It's All In a Name

Mixed Media, 16" x 20", by Jennifer Snellings

Mixed Media, 16" x 20", by Jennifer Snellings

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.  

Close up, Mixed Media, by Jennifer Snellings

Close up, Mixed Media, by Jennifer Snellings

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!

Process pictures, Mixed Media, by Jennifer Snellings

Process pictures, Mixed Media, by Jennifer Snellings

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.

Butterfly close up, Mixed Media, by Jennifer Snellings

Butterfly close up, Mixed Media, by Jennifer Snellings

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 tatteredartstudio@gmail.com!

 

 

Mini Art

Now that the holidays are over and the the gifts have been received, I wanted to share some of the art I created for some of the special people in my life.  For the past two years I have created handmade ornaments for my team at Painting With a Twist.  It's always so fun to create on this tiny scale!  The ornaments are mixed media paintings, much like my larger work, only these are created to be little treasures to hang on a Christmas Tree!

Last year I had an angel theme.

Mixed media   on canvas board, 2" x 2"   by Jennifer Snellings

Mixed media on canvas board, 2" x 2" by Jennifer Snellings

Mixed media on canvas board, 2" x 2" by Jennifer Snellings

Mixed media on canvas board, 2" x 2" by Jennifer Snellings

I also decided to throw in a cute little snowman for fun!

Mixed media   on canvas board, 2" x 2"   by Jennifer Snellings

Mixed media on canvas board, 2" x 2" by Jennifer Snellings

I also decided to throw in a cute little snowman for fun!

This year I decided on a Christmas Tree theme.

Mixed media, 2"x 2" canvas, by Jennifer Snellings

Mixed media, 2"x 2" canvas, by Jennifer Snellings

Here is a look into my process:

First steps: paint and collage elements, old sheet music and worn bible pages.

First steps: paint and collage elements, old sheet music and worn bible pages.

A little help from art-kitty, Paisley!  Additional texture added with paint and unique stamped surfaces.

A little help from art-kitty, Paisley!  Additional texture added with paint and unique stamped surfaces.

Now for the trees, created from collaged strips of patterned paper and the sentiments which are some of my favorite Christmas quotes, sayings, etc. Many of these come from favorite Christmas Carols.

Now for the trees, created from collaged strips of patterned paper and the sentiments which are some of my favorite Christmas quotes, sayings, etc. Many of these come from favorite Christmas Carols.

Finally, I add the tree topper and some shading to help everything stand out.

Finally, I add the tree topper and some shading to help everything stand out.

They are finished off with a cute Christmas ribbon to make hanging on the tree easy!

They are finished off with a cute Christmas ribbon to make hanging on the tree easy!

It will be fun to see if this tradition continues over the next years to come, (I'm hoping it will) and how the little mini paintings will continue to develop with each new collection!  

Emily's Anchor

One of the most significant parts of creating my art is to make something that is truly personal and meaningful for my clients.  Recently I had the privilege of creating a new painting for a special High School  Senior's graduation gift!  I worked closely with the recipient's Mom and she gathered special letters and notes of encouragement from dear family and friends. I also learned that one of her favorite symbols is the anchor. Taking all of this information, I incorporated it, along with my artistic vision, and came up with a unique keepsake that will hopefully always be a reminder of this special time in her life!

 I began the background of the painting with a collage of the letters (using copies of course) and layered them on the canvas sealing them with gel medium.  On a side note, all of the original letters were safely saved in a special scrapbook, not only allowing each to be read in full, but also creating another meaningful element of the gift!

Collage of written notes.

Collage of written notes.

Once the collage dried, I added layers of paint and stamps creating a richly textured surface.  

First layers of acrylic paint.

First layers of acrylic paint.

Layering of stamps and other textures.

Layering of stamps and other textures.

Next, I sketched the anchor and transferred the design onto the canvas.  I filled the shape of the anchor in with pre-selected parts of the letters that for the most part included the signatures of loved ones and special phrases or sentiments; all parts that I wanted to highlight.

Collaged anchor shape.

Collaged anchor shape.

Once the anchor was complete, it was time for the  verse and a few other sentimental collage pieces to be added.  Then everything was tied together with a final layer of texture created with paint and stamps.

Completed painting!

Completed painting!

It was such a joy and privilege to create this meaningful piece for this special Graduate!  If you are looking for a unique, personal gift for a special person in your life, I'd love to help!  If you are interested in my commissioned paintings, please contact me at tatteredartstudio@gmail.com!