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.
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!