I can just hear my mama’s heart pounding an hour away from me. No, mom, I did not go get a tattoo. But I will be honest- I’ve seriously been considering adding this one to my left wrist for the last year and a half. It might happen. Sorry, mom. I know that’s not what you want to hear.
There are many references to sparrows and/or “birds of the field” as being of importance to God and taken care of by God in the Bible, then their insignificance to humans was pointed out and the fact that God cares so much more for us and will take care of us was taught as the lesson. I love that so much. It has been something that I have clung to over the years when I sometimes struggled to see myself as someone worth…well, anything. And I have grown to love the sparrow as a reminder of God’s love for me.
Now, being realistic, I know that I’m not artistic. I can’t draw worth a flip, and I have never taken a painting class in my life. The closest I’ve come to receiving any art instruction was doing stick figure drawings in first grade during our once a week art classes, and I haven’t exactly improved much in skill since then.
So, it’s not surprising that I totally messed up the tail, I couldn’t replicate the shading with paint, and I probably accidentally changed some other stuff. But I still wasn’t too disappointed with my attempt at turning this tattoo design into a textured painting. Besides all of that, it was fun.
Here’s how it went down:
I started out by LOVING the art of Justin Gaffrey. My friend, Jessica, had put a picture of some of his work in his Seaside Gallery on twitter, and I have been obsessed ever since. You should see some of his sunflower paintings. They are some of my favorites. But here is one he did of a bird.
He uses impasto acrylics and a palette knife to carve the images onto the canvas, making his art more textured and 3D. I find it really eye-catching. Then he uses gobs of acrylic paint to bring his works to life.
I love his style, and I loved the idea of having something besides a 2D painting that showed the canvas texture under the paint. So, after spending some gift cards I got for Christmas at Hobby Lobby, I had my supplies (as closely mimicking his as I could find within budget). And I got started.
I had a BIG canvas. I put it on our kitchen table with some plastic tablecloths I got at a dollar store spread underneath.
Since I decided I wanted the entire canvas to look textured, I spread my acrylic gunk all over the canvas and let it dry overnight.
It wasn’t pink like it looks in the pictures above, but my flash was low on juice, and I had no natural light. Here is a picture the next day:
And here is what I had bought to use for texture.
Then I got to work with a background that went from white and chartreuse to blue and black.
I let that dry overnight. Then I attempted to free hand draw this design. And that is why his tail is a disaster.
Then I used a palette knife and went over it with the paste.
I actually kind of liked it white. But my plan had been to make the bird dark, and I didn’t have enough white paint left to change that. So I let it dry overnight with plans to paint it the next day. But then I got really, really bad food poisoning (gross) and couldn’t paint it the next day.
I finally tackled it a couple days later, between bouts of nausea and moaning on the couch.
The stupid thing was, I have VERY strong food associations. Generally, if I throw something up, I can’t eat it again for months. I once went about 2 years without wanting to even look at a hotdog or drink Sunkist. But I had no idea it could happen with things that I hadn’t eaten.
With my painting.
I shouldn’t have finished painting it when I felt so gross. I just wanted it done, though, so I did. Every time I walked past it for several days, I felt nauseated. I couldn’t look at that wall. I think it had more to do with the smell of the paint though, because I don’t smell it now, and I don’t feel nasty when I look at it anymore either.
Last thing. Originally, I was planning to write (with a paint pen) the verses that I associate with this image on the canvas as well. I know that’s not what most people do, but I’ve seen it done before and loved it. One example of some art that I like with that is this one from Audrey and Ben’s place. Here’s a picture of Asher as a wee-bitty man in front of it:
It has the lyrics to “Lead Me To The Cross” on it, and I think it just works.
So now, I’m trying to decide if I’m done with mine or not. Because if I do it and hate it, it’s too late. Hmm. I’m a weeny, so I probably won’t do it. But feel free to toss your opinion out there.