Friday, September 19, 2014

An Inspired Bohemian Butterfly

Hello Lovelies!
It's been awhile since I last posted. Wrangling a toddler these days has my days quite full, to say the least. And it seems if I have any free time, my soul is starving for artsy days, or just searching for some solitude in the studio. An escape for a small time, to breathe and play.
 I do have some fun stuff to share with you, and hope you enjoy the process.
I recently took on an adventurous art project. A canvas 36" x 36", quite larger than anything I have ever done before, but I thought why not? I had been wanting to do a bohemian style butterfly collage, for some time, and I had a large vacant space above my bed, that I wanted to add some color and something fun.
I was inspired to do this piece, by many things.The colors in a new  Handmade Katha quilt throw from India,for my bed, which by the way I am IN LOVE with! A vintage tray, and the colors of the flowers from my garden. Amazing how some things can trigger something in you, and can inspire you to create something so fun from it. I Love being inspired from ordinary things!

I started my template by marking center of the canvas, and used ordinary craft paper, to cover half of the canvas.
I Freehand drew the outlined butterfly, and cut it out.
Then, reversed the image to the other side, tracing around the edges, so that I ended up with equal wings on each side.
I freehand drew the lines for the butterfly segments I would later fill with paint and fabrics.
I then covered the background with various colors of cardstock squares in random order, until I liked the way it was looking. I actually added a few more squares later on, to fill in a few places that I felt needed it. I used ModPodge to secure all the squares to the canvas.

For each segment of the butterfly, I used paint, and tissue paper as a template, and then used the tissue paper pattern to get the right cut from various vintage quilt fabrics.
I used an old embroidered cotton table runner, vintage laces, vintage trims, and upholstery fabrics.

Once cut, I ModPodge'd front and back to secure in place

You can imagine this was a lengthy process, cutting each square, trimming  a bit here and there...Yep. This is what the floor looked like in my studio for a week or so. LOL! Super creative MESS.
Even Violet was exposed to this process, as she enjoys being next to me during creative times.I ended up picking lace out of her fluff, and the floor, for weeks. Ha! All for the cause, "of course."
 Painting segments, adding fabrics...
I used an old bed skirt, I picked up at a thrift store, that had a pretty scalloped lace on the edges. Cut it up, and it worked perfectly for the outside edge of the wings. The more delicate piece of lace around the top edges, and inside of the wings, was cut from the sides of the old embroidered table runner.
This little piece of yellow, embroidered lace is one of my favorite parts, at night with the right low light, it sparkles like magic, and makes me giggle. I LOVE it!
I added lines between the segments, to make them pop. I used acrylic paint, and distress markers.
I had some old burlap coffee sacks that have been laying around for awhile, so I cut them up for the body and head of the butterfly. I liked the numbers, and It seemed to speak to me somehow, so I just went with it.

I painted out the antenna in blacks, and burnt umber acrylic, and added some to the body, and the whole canvas as well, to give some contrast. I like using the burnt umber color, it adds age to anything. I paint on a small section, and then wipe off most of the paint. It leaves behind a most wonderful distressed antique feel.
I also added some dark texture on the edges to make the butterfly POP.
I LOVE the way she turned out.I couldn't be more proud. At first, a part of me thought, how are you going to pull this off? But in the end, I am so happy with the result. Exactly what I wanted, a vintage inspired, Bohemian Butterfly.
It took only a month to finish, but I DID it!

And this is it, hanging in the space above my bed. I love it so.
Thanks for reading along, I know it was a long post. Please feel free to leave me a comment, as I do miss chatting with you all.
Thanks so much for visiting.
Take good care, and
Have a Happy Creative Day!
~Susan Xo