I jumped at the chance to join this art swap hosted by Nina in Canada, for a couple of reasons. Firstly I love Nina's work and have been lucky enough to receive some of her ATCs in the past and I'm really looking forward to hanging one of her canvases on my wall. Secondly as a challenge to myself as I haven't worked on a canvas for quite some time, having concentrated mainly on ATCs of late.
My initial confidence that I had plenty of time to come up with inspiration has deserted me by last week and I was going through the negative mantra 'Why do I do this to myself, why do I put myself forward?' Then being practised at looking for the positive I began 'If you build it he will come' (many thanks to Kevin Costner in The Field) and I started work, not knowing where I would end up.
I laid down a collage background of vintage cookbook papers, asian script and dressmaking tissue and waited
and waited and was beginning to despair again.
Then a couple of days ago I caught sight of myself in the mirror as I dashed to work. In honour of the first day of Spring I'd decided to wear a floral top, with big swirly 50's style roses, red and gold.... I smiled and there it was, the inspiration, my love of colour, pattern and flowers makes my soul sing and I knew the way forward.
I started with colour, my favourite sea colours, green and turquoise, with water soluble crayons scribbled. Then I mixed them with a wash of white acrylic paint. Then came the wonderful drippy alcohol inks and as I had a daub of white acrylic on my palette I smushed the canvas over it (smushed is a technical term right)? Then, on a roll, came the aubergine glimmer mist followed by my personal favourite, the paper napkins, roughly torn up scroll work, pasted down with gel medium. Then a bit of stamping and it was on the the antiquing of the music paper with distress inks. Out of nowhere a flower appeared, topped off with a toning button. Then I couldn't resist a little embellishing with a Faber Castell sepia pen.
So the motto of my tale, if you've stayed the course (well done you), stick with it, just start and you never know where you might end up, what new direction you might discover, just be open to hearing the whisper that starts you on your way. Thanks to Nina and thanks to my muse who can show up at any time, I just have to be listening, see and act in faith. Here's hoping your muse is talking to you today!