Saturday, February 7, 2009

best laid plans

one of my new years resolutions was to blog more regularly. here it is, feb. 7, and i am doing my first post of the new year. ah, well, better late than never!

christmas was really busy for me. i decided a couple of weeks before christmas that i was going to make gifts for most of my family. i did seven (!) medium sized canvases in the last two weeks before christmas. i finished five of them on christmas eve, which is the day they were given. with all that was going on, i didn't photograph them first, so photos will have to wait until i make it over to my sisters' houses and my moms house with my camera!

one thing i decided i HAD to do was make something for my children. they each have a couple of my paintings, but i had never made one specifically for them, which is crazy because they are my biggest fans. so, i made them each a 12 X12, completely taylored to them, to give to them on the winter solstice (that is when our family exchanges gifts and have since they were born)

my daughter is owl obsessed. she has half a dozen owl shirts, a couple of owl bags, books about owls, owl figurines, owl notebooks, owl converse all stars, if it has an owl on it, she has to have it. so i made her an owl collage. i don't usually do "cute" but i had a lot of fun making this one. i have tons of bright printed art papers from collage packs i bought for the more muted papers. i mean TONS. i thought that it would be perfect for chessie's owls AND it would use LOTS of it up.

So, i spent a couple of days drawing and cutting and edging each little piece with black, then glueing everything down. It turned out really well, and my daughter LOVED it. she especially liked the fact that each owl was looking a different direction.

when i was making this, i cut out three too many owls, so i made a little set which will be posted on etsy pretty soon.

a few days before i started on these projects, tony had some time to kill and went in a thrift store to look around. he didn't find much, but he ran across a big box of antique player piano rolls. he bought a couple and when he brought them home for me, i made him go back and get the whole box because i love them so much. they are each in a box and the spindles they are on are awesome. the paper itself is all yellowed and crumbly and the lyrics to the song are printed along the left hand side in a kind of ghostly faded green, and the ones that have dates on them date to the early 1900's. my son was fascinated. he spent about an hour carefully looking at each one, so i told him to pick one out. he loves old stuff, just like me. so when it came time to make his gift, i used some of my favorite old treasures, and i just HAD to use some of the player piano paper since he liked it so much. he is a great piano player, so the theme fit perfectly. here is the final piece, which is just full of old things!

i have to say, i was pleased with the end result, and it made me really happy to see my eleven year olds so excited to get a painting from me, made just for them.

every year i say i'm not going to stress myself out by making gifts. and every year, i do just that. but when my family and friends open the gifts that i make, it is their reaction that makes it worth it for me.