It may be WAY too cold for 'mild' North Carolina but that's not going to stop me from bringing the warmth.

One of the many 'hats' that I wear is that of being a Handmaiden. We are a partnership of crafty women who have been promoting art and the local art community in the Raleigh area for 10 years now. We produce The Handmade Market, twice a year. This year we are excited about adding new facets to our work. One of those facets is a monthly 'Challenge' to spark other artists to get going and get creative.

I was always that mom who didn't think I should just tell the kids what to do, but that I should join in the fun {or work!}. So with that same conviction, I am joining in the Handmaidens Challenge this month myself. The theme is ICE. How perfect that Ice is also the 'theme' for North Carolina's weather this week.

I'm really not sure how I came up with The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe as my inspiration for this project. But, I did. Aslan? was that you?

 

I started with a quote from Mr Tumnus to Lucy

How would it be if you came and had tea with me?
— mr Tumnus • The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

I knew I wanted layers in the background so I looked for more quotes from Narnia. Funny how at this point I wasn't sure how I was tying in the ICE theme! I just knew that when I think of Narnia, I think of snow. And snow and ice are related!

Then I found this quote:

wrong will be right when Aslan comes in sight, at the sound of his roar, sorrows will be no more, when he bares his teeth winter meets his death, and when he shakes his mane we shall have Spring again
— The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

The key to this next part is that I wanted this quote to be separate from the first quote, artistically. Against my better judgement, and the fact that it would take a lot more time, I decided I wanted this longer quote to be done in bas-relief. This means that I needed to write the entire quote out in stickers. Then paint over the stickers and remove them, revealing the canvas underneath. I like to use whatever I have when it comes to projects. What you're looking at below is a used It's By Design sticker sheet and some old scrapbook stickers. Some of the letters were cut from the old scrapbook stickers. Some of them I drew on my used sticker sheets and cut around the letters.

 

for example, the "R" from PROM and the "IGHT" from NIGHT = RIGHT

adding texture with plaster

adding texture with plaster

 
will the texture look like ice?

will the texture look like ice?

It took a long time to create and cut out all those letters and words but I'm glad I put in the effort. I added plaster hoping it would look like ice. I'd say that was a bust but it still added some great texture!

 

I painted right on top of the letters. If it looks like I didn't, keep in mind that the stickers are vinyl so the watercolor didn't stick except on the spots of plaster.

next up... adding color with watercolors started with yellow, added blue

next up... adding color with watercolors

started with yellow, added blue

then purple

then purple

As I said earlier, I like to work with what I already have. And what I didn't have was black or very dark blue watercolors. So, I used Ebony Black acrylic paint and Prussian Blue. Both are Americana paint colors. I used the black on the lamppost with a few accents in the blue. The 'Tea' quote was painted with the Prussian Blue. Less water for the 'how would it be if you' and more water for 'came and had Tea with me'. I love how it ended up going from dark to light.

The final step was the removal of the stickers. My favorite part! I used an exacto blade to lift up the edge of each sticker.

I love how the white letters look against the blue and purple

I love how the white letters look against the blue and purple

So here's my take way on this little project.

First of all, I need 'assignments' such as this challenge to motivate me to DO ART. There are too many other things to do each day that seem to get in the way of these enjoyable art moments.

Second, I love the watery blue and purple section to the left of the lamp post and below the word 'and' in the photo above. I think if I were to do this all over again I would do the entire blue and purple background in up and down strokes like that area, rather than the strokes I have spreading out from the yellow glow. That's just the way I see it now. I tend to go over areas too much. I'm learning, always learning.

Now, if you haven't read the books or seen the movies, do yourself a favor. The Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis

And start participating in the Handmaidens monthly challenge! DO ART for yourself!

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