sampling to process in order to make my latest pressed botanical.

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I always use my own plants to make my botanical art — well, almost always. I received these lovely little roses as a hostess gift a few weeks ago. Rather than waiting for them to fade, I dried some in silica gel and arranged them in a lovely little vase. I disassembled the rest and pressed them. When the time came to design a background for the first of them, I couldn’t resist my natural sentimentality. It is spring. These are roses. Love is in the air. Why not? Since I tend to go back and forth between my traditional and modern compositions the next rose collage you see may not be as sweet but it will still be as rosy. Did I really write that?

Anyway, you can find this and dozens more in my Etsy shop.

I finally got a chance to create a graphic for the vibrant fern I found still growing in my Stonington Garden. I’ve lost count of the number of snowstorms we’ve had this year, but the fact that this was still plump and green in March — and with a double tip to boot — was quite a happy surprise. I kept it simple with a little miniature ivy ‘bow’ at the base and a faux mat fashioned with graphics alone. (The outer mat is real of course)

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While this beautiful grass with its ethereal feel lends itself to simple presentations, mounting it can be tricky. For most botanicals, I use an acid free, diluted white glue which I apply with a brush. Not possible with Mexican feather grass — Nassella tenuissima. The threadlike strands that hold the slightly heavier seed pods easily become tangled and bunched-up if disturbed. As a result, I must use a spray adhesive while holding the stem aloft and then mount it in one try. Careful work with tweezers allows for minor adjustments, then — voila — success or back to the drawing board with fresh graphics and fresh grass. This one cooperated sweetly.
If you’d like to see more, I have a different series of these listed at my Etsy shop at http://alturl.com/mk23o