It’s always a bit risky to give ‘wall art’ as a present, but if you know the person’s taste and décor it’s a win-win! You get to enjoy the time spent making the gift and the recipient has years and years of enjoyment from it.
My Flower Power Panel is designed for an artist friend who loves flowers and gardening. She’s into mixed media, loves texture and pattern, and her favorite color is turquoise. I’m going to include a blank cradled Claybord and a package of air dry clay, along with a sheet of rubber stamps (the ones I used for the flowers!) as an extra surprise!
Not into wall art? No problem. Substitute a Claybord Box and let the clay flowers extend onto the sides of the lid. Everybody loves boxes!
- Paint the top and sides of a 6” x 12” cradled Claybord with black gesso. Don’t worry about precision, it’s okay if brushstrokes are visible.
- Using an almost dry brush, add a few strokes of Lagoon (turquoise) acrylic paint to the top of the panel only.
- Using the Thicket Background stencil and Lagoon paint, stencil branches on the top and sides of the panel. Move the stencil as needed. Blend in a tiny bit of black gesso here and there. The effect should be random and slightly mottled. Allow paint to dry.
- Cover the panel with plastic wrap or waxed paper. Cover work table with a non-stick craft sheet or waxed paper.
- Working one piece of Delight Air Dry Modeling Compound (clay) at a time, create ten large randomly shaped petals measuring from 2” x 3” to 3” x 4”, five or more small petals measuring approximately 1.25” x 2”, and two flower centers measuring approximately 2.5” x 2.5” as follows:
- Roll out a ball of clay till it’s about .25” thick, press firmly with between two and five different pattern stamps to create unique and interesting textures. (Work the clay with your fingers and palms for about a minute so it won’t stick to the stamps. Keep all clay except for the piece you are using in a plastic bag and take out a small amount at a time.)
- Place all ten large petals onto the covered panel, arranging them to create two flowers. Bend some of them at a right angle so they extend over the side. Leave in place to dry.
- Place the remaining petals and flower centers on a piece of waxed paper to dry. When dry, this is what the unpainted large petals and flower centers will look like (small petals not shown):
- Paint all clay pieces with black gesso. Allow to dry.
- Using an almost dry brush, add Primary Yellow Acrylic paint to highlight some of the texture on the 10 large petals, then add Warm Penny Metallic paint, and finally and a bit of Lagoon.
- Using an almost dry brush, add Bright Purple, Warm Penny, and a bit of Lagoon to the 5 small petals. When dry, highlight with a bit more Lagoon or Bright Purple for extra pop and contrast.
- Repeat step 8 for the two flower centers, adding in a bit of White and more of the black gesso.
- Arrange the petals and flower centers. When pleased with the composition, glue them in place. Dry thoroughly before hanging or display the Flower Power Panel on a tabletop easel.
- Change the color palette.
- Make all petals the same size instead of different random shapes.
- Step it up a notch and go totally overboard: Add feathers, found objects, and other collage elements to the flowers!
- Write or draw onto the sides of the stenciled panel using a white or metallic copper paint pen.
- 6” x 12” Cradled Claybord panel (Ampersand Art Supply)
- Texture Plate 2 red rubber stamps (Red Castle, Inc. available from The Queen’s Ink, www.queensink.com)
- 1 package – Delight Air Dry Modeling Compound* (Creative Paper Clay)
- L550 Thicket Background 9 x 12 by Trish McKinney (StencilGirl Products)
- Americana Acrylics in Lagoon, Primary Yellow, Bright Purple, White (DecoArt)
- Dazzling Metallics in Warm Penny (DecoArt)
- Black gesso
- Paint brushes
- Nonstick craft sheet
- Waxed paper or plastic wrap
- Strong hold multi-surface glue
*If you keep petals to a bit less than .25” thick one package of Delight Air Dry Modeling Compound is enough for the entire project. If you make thicker petals or more of them than as shown, you might need part of a second package of Delight.
This is part of our on-going series of projects with artist Judi Kauffman. Judi is a nationally known designer, teacher, writer and product developer whose expertise includes collage, stenciling, paper crafting, stamp arts, embroidery, needlepoint, knitting, crochet, weaving and fabric piecing. She has written and produced three videos and is the author of five books. Judi developed and taught college level studio art and graphic design courses for over 40 years, as well as art programs in public and private schools (elementary through high school levels). Judi earned a BFA in printmaking from Cornell University and an MFA in fibers from Antioch University. She credits her parents (both artists) and her grandfathers (a tailor and a blacksmith) for encouraging her to pursue art and for being among her favorite teachers.