Friday, June 20, 2008

My favorite mistake

How about a quick tour around the garden before I show you my mistakes? Besides, photography is a very healthy exercise in getting rid of a creative block (unless you're a blocked photographer ;) That's a tip Robyn let me in on. She has some wonderful info on creativity here, here, plus resources for beating the block. Here's the last of the spring flowers, all from the back yard.

When the forget-me-nots are at their peak the grass looks like a carpet of blue. I sat in the garden today with my sketchbook, colored pencils, markers and enjoyed sketching in the sun.

The herb garden.

Lastly, here's the works in progress. I'm having fun with the blue one. Part of my process ended up being taking the painting to the bathtub and repeatedly pouring water over the last wet layer of paint I'd applied. I love the way it blended things for me. Originally the plan had been to wash off a thick layer of ruination, but it turned out to be so much fun. What's that Cheryl Crow song, "You're My Favorite Mistake"? Well the blue painting is my favorite mistake.

The little one beside it has been an experiment using rust as a finish. You paint on a layer of iron particles and the next day the finishing solution. It's pretty exciting to watch the rust develop and the piece turned out beautifully. I ruined it with the tree, there's no contrast at all but it was worth the lesson. I'm going to play with it some more. I think it needs only squares, not trees. The background will have enough going on. If you'd like to try the rusting solution you can get it at craft stores or here. I don't have much to say about the little red and black one on the wall, except that the process has been a real struggle.

And the large one is a gentle disaster. Gentle because I wasn't really in love with the painting. I liked where it was headed, but the technical difficulties that ensued didn't break my heart or have me sobbing inconsolably. I've never used crackling medium, and thought it dried clear. When I read the description on the package, I thought it meant that tinting the product was optional or a nice suggestion. Not so, this is going to dry white and now I have a puzzle to deal with. It needs to cure for a few days so that will give me lots of time to figure out what to do with it. I'm thinking a nice rub of paint with a soft cloth. Something that will creep into the cracks. We'll see. If you have any experience with the stuff and feel you should issue some warnings for other possible problems, feel free :)

It's been a long sweet summer day that finished with a stroll for double scoops of gelato (chili chocolate and one scoop of strawberry :D) Now for a curl up with a good book. Have a great weekend!


Tracy said...

Your garden shots are lovely...lily of the valley and forget-me-not--love those! But mistakes?? What mistakes? ;o) I think all the canvases in progress look terrific. The blue does have terrific potential. It's been a long time since I did such fine art, but I know what you mean by "mistakes"...That rust is intriguing. How do you that? Until the canvases call you back enjoy the gelato. And your pooch is a super-sweetie...aaawww...Happy Weekend :o)

Beverly said...

Shayla, thanks for visiting my blog, and I do hope you decide to join us for Pink Saturday in the future.

I absolutely adore lily of the valley, and I always have. Too me, it is just evokes such gentle beauty.
All of your garden is lovely.

How fun that you sketch and paint. I know you must enjoy it, and I am sure it brings pleasure to all viewers. I used to love to sit and sketch, but it has been years. Maybe I should dig out my sketch book.

Lynn@ The Vintage Nest said...

love the lily of the valley and I very much like your "mistakes".

Robyn said...

Oh what a beautiful garden!
As for the paintings...well I'm still looking for the mistakes. All the paintings I see are great. Perhaps you are tired of them and need to turn them to the wall for a few days. Sometimes I find that I love something I hated a month earlier. I love the little red and black one ....very intriguing...and the blue is gorgeous!
Thanks for the mention...blush.

picciolo said...

your garden is gorgeous and I love the vase you put those flowers in. What a lovely place to sit and sketch. And your 'mistakes' are all really interesting, its great how you are always experimenting
: )

M.Kate said...

Firstly, the garden is gorgeous and I love the herb picture, is that a water plant?

Mistakes or not, its not important...i think you are such a talented artist, we'll not know the difference of a mistake, we'll just love it anyway.

Your pooch is a super cutie...but I am sure you dont have 9 like us (rabbits...)


Shayla said...

Thanks for the encouragement, everyone, and your lovely visits:)

Tracy, the rust process comes in two bottles from the craft store that you simply paint onto the object you want to rust. It will rust anything. My camera's out of commission right now, so when I've got that fixed I'll do a little tutorial. Very easy!

MaryKate, none of the herbs are water plants.I'm not sure which ones you many have in Malaysia so I'll just tell you what's in that pot. The one with the purple flower is a chive plant of the onion family. There's strawberries, lettuce and Nasturtiums. The Nasturtiums look a bit like lily pads, so perhaps that's the one you meant. They'll bloom in red, orange and yellow. They keep certain bugs out of the garden, look great in your salad and taste peppery.