I know things have been quiet here on the blog (because I’ve been pouring my free time into the bungalow), but get ready for a peppering of posts because there’s only a month until the Undersized Urbanite’s deadline! To keep some amount of surprise between now and then, I’ll mostly be showing individual pieces. Several of the items were made to represent a specific person, and I’ll start with the crown jewel.
My Mother was the one who got me started on my path in art, and as a toddler I would sit next to her on the floor with my colored pencils and crayons and do my best to mimic her beautiful watercolor paintings. For a good part of my childhood, she did still lifes of flowers for a company called Wildwood. It was common in our home for her to have her painting nook, with her giant palette of colors and Mason jar of brush water, and live or fresh-cut flowers poised under lamps as her reference. Her paintings would go on to China and be painted on (quite expensive) lamps. You can find a few of her prints today, but many more designs appeared on the lamps.
As a tiny tribute, I made a watercolor easel with all the trimmings. It is assembled from 35 pieces of cherry wood with a tung oil finish and brass and gold-plated fittings. I did make it a little bigger than a standard fold-n-go easel, because she tapes her paper directly to a drafting-style table. It was also the first time I made a functioning drawer, and it works so well that I’ve had to restore its contents no less than five times already.
She uses Winsor & Newton paints, and I shrank one of their labels to put on the tubes, which were made using a great tutorial. These things are so small that you can’t tell what brand they are anymore, but trust me :-P. The palette is lasercut cardboard that I painted white, and the watercolor smudges are actually heavy-bodied acrylics.
The brushes are carved from mahogany, walnut, and cherry, and are a mix of Japanese and European-style brushes, including a big wash brush. Some of my older paint-pushers sacrificed their bristles to don the tiny handles.
Lastly, I took one of my Mom’s paintings and shrank it. She’s done numerous orchid studies and you can bet we looked at the ones growing in Hawaii. I plan to put at least one more of her paintings in the house.
Thank you Mom! HUG!