We had a beautiful weekend here in Nova Scotia. Finally we are seeing some warmer temperatures and are feeling the warmth of the sun. the grass is beginning to turn green again and the buds on the trees are finally, slowly emerging. Winter is definitely over.
On Saturday Keith and I drove to Halifax. We had some errands to do and supplies to pick up, and I had someone look at my car to bid for some work that I need to have done on it. It is eleven years old now and while I have kept it in good condition and the miles are relatively low, there are parts of it that are showing its age and I am at a fork in the road in making the decision to give it a 'face lift' or get something else. Since I truly love it, I think I will be looking to get the work done. I would be truly happy with it for another eleven plus years and if I do things right, I am sure it will last even longer than that.
It is a big decision though, as it is not a cheap process. Not if I want things done right. I am certainly not doing things with the intention of raising its sale value, as I realize that that is not a sensible path to follow. This is going to be done with my mindset that it is for myself and my own pleasure, and nothing really beyond that.
I grew up with very limited means. We learned that if we wanted to keep something for a long time, we needed to take care of it properly. We learned to repair things that needed repairs and used things until they were no longer able to be used and regarded our things with the respect they deserved.
That idea has stuck with me throughout my entire life and I don't ever see that changing. In a world where everything seems to be packaged in 'single servings' and things that are sold are done so with the mindset that they are 'disposable', I find that having less things and keeping them longer is far preferable to me than the alternative. It somehow keeps things simpler in this crazy, fast paced world and it allows me to keep a clear head and focus on creating instead of what I want to 'buy next'.
I apologize for heading on a tangent, but I suppose that spending the money I am about to commit to my car is weighing heavily on me. In a way, I think that is a good thing, and a reason why I am able to do so in the first place. If I were impulsive or frivolous about spending what I worked so hard to earn, I wouldn't be able to do so in the first place. The decision has been thought out long and hard and I am sure that at this point it is the right one for me. It is just taking that step of actually doing it is scary. Perhaps that is what having 'common sense' means.
Yesterday I was home and able to get back to finishing up my "Scary-Go-Round" Haunted Carousel project. Yes! I am nearly finished with the painting, and today I will spend the day doing the final touches and the final assembly. I can't wait to see it completed and fully assembled, and I believe I am just as excited about it as many of those who are following along are. It has been a wonderful and incredible journey for me and I am thrilled that it has come out so nice.
I painted the four pieces for the central pillar yesterday. I wanted something that would look creepy, but also beautiful. Since the pillar is under the canopy and dark, I needed enough contrast in it to be a back drop for the characters without looking too chaotic. I realize though that by nature, carousels have a great amount of things going on. They NEED to be somewhat busy as they fill your senses. That is part of the carnival atmosphere.
I decided to make the center pillar resemble a dungeon or castle. I thought this would go well with the skeletal figures. While I had some ideas of shadowy figures and other things, since I had a limited amount of space to work with on each panel, I thought that three window panels and a door panel would be appropriate. Since the carousel itself was already quite busy, I thought this would be enough to complete the mood and tone of the piece without overpowering the main characters. I am pretty pleased with how they turned out:
While they look like they may be tedious to paint, in reality they are quite easy. Doing stone and brickwork like this is a great deal of fun, and very low stress. I figured that by the time people are on this part of the project, they may be a bit weary, and by having something that isn't fussy and actually quite a bit of fun to paint, it made a wonderfully relaxing (yet dynamic) way to finish off the carousel. I hope you all agree.
Each of the windows are the same. They each have a beautiful, glowing moon showing through. I used the same color palette that I used for the ceiling that I showed before:
The photograph of the window actually depicts the color of the ceiling of the carousel much better. It looks deep and lovely.
I also gave a splash of color to each of the four window panels by adding some pretty pumpkins. I think that they will look awesome with some creepy faces added on, which I will probably do today. It will add to the fun scariness of the scene and the more I think of it, the more I like the idea.
I also added some creeping vines with red roses on the edges of each of the four pillar pieces. This design also is on the BACK of each panel, so that they will show as the overlap where the pieces slot together. I thought that this was a wonderful way to fill in this area, and adds a bit of color but isn't overpowering.
I love the hinges on the door. I was thrilled with how that looks. You can't see from the photo, but I used just a hint of a metallic gold wash of paint on both the door and the window panes to give them a little shimmer. Since they are dark and under the canopy, I felt this last touch really helped your eye catch them and brought them into consciousness. Less was definitely "enough" in this instance, as it balanced things out very nicely. The red roses were also done in a metallic paint, giving them a really cool 'glow' on the dark background. The vines were wispy and deep in color, and almost invisible, as they would be under the night sky. I am pretty happy with how everything looks.
But I am not quite done yet . . .
I have some additional 'surprises' left until I can call this piece complete. The area above the door will get something special. I also have a few more touches of things here and there that I want to add in. I want things that will not be apparent at first glance, but will be noticed as one gazes upon the piece and studies it. This will (I hope) truly make it a work of art.
Today I will be assembling things for the first time with all the elements completed. After over two years of thinking and dreaming and creating this piece in my mind, it will be a bit of a thrill for me to see it right here in front of me. While certain parts are slightly different from my original thought process, for the most part it is what I have envisioned and some aspects of it are even better than I thought they could have been.
I am excited.
Tomorrow I should have photos of the entire carousel. I only hope that I can do it justice with my camera. I will then be spending the rest of the week working on the pattern and writing the instructions so that it will be easily (yes – EASILY) recreated. I think that one of the best things about this is that when broken down into steps, it is not a difficult project. The painting is not difficult at all, although it makes a magnificent presentation when all the simple elements are joined together. I hope you all agree.
I hope you come back tomorrow to see. I thank all of you who have encouraged me and cheered me on throughout this process. It felt good to hear (read) such wonderful comments from you all – especially on the days when things needed reworking or didn't quite turn out how I wanted. It really kept me going.
I wish you all a happy Monday and a wonderful week ahead. I hope you do something awesome and creative today. :)
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"