Friday, August 5, 2011

Inspiration Avenue:Trees

For this week's Inspiration Avenue challenge, given us by Judy Goddard, we were asked to make a tree, or a forest of trees. A few months ago, I was in a six person round robin, but failed to take a photo of the finished piece, the theme of which was trees, before I mailed it out into the world. Consequently, these photos have never been seen by anyone before except myself and the recipient of the piece, who generously e-mailed me a photo of the completed artwork.

I have often said I can't draw, not even simple shapes, and that was the case as I tried to draw a tree. I attempted one on watercolor paper, but it didn't look like a tree. To correct the mess I made, my friend Dana drew a new tree for me lightly in pencil on a background of watercolor paper covered with vintage sheet music. I then took it home and painted black lines around her pencil marks. The tree was to be (if I recall correctly) around 9" X 12"and it would be folded in the center to be turned into one of six sides of a star book. I watched eagerly as Dana drew the tree, which I asked be placed slightly off center. I took no photos of this step, nor when I drew around her lines in black paint.


I managed to take a single scan right after I applied all the watercolors to the two consecutive pages of vintage sheet music cut to size. At this point it looked like quite the mess.


Next, I applied gesso to the background, added five little birds to the branches, and a few "leaves" that I removed (popped out) from a specific brand of paint chips. During that particular round robin, I made certain I used paint chips in some way at least once in each of the players pieces and these tiny bits that looked like leaves were the perfect addition.

You may need to click on the page to see the final detail: the nest. I cut an irregular circle from the tree and backed the hole with a piece of parchment paper to which I glued a "handmade" nest. The nest was made using bits of sewing thread and bits of dried bamboo. Although it's not that obvious in this photo, the nest sits a bit behind the plane of the tree (remember, this tree image is bent in the center of the page), so you actually have to look inside the tree (hole) to see the nest.

If this is your type of challenge, please go to Inspiration Avenue and join the fun this week.

21 thoughtful remarks:

Healing Woman said...

I actually like both images of your tree. The first one is very oolorful and exciting and in the second photo, I love the little nest and the muted background.

I scrolled down and saw the after effects of that major storm you had. It's been a strange summer.

Marilyn Rock said...

I'm loving your trees - both of them in different ways. Great colors and love seeing the nest and birds in the second piece.

Glad you're okay from the storm. What a summer it is! Did the storm cool things off any? xxoo

see you there! said...

I agree with the above comments, I like both trees. The nest was a brilliant idea.

Darla

elle said...

This is such a great tree. Glad the storm never caused it to lose one leaf or bird!

Stephanie Mealor Corder said...

This turned out GREAT! I love the second image with the bits and pieces of music, the birds, leaves and of course, that nest! I wish we could see an image of it folded so we could "peek" into the nest.....VERY cool entry for this week's challenge!

Cath said...

I love drawing trees but im not very good at it!

Keep having a snoop around in the background of your photos to see if I can see them yet!!! I have Pink and Orange this month.......lol

Cathx

~*~Patty S said...

sure did enjoy reading about your creative process on D's tree (always do Mz E!)
Love how the gesso magically pops the tree and the birdies and nest are brilliant too...music paper was a perfect background choice
Bravo!
Happy Friday
oxo

Terrie said...

It was so interesting reading about your process for creating this fab tree! I can't wait to try that technique myself (using the gesso to push back the background). Your tree turned out beautifully and the nest is just genius!

kimmie said...

I love how you gessoed the background around the tree. It turned out beautifully!

peggy gatto said...

Oh my, I love the freshness and freedom and color!
Wonderful!!

Dianne said...

this really turned out fantastic... you and Dana make a great team! both are lovely, and I bet Duane is enjoying the finished product...

WrightStuff said...

Beautiful trees. I love how the gesso makes the tree pop right out.

artangel said...

That is so beautiful! The multi-colours are fabulous and I love that little nest, what a great addition!

Diane said...

They're both great--I really like the gessoed background--but then I love the vibrant colors of the first--both good!

Magpie said...

I love this tree! The happy colors, the musical notes, and the birds all remind me of a carefree summer day. Beautiful piece!

voodoo vixen said...

Love how this has turned out - must admit to being the teensiest bit worried when I saw the initial colours but once you toned it down and the tree is there in all its glory... love it! Oh and I found those paint chips last week when I went paint shopping with Chris... LOL... he left me and went off on his own because he said there was no way the store would believe that I needed all those chips to decide what colour to paint my bathroom!! Poop... what does he know, they let me walk out of there with a three inch thick wadge of them and loads of those little clips to hold them together!! I feel a mini coming on....

Carola Bartz said...

Elizabeth, this is so beautiful! I love the tree. Gorgeous work!

Cindy McMath said...

Elizabeth, this is lovely! I actually like both views. Your colours are wonderful and vibrant. The gessoed background, birds and nest are all great additions.

Cindy :)

PS - thanks for visiting my blog today. It's great to be back.

gemma said...

You are so creative. There is always more than meets the eye. And what meets the eye is beautiful BTW.

Kat W said...

This is so pretty and full of joy! I love the mixture of colours, the musical notes and all the detail you added with the birds and nest. It encompasses the musical and creative aspects of nature. If I was the recipient I would definitely have it on display as it would surely bring me joy.
Great for this week's IA theme.
Kat Xx

New End Studio said...

Ahh, this is lovely. The colors, the song of the birds, the chattering of the chipmunks and the squirrels throwing acorns down on the rabbits, etc. Rhythms and music all around.