Sunday, 2 August 2009

Once upon a time...

I do so love a challenge, more particularly a creative one. So, when I stumbled across 'What would you do with this creative background' last week I knew I was destined to be getting the art supplies out once again. Well, that's not strictly true I suppose - more poetic licence. You see the art supplies have not actually been put away for many a month... It's lucky it is summer and we can use the outdoor table for eating, for I'm afraid there is rarely enough space showing to place a fork, let alone two plates of lasagne!

I printed off the creative background and sat and looked at it here and there for a few days with the thought of doing another face from magazine style alteration/collage that I have so enjoyed experimenting with recently.

So, why look at it for a few days? Why not just dive in and get sticky, building texture and rubbing colour with the usual boundless enthusiasm. I'm sure you can guess... Yes, suddenly this was 'for show'. I had accepted the challenge and like a fearless Knight setting off to slay the dragon I could no more turn up with a poor attempt than the Knight could return to ask for the fair lady's hand without at least a singed eyebrow and a small, yet terribly romantic, scar on his left cheek.

Pressure on and the Muse failed to cooperate. I tumbled through Vogue and swam into Conde Nast. I skipped through meadows in Homes & Gardens and longed for £3,000 to spend on a wooden screen in World of Interiors. Distraction was in plentiful supply. Inspiration was taking a siesta on a beach in the Maldives.

However, if I've learnt a thing or two these past weeks from my wrecking and other projects; it has certainly been to give that old inner critic the necessary boot up the backside and remind myself that I am doing this for ME! For my pleasure. Sure I would like to share it with others but no one is expecting it to be in Royal Academy Summer Exhibition so let's ditch the perfectionist attitude and just have fun.

With the critic's hasty exit, space was freed up for the welcome return of the Muse who arrived in the nick of time all tanned and rested. We spent a pleasant evening leafing through magazines and tearing out a page here and there that looked interesting. We still haven't grown tired of the pretty lady theme so we snipped, glued and gessoed. Then, that's where the fun really began...

Out came the acrylics for a bit of blending in the images and the joyous 'colouring in'. Some new art supply stencils got a pasting and the gold paint was retrieved from where it was hiding under an 'artistic pile'. And the beginnings of the a title started to illuminate ... Well, what else but Once upon a time...

Four words that open up a magical world of handsome princes, wicked stepmothers, wiley wolves and feisty heroines. My story was looking a little bland in comparison though. OK, so we had Cinderella looking for her slipper and possibly the little mermaid, but what else was missing?

The magic!

Then that's when that clever old Muse piped up with the perfect suggestion to continue the creating pleasure. Since this was essentially a digital project then what's stopping a little photoshop pleasure and I knew exactly which picture to use...

Mirror Mirror on the wall...
[just wave your wand (click) to enlarge]


  1. Wow, this is so gorgeous! I love what you did to the space, so creative. I really need to learn Photoshop, I'm awful, so technologically unadvanced.


    P.S. Thanks for your sweet comment on my guest blog post!

  2. love it - love it - thanks for sharing your process - thanks for joining in

  3. Searching for perfection leads to failure in ones mind, as you are on a journey with no comfy bed at the end of it to ease your weary bones. Your creativity is astounding and should be in the Summer Exhibition...coming from an imperfect person. And yes, those cups as well as a collection of plates,saucers and tea kettle are made of some sort of inferior tin. Origninally, they were made for camping out in the wide open spaces of the west. And finally, I wish it would rain (tear)as this heat is giving me the


    ps..I will be in england in 2012...

  4. I think did a fabulous job, love it!

  5. turned out awesome!!! and yes ... i agree with micaela on photoshop ... i have yet to learn that! but your project turned out beautiful ... especially love the lady staring out on you!

  6. What can I say but, wow. Fairy tale-like. There is depth and layers with surprises and treats (something I have yet to accomplish, but I keep trying).

  7. i see thru the veils and layers..its beautiful


Thank you for your comments - I always love to hear what you think :)

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