Monday, February 27, 2012

"Rooted and Grounded"

Hello again! I know I have been neglecting this poor little blog, but I have been learning to use Facebook and reconnecting with far-flung family; it feels so good to be interacting again.  I love knowing what my nieces and nephews are up to, as well as my cousins whom I haven't seen in years and years.  I love having family again!  

However, just because I haven't been posting  doesn't mean I haven't been creating. I have several finished pieces to share in time, but one is a challenge entry and the other is a gift so they must remain under wraps for the time being.   I'll be back! 

"Rooted and Grounded" by Judith Atsma.  Commissioned by and on display at
New Hope  Foursquare Church in  Salem, OR

This piece was commissioned by my church to coincide with a "40 Days in the Word" sermon series, which started yesterday. I was given a phrase ("Live the Word") and complete artistic freedom of expression within the confines of the space available. My original plan was to display this piece as 3 separate canvases hung side by side, but in the end I decided to take pity on the ones who had to install the artworks and joined the canvases together with spacers. 

 I built up the colors in this work using very thin glazes - I believe there are nearly 80 layers of color throughout. The tree itself is not black, but layer upon layer of 4 different colors. Each leaf has 4 colors also. The black text was created with rubber stamps from my collection - I finally got to use them! - and the white cursive text was written free-hand using a mix of Golden's pouring medium and paint applied with a needle-nose squeeze bottle. I am definitely going to use that technique again!

Would you believe that the most difficult part for me was keeping my fingers OUT of the sparkly embellishments I love so much?  There is not a microbead or a speck of glitter anywhere.  Not even Pearl-Ex, LOL.

P.S.  It *isn't* crooked in real life - everything is level and square except the way I held my camera when I snapped the pic.