Bird & Sunrise photo

Bird & Sunrise photo
Because "someday" is today!

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Playing with marbles.

I was delighted last winter when our landlady, Kelly, asked if we would be interested in doing some artwork to add to the sign that advertises her apartments for rent.
Palmer house sign, Built for Charles L. Palmer, owner of Palmer Grocery and Mayor of Baker City in 1902
Built for Charles L.Palmer, Mayor of Baker City 1902 
What Kelly wanted was to replace the purple wooden balls on the top of each post with larger globes that would have original art designed on them. Since the house was built in 1906 and one of my favorite eras for art, Art Nouveau, was still in fashion then, I was excited to begin looking for inspiration and start drawing designs.

Dutch art nouveau (Jugenstil) book cover, blue and gold flower motif - public domain
Dutch Art Nouveau style (Jugenstil) book cover - public domain

Art Nouveau takes it's inspiration from nature and often features flowing lines and floral motifs. I suppose it is not much of a surprise that I like this style so much. I made several sketches, imagining a copper metallic design painted over colored globes in this linear style.

Art Nouveau inspired pencil sketches ©2017 Tina M. Welter
This is only one of the pages out of my sketchbook!
Next, I started thinking about the color and design of the globe itself. Many of the Nouveau pieces I had been studying had metal work over beautiful glass. 

To see some of them, here's a link to my "Wonderful Nouveau" collection of images on Pinterest. (Because of copyright laws, I am not certain which images were o.k. to post on my blog!)

I was going to be using outdoor paint on metal, so I decided I would try a technique I have wanted to do for years, painting faux stone. Pinterest was also a great resource for finding tutorials on how to do marbling techniques. Here are a couple of good ones that I thought were helpful if you would like to try this technique out yourself...Hand painted faux marble tutorial and Painting marble fragments.

For color, I had access to the paint used on the house and the sign. The front door is warm purple, and I like the orange accent that is on the sign and in the front hallway of the house. I found photo examples of natural marble stone with purplish veining, but it wasn't exactly what I had in mind. I actually found a better color and texture match for what I was looking for in these polished amethyst beads.

Amethyst beads on Pinterest, by Fire Mountain Gems and Beads
Hopefully it is ok to use this image since it credits Fire Mountain Gems and Beads.
Putting all this information together, plus 
paint and brushes for several hours on a Saturday afternoon yielded this, my first result...

Faux  painting, purple marble globe, ©2017 Tina M. Welter
It is such a joy when one of my creative experiments works!

I was thrilled, sometimes you do get projects to go right the first time! :D The only problem was when I tested putting my favorite line design over the stone texture, it didn't seem to be working very well.

Nouveau inspired design over faux painted marble, ©2017 Tina M.Welter
Testing out ideas, another reason to like digital art tools!

It was hard for me to give up on doing the Nouveau style line-work since I had spent so much time on those designs and I really liked them! But, I do know from experience that making art is a balancing act and putting too many ideas into one art piece can overwhelm it. 

I still wanted some faux copper metal on the globe and Jeff suggested a simple band around the middle, like a holder for the stone.
Faux marbling, globe, ©2017 Tina M. Welter
I liked his suggestion, so I added one on the middle and around the base. I think it matches the line work on the sign and shows off the faux stone. Success! (Note: the small block of wood that is supposed to cover the metal rod hasn't been installed yet.

Full view of faux marble globes on Palmer House sign, Globes designed by Tina M. Welter
It's cool to think my art will be here long after we are gone.
Overall, I am really happy with the way this project turned out. Plus, I still have some great Nouveau designs that might come in handy another day!



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