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Mouse over the image to zoom in and see the wood grain and textures that my mixed media techniques create.
This Collage-Painting of the succulent known as Hens & Chicks growing in a rock garden uses cut paper with swirling ink and organic inclusions, has a stenciled effect and allows the wood grain to show through.
Succulents are the super stars of xeriscape gardening! The Hens & Chicks plant propagates by shooting little tiny copies of herself all around her root base and/or through the seeds that fall from her tiny, alien-looking flowers in late summer. These clusters look like a mama and her babies, and what could be cuter than that?!
Most of my artwork is based on the flowers I grow in my yard, and I am especially proud of my xeriscape garden. Xeriscape gardening principles discourage the use of irrigation in order to garden responsibly in arid or semi-arid conditions. Succulents do very well with little moisture, and I am pleased to show people how beautiful a garden can be without wasting water, a precious resource here in my home of Colorado.
I grow these flowers in my garden, photograph them (or sometimes hire a friend to help with photos!) and use them as inspiration for my artwork. This piece, “Hens & Chicks #1" was created in my signature style of collage-painting.
I prepare a wood panel by cutting, sanding and sometimes staining it. This time I chose to leave the wood it’s natural color and allow it to show through to create outlines, sand, and other elements of the picture. I created stencils and used them to establish areas for the plants. For the leaves and stems, I manipulated magazine pages in a way that lifts the ink of the page and swirls it around. This makes an abstract but very natural-looking paper in a rich array of natural brown, olive, green, yellow and gray tones. The gray pages were perfect for the rocks. A transparent application of acrylic paint added just the right details.
The original is 15” x 27” and comes ready to hang, mounted on an off-black frame backer using glue and nails. The nails (black carpet tacks, technically) are exposed, adding to the hand-crafted look of the piece. These pictures take about 40 hours to create (not including the gardening). I hope you enjoy the flowers as much as I do!
Feel free to contact me to discuss custom work.
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