There was nothing she couldn't do
I’m sharing this painted canvas today to illustrate one of my favorite forms of mixed media – the painted canvas.
I made it for my mother a few years ago and it was one of her most treasured pieces that she took with her when she sold her home and moved into a retirement community. It’s a 5×7 stretched canvas which is a nice, mannerly size. She hung it next to her breakfast table then, and it holds pride of place in her living room now.
It’s one of my favorite pieces, too. What do you think? It was only the second time I’d painted on a mixed media canvas (the first time was here), and I quite enjoyed it. It was my goal to paint roses in a decorative fashion (as opposed to a realistic fashion), and I was starting to feel more comfortable doing so.
Not only was this project fun to make, it was fun to come up with the many ways I could honor her. Because, to be honest, she really could do just about “ever’thang.”
The canvas was painted, then decoupaged. Then painted some more.
There is a lot of symbolism on this piece, starting with the music notes I stamped onto the colored base layer (I used Neocolors). They’re ever so faint, but music is a big part of my mother’s life. Country music from the good old days, not that modern stuff that passes for “country” nowadays. It played all day in her house. She’d crank it up in the evenings when she’d have a margarita out on the patio to celebrate the end of another productive day in her gardens or art studio.
She grew so many kinds of roses, both modern hybrid teas and fragrant antiques. I used to give her a plant for the garden every year for Mother’s Day – it was a big tradition for me while she was building her garden. Roses, hostas, you name it, I probably gave it to her, including the “margarita tree,” which was her favorite. Its fruit made the nicest margaritas.
However, she eventually had to stop planting as she got older, and this was the first year I didn’t give her a live plant. Instead, I gave her the painted rose which will bloom forever.
As a side note, I used to grow a very similar rose. It was a modern hybrid tea and I don’t remember the name, but here is a picture which looks exactly like it. Alas, it was too finicky and I finally gave it the boot. I don’t allow attitude in my garden. Put out, or get turned into compost.
The many pieces to this puzzle added up to a wonderful treasure hunt of memories
Two of the digital stamps are from Gecko Galz, and I honestly can’t link directly to them because I think they were freebies that Leanne gave to us at a retreat I attended a few years ago; however, you could always contact Leanne through the Gecko Galz site (here) to see if she does have them for sale. I LOVE these images, especially the woman’s face, both of which are perfect for Mother’s Day. The “Mother” word has a crown on it because, as today’s title states, my mother is the queen of everything.
After decoupaging these images to the canvas, I added a bit of blush and lipstick with Copics as my mother never EVER leaves the house without her makeup on. I should be so dedicated. And the wooden butterfly was painted with shimmer paints to match the rose. Butterflies were thick as thieves in her gardens.
This soft, vintage image is part of a free collage set that you can obtain over at The Graphics Fairy. It was designed by my friend Heather Hudson and is featured on her painted canvas blog post here. It’s perfect because my mother had two children, me and my sister.
By the way, all images were printed onto tissue paper for that soft, see-through effect. I love how you can see some of the background stamping through them. Card stock was just too thick and heavy for this purpose.
The words “my friend” were printed from my computer, also on tissue paper, and edged with Stickles.
The canvas still needed something...
When I had all of the painting done and the images decoupaged, I knew this piece needed something else, something 3-D, and definitely something dangly. My mother almost never makes a piece of art that something isn’t dangling from it somewhere. So danglies it was. At first I thought I’d do a “necklace” but I didn’t want to cover the lady’s face with it, so then I played around with the vintage chain and it struck me – a charm “bracelet!” The first charm is a frog because my mother used to collect frogs, but some years ago she said, “NO MORE FROGS.”
Sorry Mom, just one more. The flower charm of course symbolized her extensive flower gardens.
Next come the scissors for the woman who sewed nearly all of my clothes as a child. She also made some of the most fabulous quilts you’ve ever seen, many of which grace my home.
And of course a heart. She puts at least one heart on every single project she makes, whether it’s quilts, mosaics, paintings, etc. I don’t think I’ve ever seen her make something that didn’t contain at least one heart, if not more. Because of her, I ♥ hearts.
My mother collected keys for most of my life and decorated with them too. So this little key (another heart!) was a perfect fit. It was silver but I colored it with a copper Copic marker. I rarely use silver, and copper looked better.
And last but certainly not least, the flamingo. Why? Because a few years ago I said I was going to put a flamingo in my front yard for a little bit of tacky fun, and being who she is, my mother made me a huge one, mosaiced in pink and sporting a stylish ceramic bow on her neck. You can visit Fanny the Flamingo here. I became known as “the house on the corner with the flamingo in the front yard.” I truly think this is the ONLY cool yard flamingo out there – nothing tacky about this one.
One last surprise
I was on a rose painting roll, and I had a tiny 1″ wooden heart laying around my studio, so I painted it for my daughter. It looked fine until I saw the close up photo. Clearly I needed to work on my vine painting. She loved it regardless.
Thank you for joining me today – it was long but, well, that’s how I roll. I’m chatty. And I like lots of pictures.
Now it’s your turn. Have you made a piece of mixed media art for your mother or someone else you love? Or for any reason? Share it on Facebook so we can all enjoy it – and make sure to spell out the details! We love details!