I recently had the fun challenge of creating a name canvas to display while I am teaching at the Painting With a Twist Studio where I work. I wanted to create something that not only represented my personal artistic style, but also conveyed a little bit about who I am. I used colors, symbols and words to get my ideas across. I chose the butterfly symbol because to me it represents new life and new beginnings. I always love the idea that we can start fresh; we don't have to be "stuck" in a place where we aren't happy, whether it is a physical place or an emotional one. The butterfly is also is an illustration of my faith. As for my name, I decided to use my own handwriting rather than a certain font, again this adding a unique part of who I am to the canvas.
I spent quite a bit of time deciding on the right quote to include. Ultimately I went with the above quote by Van Gogh because I knew my classes would be looking at it and I wanted something that would encourage them. Especially since many people are battling nerves when they come to paint! It is also a great reminder to me to not let the negative voices in when it comes to my own personal artwork!
As far as my process for this piece, I began with the back ground, layering paint, papers, stamps and visual textures. Once I was happy with the amount of layering, I created the butterfly. I drew a quick template and attached it with painters tape to the canvas. Next, I used white acrylic paint to create a border around the shape. I feathered the paint out away from the template with my fingers to create the soft, fading look. After the paint was dry, I removed the template revealing the untouched background behind it.
I love this masking technique and use it in my work often! Finally, I used white paint to sketch out the letters of my name and then filled them in with my favorite color. To finish it up, I added the ribbon and lace accent, some outlining around the butterfly and some highlighting around the letters. I feel like it turned out very "me"!!
As always, I take commissions and can create a similar work for someone special in your life using a few of their favorite things and of course their name!! Contact me if you are interested at firstname.lastname@example.org!