Rough stuff

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It must be because it’s spring.  My head is bursting with colours and ideas.  That’s often the case.  It’s so distracting!  But usually I walk around with those colours and ideas circling in my head and waiting their chance to get out.  Add spring into the mix and they start beating down the door.  I’ve been playing catch up again over at the needlepoint end of things but keep playing hooky, as it were, to sketch out a new design or two.

Yesterday I worked hard and then took a detour to work on this little design which started  barging out of my head a day or two ago.  It’s meant to be one in a series of  little canvases that are stitched and then can be made up into little rolls that a youngster can put their tooth in for the tooth fairy to find, like the one below.


I bet the tooth fairy really likes being able to find that under the pillow instead of reaching around in the dark for a note wrapped around a teeny little tooth.  Although that’s pretty cute too.

I’ve designed a couple and sometime last summer worked on a design for one that just didn’t have it.  You know when you work on something and keep telling yourself, “Yeah, ok, I think this is going to be ok.  Yeah, this is good.  Yeah.”  The third ‘yeah’ tells the story.  It just wasn’t a great design.  Funny colours, too busy, just not great.  I’m not putting myself down.  Sometimes it takes a few tries.

So it languished in my drawer a while until last week I started thinking about it again.  I pulled it out, jotted down a few notes on it and left them on the side of my desk to think about, and then yesterday when I’d put in enough time on the getting it done stuff I went for it.  Sketched out the new design,  kept sketching fish shapes until I had some I liked, moved them around until I had it where I liked it, found what colours I thought I’d like to use.

Then the stage I love!  Slopping the paint on.  Every time I come up with a design I work differently.  Sometimes I do a little painting of the whole thing right from the beginning.  Sometimes I sketch bits, trace them, get enough bits I like, cut out hunks of paper, tape them down to white paper and paint that.


This time I couldn’t even wait that long and threw paint down right on top of the tracing paper I’d been getting the sketch right on.  (Some guiding wise voice in my head did strongly urge and then firmly order me to make a copy of that tracing before I painted all over this one.  Love that voice.  Sometimes.  When it’s telling me good stuff and not just bossing me around.)  I think pretty hard about what colour to put where as I do it so it’s not a free for all, but the key thing is to just get the paint on, messy and sketchy and fun.

Oh man I loved doing this.  I already see a few things I’ll change when I do the next step — that’s a good thing — and the whole thing looks pretty different when it’s painted onto needlepoint canvas — much straighter and defined and solid — but I’m liking it.  It was so fun playing hooky.

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