I’m a creative, experienced, multi-purpose artist
who can take projects start to finish in a variety of styles.

Good designs sell – mine sell out!

Friday, April 13, 2012

"Puzzled"

My dad and I went across the street and hauled many loads of rocks from the river to make stone paths around our house. It was a fun puzzle we did together, and I liked our earnest consultations as we matched up mismatched stone. I suppose these pleasant memories are why I like to paint rocks in my quiet time.

I painted “My Turtle Floor” quite a few years ago to hide the fact that the wood floor was in dire need of refinishing. I stretched canvas over the floor, painted it with acrylics, and finished it with varnish on top. Years of dog toes scratched it, so once in a while I’d retouch and revise the painting, with polyurethane over the top of that. I’m still unsure if it would’ve been better to stick with varnish, or maybe I should’ve used polyurethane from the beginning, but it is what it is. It stayed on the floor until my horrible plumbing disaster a couple years ago. I had to take up the canvas in order to dry out the wood floor, and it seemed like a good time to retire the canvas to my storage room upstairs. I miss it though. I’m thinking about painting a new floor covering.

In the meantime, I thought maybe I’d do an easier project to lighten up the dining room and painted a new table covering this week. I also thought I’d actually try to show it in progress since I made fun of my own layout last week, and yes, that is another fine layout on a paper plate.

I painted the solid colors first, and painted white swirls and stars in the yellow center field. Then I went out to my mulberry tree which has always given me great leaves for prints. Oops! I forgot that it isn’t summer yet, so no mulberry leaves. I wandered around the yard for a while, but daffodil leaves weren’t going to do it.

I abandoned ship and went to the river instead where I found this leaf. I don’t know what it’s called, so don’t ask me. There are always a lot of them though, and they have heavy veins, which is necessary for good prints. I went back home and did the following steps: 1. Painted the back of the leaf 2. Pressed the wet side down on the canvas 3. Pulled the leaf off. I kept doing that until the leaf fell apart and I wanted smaller leaves. Back in the yard to find wild cherry and strawberry leaves. You can’t say I don’t suffer for my art. I’m allergic to strawberry leaves.

So, after a lot of painting and pressing and very messy hands, I had a pleasant leaf border, and tidied up the edges by painting the borders. Voila! Done! Except I have a glass cover for the table, and it seems like a bad idea to let the glass sit directly on the canvas. Besides, I recently found a bag of silk flowers upstairs, and thought those would be pretty in the border. The flowers didn’t really hold the glass off the canvas though, so I stuck them in spare plumbing washers I had in the basement.

And since I’m thinking about rocks and puzzles and spending time at the river, I thought I’d add this just for fun. When Dad and I got done making stone walks all over the place, I still had some energy for rock moving. Dad suggested I dam the river. Okay. Obviously I was easily suggestible or had absolutely nothing else to do, but I’ve got proof that I dammed it. I actually got the water to rise about 3 or 4 inches upstream until the spring floods washed it away. So I dammed it again. Did I mention I had absolutely nothing else to do? I even took it apart and redammed it with mud reinforcements the third and last time.

Revision
My friend Phil read my post and suggested using coins to lift the glass off of the canvas. I liked his idea, so I made a ring of quarters around the table. I figure this reminds me about making money, plus regular quarters have eagles on the backs, and eagles are always a good thing. I alternated the eagles with the commemorative quarters that celebrate the different states in the US. I figure that reminds me that I have traveled, and need to do more of it. A happy solution all the way around. Thanks Phil!

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29 comments:

  1. The 'Puzzled Onlooker' would have enjoyed this posting. As did I!

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  2. Nice job on the table! like the work in progress pics. Such a cute picture of you in the river!

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  3. Aw thanks! Time will tell if I have a new turtle floor to show next week :)

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  4. Beautiful. I love the idea of the leaf prints - not being an painter artist, I would never have thought of that.

    I think dams are intrinsic to kids. We lived on a steep hill and our goal was to dam up the gutter deep enough so we could float! I think we got it above our ankles once. Then we'd lay down in our swim suits. Thanks for the reminder :-)

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  5. Love your turtle floor covering and your table. Such beautiful work. I thin it's cool that you doodle on paper plates. Why not especially if it's for a circular design.

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  6. I am inspired by your leaf printing!

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  7. What a cool project! And that picture of you as a stone-mason water-baby is just so perfect...

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  8. Wow! Like, you could be an artist! :o)

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  9. How creative!! Love that turtle floor covering you made! Cute pic of you with your dam - nothing quite like messing about with rocks and mud!

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  10. Determination! And I love the turtle canvas.

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  11. Anytime I can remind someone of what it feels like to be a kid is a good day, and if I can inspire people to make leaf prints, even better! Thanks for the comments everybody!

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  12. Great work Linda..both the table and the floor, such a shame you had to take than one up. Good job your river was only that size to dam...I can't imagine what would happen if the River Thames flowed there ;0)Lovely to see your childhood photo.
    Jane x

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  13. What a fun and creative project - the table AND the dam too for that matter. And what a great river to have right across the street!

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  14. I like that your Dad suggested you go dam up the river. That's cool. My folks would have suggested I go play on the freeway.

    That canvas floor didn't start to loosen up with time? You stretch some serious canvas.

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  15. I like that you've turned off that annoying word verify, too.

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  16. That turtle floor is very impressive! I've always wanted to paint a floor (or a floor covering) but never had the guts. The table turned out beautifully too! Wow, those leaves are great!

    I tried to build a low rock wall once. I did a miserable job, though it was fun. Rocks are HEAVY! I'm totally wowed by your dam!

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  17. I agree with Bella, thats one impressive turtle floor. Also love the photo of you dam building, reminds me of spending hours building dams with my cousin.

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  18. Maybe some day I'll write about stretching canvas. I'll admit it is one of my better skills :) Wishing happy memories to everyone. Thanks for the comments!!

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  19. Wow! So many wonderful images and stories in this post, Linda. I love the fact that you dammed that dam over and over again, and the solution to your glass on canvas is wonderful..the table turned out beautifully! How personal and rich! Always so good to visit you.

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  20. That table is great!
    Why aren't you doing this professionally?
    Or are you?


    .

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  21. It seems your life is one non-stop creation.
    I think there is nothing you cannot do.
    What lovely inspiration you are.

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  22. LOVE the turtle floor & the table!! So creative!! Thanks for sharing!

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  23. You are so creative Linda. I love coming and reading your posts. I too am impressed with your dam! and the turtle floor cloth rocks!

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  24. What a fabulous project, Linda! And I love that use of the coins...

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  25. The problem with selling these kinds of projects is that it takes time to do, and people are cheap. Some people don't like walking on paintings too, but I like making this kind of thing. Thanks for the comments!!

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  26. Your creative well seem to be bottomless. I both like the turtle floor (and understand why you would miss it) and the table covering. They are both amazingly wonderful. Thanks for sharing the progress. Your creativity is such an inspiration.

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  27. Our brains are such an amazing part of our anatomy. Quite an understatement, however, I still marvel at how it works - how we (I mean YOU) come up with these ideas. :) I enjoyed reading your inspiration for these projects and the sequence in which you did them.

    Love the girlhood pic!

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