Some projects serve many purposes!
I have never painted on this type of surface before--sleek, round, three-dimensional--nor used acrylic paints enough to know much about their qualities. The surface of my gourd art is the only experience I could relate to this project, and that wasn't very helpful because of the difference in the surface. As I began, it was one of those times I asked myself, "what were you thinking?!"
The request to decorate this ornament came from one of the park rangers at Seven Islands State Birding Park and the ornament now hangs on the center-peice Christmas tree at the governor's mansion among 56 ornaments contributed by our state parks representing Tennesseee's "landscapes and creativity" during this holiday season. Quite an honor.
6:08 a.m. "I have so much resistance to starting when there is a deadline and someone else to please--otherwise, I can discard what I don't like. It's the "have to get this done and it has to be good" pressure that keeps me frozen. (12:30 p.m. the same day.) Well, it's happening as I feared--it is a total mess. I just stuck the ornament under the faucet and scrubbed off all the paint and then watched an acrylic blending video online and also read some more info about using acrylics. I awoke too early and I'm tired. I'm stuck but I need to finish this. This ornament is making writing my book feel easy by comparison! Now, what I really need to do is focus--one decision at a time--choose one background color, sketch the bird, use my watercolor pencil to divide it into sections, mark the horizon line. I'm determined to do this horizon thing..."
Launching into a project with a deadline and with very little experience to guide the way can be stressful. I made my big blunder right in the beginning. The ornament wasn't ruined and even though the first application of paint did not come off completely, I was back to a smooth surface and could start again with a new approach. Art is like that sometimes. Our efforts begin in chaos, but as the mind integrates mistakes and turns them into useful information, order rises up and moves us forward.
A Day of Beautiful Sparrows
Golden Artist Acrylic tube paints
Liquitex Professional Iridescent Medium
Bird Banding at Seven Islands Wildlife Refuge--now Seven Islands State Birding Park
Seven Islands becomes Tennessee first State Birding Park and the Painting
Mark Armstrong-Master Bander
Knoxville Chapter of the Tennessee Ornithological Society on Facebook
Seven Islands State Birding Park on Facebook