Well folks – after a weekend of pretty much continual painting, I am still only about one third done with the project that I am designing. I don’t remember the exact day I began working on it, but it was sometime in the middle of last week. There were some other work related things that came through in the mean time (a nice wholesale order and doing some printing for my friend Bernie) and that of course took me away from things for a bit, but other than that, I have been trying to remain focused on completing the task at hand.
The pieces are due in the middle of July – which seemed like a long, long time away when I first received the deadline. But as I work on them, I am grateful for the extra days so that I can do the patterns properly. As usual, I am doing two sets of the project – one to send for publication and one to keep here with me. For this project, I have been supplied with surfaces to paint on from Artist’s Club that they will be selling to accompany the pattern, but I also drew up and cut out my own pieces that are a slightly different shape so that I am able to sell both the patterns and pieces on my own site without worrying about infringing on any copyrights of the suppliers of the pieces. That is one of the pluses of being able to draw and cut my own surfaces.
The painting projects typically take a bit of time to do. Not only do I need to draw the line work, but breaking the instructions down to a step-by-step tutorial process that people can follow to easily recreate pieces sometimes is a challenge. While I may be able to paint what I call my ‘fine art’ pieces such as those that I show on my Gallery page on my website, so much of the shading and painting is done by ‘feel’ that it would be difficult for even myself to recreate the painting to my satisfaction.
Doing the pieces in duplicate helps me standardize the process a little bit and break it down into understandable and easy-to-follow steps. That way people will be able to recreate it satisfactorily. Of course, people will apply their own style to the paintings, as painting a piece is much different than reproducing a scroll sawn project. While the scroll saw project is pretty much cut and dry with the customer following the lines, painting projects have a seemingly endless amount of variables that can be applied in the form of shading , toning, etc. It is because of this that I feel painting patterns are a bit more complex than woodworking patterns.
But I do enjoy creating them for a change. If I had to choose between creating scroll sawing patterns and creating painting patterns, I honestly don’t know which one I would pick. I love cutting fretwork and my time at the saw and making wood pieces that look as if they are flowing, but I also love color and the beautiful variations that you can achieve with a paint brush. It would be a tough call to only be able to do one of the two processes, and I am happy that I am able to do both and that the painting side of my business is growing bit by bit every day.
As with anything though, being away from it sometimes makes you rusty. While I created the 12 days of Christmas Keys pattern to submit to Artist’s Club only a couple of weeks ago, since that time so many projects have been done that it seems like it was months ago. At first I had thought that recreating the designs on a different surface would be fast and easy, but as I began to do so, I saw that there was much room for improvement and in some ways it is like starting from square one. I don’t want you to think of this as a complaint though, as it is absolutely not and what it does is allow me to refine the designs and make them even better. And although that may be time consuming, it is a lot of fun and the final pieces are looking better than they originally did.
On Saturday evening I feel as if I hit my stride. I had finished the third piece of the series and I was so pleased with the outcome that it completely refreshed my excitement regarding the entire project. Here is a picture of the piece:
Unlike the original key shaped ornaments, the revised set will have outer frames in six deep jewel tones. After doing the Angel Place Card Holders last week with the jewel tones, I thought using similar colors for these frames would really look nice as a set. You may not be able to tell by the picture, but the frame for this ornament is a deep aqua/teal metallic. I also used the super fine Glamour Dust glitter paint on the frame and it looks really beautiful. I was pleased with my hen too, as it looks almost ‘fluffy’. Even though it is taking a bit of time, I believe that in the end this pattern will be something that I can really be proud of.
At this point, I anticipate taking just about the entire week to finish getting these painted. I need to go to Digby one day as I have some things that I need to deliver to Bernie and Ellen. That will probably take much of one day up. I did paint yesterday morning and part of the afternoon, but we spent the late afternoon and evening with family. It was good to get out and we had a lovely dinner with Keith’s parents.
I need to be patient with myself this next week. Even though I sometimes feel as if I am going at a snails’ pace, as long as my end result is good, I can’t allow myself to feel bad about how much time it will take to complete these. The good part about designing is that there is no quota as to the number of new designs I need to produce. I would rather introduce one excellent design that ten mediocre designs. Getting things done right is far more important to me than having a huge quantity of new pieces. I just need to remind myself that at the times when I get impatient.
I hope you all have a great Monday. It is foggy out this morning, but a bit warmer than it has been. Summer is trying to poke its nose here, a little at a time. I am sure it will come it it is ready. Once again, I need to practice patience.
Have a beautiful day.
-- Contributing Editor, Creative Woodworks and Crafts, Sheila Landry Designs http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com "Knowledge is Power"