My dear friend Stephanie Gagos runs a fantastic online community for women called Healing Truth Sanctuary. One of the things she has been talking about this month is using the images from your memory to help deal with being triggered or times of stress. She posed a challenge for us to think about one of our positive childhood memories in which we felt free and safe and create a painting around it.
One of my favorite memories is of swinging. As a teenager , swinging was my get away. Whenever I needed to be away from my parents, think or just clear my head, I would walk to a nearby park. I would put on my headphones, pop a CD into my disc-man and swing for hours. My favorite CD to swing to was Aerosmith Big Ones. I could lose myself in the rhythm of “Cryin’” “Amazing” “ Crazy” and “Angel.” I had those songs on repeat as I was working on this painting.
You can view the full video tutorial below :)
I began the painting by briefly writing this memory and the feeling it brought up on the bottom of my canvas in the shape of my hill. Next I gessoed the entire canvas and created my background. I blended two shades of blue for the sky and two shades of green for the grass. I used glazing medium to help make the blending easier
While the paint was drying I started working on my Creative Paperlcay® embellishments. I rolled my Creative Paperclay into a long strip, then cut it into several pieces to be used as the bars on the swing set. I laid the thin strips of clay on a pencil create a nice round shape that would mimic the metal swing set I had envisioned. I shaped a piece of Creative Paperclay® into a seat and set everything aside to dry.
Next I started working on my girl. I created an armature in the shape of my figure using thin craft wire, then I completely covered the wire in Creative Paperclay®. Once I had created her body, I added a small ball of clay for her head and then more clay on top to form her hair. I gave her bangs and pig tails because that was how my hair was often done as a small child.
When all of my Creative Paperclay® pieces were dry I painted them with acrylic paint. I used flesh and burnt umber on my girl and a coat of black on all of the swing set pieces. After the black paint was dry I added a coat of One Step Crackle to the swing set pieces. I have found that the thicker I apply the crackle and the less I try to work it the better it does. I let the crackle dry for several hours then I applied a coat of red ocher acrylic paint to the swing set. If you really want your crackle to stand out, wipe some of the paint back of soon after applying it.
I used some old fabric scraps to make my girl’s dress. I like to cut the basic shape, then snip and fit it as I go along. I used clear tacky glue to attach her dress to her body.
Finally I arranged all of my pieces and glued them to the canvas with hot glue. I used a piece of an old necklace to create the chains for the swing and I glued the chain to the canvas using 3D Crystal Lacquer.
This piece means so much to me and I am so pleased with the way it turned out. It reminds me of the freedom and peace the simple act of swinging used to bring to me and I am grateful for the memory <3
You can view more of my work on my blog :)