Sunday, 9 November 2014

The Cottage

Over the years I have dabbled in many "Folk Art" projects. As a young boy, I was obsessed with building things - in particular - small houses out of lumber, and I was assisted by my beloved late grandfather Neil. We spent many hours in the basement creating small houses for my favourite toy Snoopy based on drawings I had created. Many years later after he retired, my grandpa loved creating many of his own folk art projects, and I was only too happy to assist him. Many folks were amazed by his handiwork, and my grandma used to tell them he got lots of practice building things with me when I was little. Sadly, my grandpa passed away in 1992, and to this day whenever I create something I wish he was around to see my work.

The picture you see above is definitely "folksy" in feeling and media. My mom and I were gathering leaves one day and she remarked how interesting it would be if I painted something on a leaf since there were so many very generously sized specimens. We gathered a few, and then I set out to find the perfect subject. I did not have to look any further than our own family cottage in beautiful Grey County. Based on a drawing by yours truly and built by McIntyre Brothers and my father in 1987, the cottage truly is my home and haven. My inspiration was my home base.

Starting with a leaf of ample proportions, I first varnished it to prepare the surface for painting. I selected the image from a photo my mom had sent me one winter when the weather kept me from home more than I was happy with. Then with the utmost of care, I painted the image in acrylic paint hoping to capture just the right balance of warmth and home in a winter setting. I must say, I was pleased with the result. A final coat of varnish to seal the surface and then I carefully glued the delicate work to a piece of 100% organic paper made out of plant matter, leaves and flowers. After that, all that was needed was a nice frame and I was good to go! Since there was so much texture in the organic paper, I found it unnecessary to use a mat as the picture already had enough points of interest.

It definitely was an interesting study, and one that I most certainly will be revisiting.

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