The Gem Under The Ferns

Some paintings seem to have a rough journey to completion. This one was up there with some of the toughest I’ve ever attempted. Here is part one of a poorly planned painting gone wrong:

I should stress that the poor planning was completely on my part! My client chose a very adorable sketch that I had quickly done up of a fawn hiding under some ferns. I didn’t give a lot of thought in choosing actual colors and perspective before I dived in. But dive in I did.
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Background was hurriedly painted and I drew the outline of the fawn.

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Then I thought, “It is a forest scene so it needs a stump.” So slap on a stump I did. It was horrendous and huge!

*Please ignore the clutter behind my easel. I have little kids…’nuff said.)

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Then I thought to myself, “This stump needs moss.” By then I was so horrified at how awful it looked I wiped it all off!

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At this point I realized it would never work… the way the fawn was positioned, the weird little tree in the distance, the massive empty space at the bottom of the canvas. So I sent my client a photo and she agreed with me! I waited for it to dry well and then sanded the whole thing down and started over.

And so began part two of trial and error:

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I very carefully made a new sketch to the exact dimensions of the canvas. I used math people!

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The new background. Pretty boring and bland…as it should have been.

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A bigger fawn with bigger ears and bigger eyes. It took four tries for me to get it in the right position on the canvas! I used math again…. it was awful.

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Finally things fell into place and I finished the rest in two painting sessions.

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At this point my client was pleased and I was over the feeling of doom!

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The finished piece! Perseverance, encouragement from a dear friend, experimenting, and a whole lot of patience and studying made it work out in the end. And now I can’t wait to tackle my next piece!

I am currently at an art & craft retreat and so excited for some kid free time to immerse myself in something.

Have a great weekend!

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Flashback to the Beginning

When I was 11 years old┬áI set up my own little “studio” in a damp, dingy basement room that stunk of kerosene and had a battered print of crashing waves hanging from the rafters. It was there I learned to love mixing paints and carefully covered chunks of wood salvaged from the wood pile. After a while, my experiments began to resemble something. Mainly horses and mountains which were my obsession.
A recent visit to my parent’s place revealed they kept some of my early attempts and now have┬áthem displayed in their home! I quickly snapped some photos so I could look back on them again.

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The first horse that started it all. I tried to paint my pony, Thunder.

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This one is very tiny and on an Oak knot I found in our wood pile. I did a lot of miniature paintings because I didn’t have a lot of paint!

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When I was 13 I read about vinegar painting on wood. That is what is on the sky part of this.

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Snowy mountains were what I loved to paint!

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Hope you enjoyed this little flashback post!

One Year ago…

My husband and I had finally finished putting together my sewing/painting studio in the lightest room in our basement. We had worked on it most of the winter, building tables out of doors and scrap lumber and painting dingy brown panels a calming grey and blue. I sat down at my easel with paintbrush┬áin hand and┬ánearly had a panic attack. In my dreams of finally having my own space to create I had always imagined myself diving right in and creating exciting masterpieces. Not so in real life… I spent a whole week trying to draw a table with legs that weren’t askew and trying to figure out how to paint a background!

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I did manage to come up with this piece that I still have in my kitchen. When I look at it now I see so many things that went so horribly wrong. But I still love it. It was a dive into something I truly wanted to do. It makes me smile and cringe every day! I experimented with other pieces that I eventually got so frustrated with I gave up and painted over. I wish some days I hadn’t.

-Clara J. Teixeira