I have been very inspired by a young artist who lives in Boston, Mae Chevrett lately. I love her use of mixed media and words to convey meaning. Here is her blog. To Go Into The World. Check out her Etsy page to buy pints of her art. I will be buying some of her art for Christmas presents this year. Her quote that resonates with me the most is:
It is in all of us
to defy expectations
to go into the world
to be brave
and to want, to need, to hunger for
to embrace change and chance and risk
so that we may breathe
and know what it is
to be free.
What could be more perfect for a school that targets first generation college students? Many of whom are students who are economically disadvantaged and quite possibly they learned English when they enrolled in school. I knew I had to have it on display at school.
Using Mae’s work as inspiration I created a mixed media background for the piece and used our school colors; purple and silver. I promise that I took pictures as I went along but in true Weekend Country Girl fashion, I did not check to see that I had an SD card in the camera. Once again I must apologize for no photos but I will quickly tell you what I did.
Hubby built a large wooden canvas. I do have a photo of this part. He has mastered making these large canvases. They are a fraction the cost of canvas and sturdy. He uses hardboard for the surface part and that cheap light weight 1X2 moulding for the frame part. These are 3 feet by 4 feet. Any larger and he would have had to put in cross braces too.
First fill all nail holes with wood putty and sand down the spots. Then prime everything. I used Kiltz spray primer.
I typed up the words using a variety of fonts and copied it off on a transparency. I used an overhead projector to shine the words up on the canvas. Once the words were shining up on the canvas I quickly drew uneven lines across the canvas to roughly have a different color for each line of the quote.
I took the canvas and added a section of Mod Podge sheet music to one section and dictionary pages to another section. If you know me, you know I love old books but both the hymnal and the dictionary were beyond repair.
I then painted the rest of the sections quickly with purple, lavender, grey, dark grey, and white. I was going for the torn paper, not straight, look.
After the paint and Mod Podge was all dry I shined the transparency back up so that I could trace the words.
I then painted all the words on starting in the middle then working out so that I could get more done while the paint was wet.
The work is not perfect. I took some close-ups so that you could see all the imperfections.
Here is the fished project minus Mae’s Name at the end of the quote. I want to use a purple Sharpie for that and it is at the office. I hope that I did Mae’s work justice. I also hope that the words inspire my students as they take on the challenge of graduating high school with an associate degree.
My work is not anywhere as good as Mae’s but I like it and will hang it proudly in our main office area.