I was honored to be asked to create a birdhouse for a fund-raising event for the Ronald McDonald House in Denver. As you probably know, I volunteer there for 3 hours a week, manning their front desk and everyone knows I'm an artist since I bring my sketchbook there to work on when things slow down (which is not very often!)
But as soon as I said "yes!", I started to worry whether I could create something that everyone would love. (Yes, most artists I know are a little insecure when doing a commission — including me!) I finished it today and I actually like it! (I hope they do too!)
Here's how I made it.
I bought a wooden birdhouse from Amazon to serve as my substrate. I covered it with gesso and then stenciled on it with moulding paste to create the textured surface. I spent a good amount of time figuring out what spray acrylics (Marabu) would blend into the look I was going for and starting with the yellow at the top, lime green in the middle and blue at the bottom, I sprayed away.
Thinking it needed a more rustic look, I dripped some Quinacridone Nickel Azo Gold (Golden High Flow) on the top and sprayed it with some water. I painted the windows with Paynes Grey fluid acrylic.
Bought a fake bird and some fake leaves from Michaels. I cut the leaves into smaller leaves and glued them onto the roofs to make them look like shingles. Attached the bird to the top and I'm done!
I've never done anything like this before so it was very challenging to go out of my comfort zone (fiber) and into a mixed media zone but now I'm thinking of how to make a birdhouse from fabric! We'll see how that goes!
I'm getting more and more political with my art. Not always in fabric, more often in paper. But one of my "projects" is to start using political signage in my art. I've been collecting words from these signs from many marches. Today, was the March For Our Lives, organized by the Parkland teens.
I spent the morning crying after watching the march in DC and then, I went downtown to participate in the march in Denver. Thousands of people of all ages, races, religions, status, -- yes, we are a diverse community.
My grandkids are 9 and 11 years old. They live in the gun-toting state of Texas. I'm marching for them so they can grow up, feeling safe, and surrounded by love. I hope they can have a care-free childhood and not worry about being shot at school.
I grew up in the 60's and marched against the Vietnam War. It took many years but finally, it was over. This march felt the same. I can only hope the teens won't get discouraged. But after hearing their speeches today, I am hopeful for the first time in many years.
Words are my inspiration and lately, I've been getting even more inspired by fiber artists that use words in their pieces. I recently discovered Diane Samuels and LOVE her work.
Carol Ann Waugh
I am a mixed media artist and love color and texture!