Friday, May 19, 2017

Creative Friday #12: What is the Artist Thinking?

Good morning everyone! It's time for another Creative Friday!

Have you ever wondered about what an artist was thinking when they created a certain piece of art? I know I have - I wondered what inspired the subject, the mood, or if there's some hidden meaning. Then there's where someone completely misses what the artist was trying to convey and tells you, "Oh that's really sweet" when in fact it wasn't meant to be sweet. Today, I'd like to step outside my comfort zone, make myself vulnerable, and delve into one of my paintings.

I struggled , no wrestled is the better word, with the idea of this painting for several years. It would come knocking on the door of my mind, I'd think about it, then promptly put it on the back burner as too difficult or just not ready to go there yet. But it kept nagging at me. Then one day, it could no longer be ignored. I was struggling. Struggling with creativity, struggling with feeling blocked, wondering if I had any dreams left.

Where were my dreams - where did they go? What were they? It was from these very ponderings this painting was born.
As I thought about my childhood hopes and dreams, I realized I had either lost them, laid them aside,  or they were stolen from me somewhere along the way. Now to me, being an artist is being able to connect to those dreams and hopes - to feel like they were gone was severely affecting my creativity. So I came up with "The Battle For Her Dreams".

I started with a girl - she gazes out the window towards a distant and misty castle, separated from her dreams of the past and although they remain, they are shrouded and she cannot reach them.

The great dragon threatens to burn them all up, destroying everything she once dreamed of for her future:
(The dragon represents Satan, the destroyer)

Her fondest childhood dreams are threatened:
(The pony represents childhood dreams because yes, I wanted a pony just like this)

Sometimes, those dreams are stolen from us :
(The unicorn represents innocence and purity)

Often we pretend to be fierce when the fact is, we are hurt and vulnerable on the inside and the fierceness is just a mask we hide under:

Then we find Courage and start to fight back:
(God is our weapon. Notice how the flames are deflected)

And Hope rises and we dare to dream again:

So yes, it may look like a fantasy piece and could even pass as one, but the meaning I created it with is so much more.

Hopefully, this will make you think or at least look more closely.
(Nope, not all of my paintings are this deep). 😊

("The Battle For Her Dreams" copyright by Cecilia Bramhall. All images are the property of the artist and may not be used without permission)

Sharing here: Show And Share

Monday, May 15, 2017

Quick Projects Around the Farm

We headed to the farm on Thursday to check on the bees and water plants.

I am happy to report the bees are doing looks like new bees have hatched and all is going as it should.  And the plants are thriving and blooming (yay).

I ended up not having to water - a storm blew in Thursday evening and we got an inch of rain. Afterwards the weather was just gorgeous with perfect temperatures! And check out the sunset - isn't it so pretty with the sun gilding the edges of the clouds?

The next morning dawned sunny and cool The mowing got done,

 And I planted plants in the new front bed in front of the guest room. Looking forward to those growing and softening the edges of the rain drain.

I placed the little tractor in the flowerbed - when the plants grow up around it, it will look so adorable among them!

I also got a couple of smaller projects done.

One of them was redoing the small metal table we use out on the back patio. I'd painted it yellow a couple of years ago. Here's what it looked like shortly after I painted it:
But now the paint was starting to peel and I was rather tired of the bright yellow. It didn't go with anything I had.

This time I painted it red. Love the way it turned out! hm, I forgot to take a picture of it.

I put the tiered cart with dog art in place of the school desk on the back porch (it looks great there). Oops, I forgot to take a picture of it in it's new spot. Blogging fail again!

The next project I took plenty of pictures of - The telephone junction box stuck out like a sore thumb along the garage wall. (I guess the electric meter isn't all that pretty either but it doesn't have a pole going down into the flowerbed). What can I use to hide it?

Let's see...I have several old fence pickets; I have a new Ryobi circular saw; I have Bruce to show me how to use the little circular saw. Sounds like I have everything I need! So with Bruce's guidance, I cut supports and the pickets to size. Then Bruce used his new Kreg pocket jig to put the supports together and I nailed the pickets to them.

An old garden fork head screwed into the pickets hold my cute chalkboard sign I picked up in Canton.

Isn't it wonderful? I like how it hides the telephone box and gives the flowerbed a focal point.
(I still need to put the supports on so it will stand up straight. )
Plus, I got good practice using my circular saw!
Soon it was time to head back to the city. But that's ok. The kids were taking me out for Mother's Day Saturday night and we were honoring my mother-in-law on Sunday.

I'll see you soon, sweet B Farm!

Linking up here:
Vintage Charm Party

Friday, May 12, 2017

Creative Friday #11: Dog Art On A Cart

I've been behind on my Creative Friday posts...been doing a lot but nothing worth blogging about. Today, however, I have a makeover for you I think you'll like!

Once upon a time (last year), I found a metal tiered cart at Canton Trade Days. I paid $12 for it which was a bargain considering most I've found have been $35 and up. It had been painted an ugly mustard yellow color and they painted over the rust plus the chrome legs. (Can you say a bad paint job?)

It's been sitting in the garage waiting to be made over - last year we had a very rainy and cool spring (every time I wanted to work on it, it rained) and summer was too hot. Then other projects took over and it languished.

Finally, I pulled it out this past weekend so I could work on it. I sanded it to get rid of the raised areas caused by rust, flipped it over and sanded the underside, then I took paint stripper and slathered it on. Yuck -  stinky, gloopy mess. But the mustard yellow is gone.

I used aluminum foil and vinegar to tackle the rust on the legs - the rust was pretty bad as you can see.
It took a lot off although I wasn't able to get rid of all the rust stains. 

And amazingly the red factory finish didn't come off. It's a bit faded and distressed with pocking from the rust but I like it so I'm not going to repaint it and make it shiny and new looking. 

That done, it was time to give it some (more) character. I wanted a cute graphic so using a graphic dog advertisement I saw on Pinterest,
and my dogs as models I came up with my own take of a dog ad.
"Good boy, Buddy!"

"Look up here, Herbie"
A quick sketch gives me my image for the dog ad:

Using carbon paper, I traced the words and image onto the cart

traced the lines with a black paint pen,

and started painting. Here it's close to being finished- just need to add details:

 After the paint dried, I went back to add details. Where the paint looks more black, it is actually still wet.

After it was dry, I added a clear coat of spray paint on all parts.

I'll be taking it to the farm this week to use out on the porch. I love the faded look of the red paint with the distressed areas - then there's the border collie/hot dog art.
Too cute!

Buddy and Herbie approve!

"Now, where's our hot dog?"

I'm sharing here:
Vintage Charm Party
Coastal Charm Show and Share
Make It Pretty Monday
Talk of the Town

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