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Trash to Treasured Dreamscape

Last week, in the thralls of stress, I spoke of the thankless task of moving and its inevitable unearthings of priceless trinkets and abandoned project while attempting to downsize belongings in that mythical concept of a "moving purge". Unfortunately for Connor, my gusto for these forgotten projects was renewed and all but one project found itself safely nestled in the mountain of stuff currently barricaded in our new Garage.


Today, in an attempt to assure you (as well as myself) I am going tell you of one such project that had a similar story arc of those projects that are trembling with the spring's current winter winds sweeping through the mountains. This project, however, was eventually successfully completed. An emblem which has pointed my rose-colored glasses northward to the possibility of completing the dozens of untouched projects awaiting me. If I could finish one project two years ago, than I can finish the rest before being put to rest in eternity, surely.


This hero's journey will take us back to the luscious year of 2022. Instagram had just launched its new feature of "reels" and I had just chopped off the corner of my thumb in the middle of the night while using my guillotine style paper-cutter. While contemplating whether or not I had joined the deformity club or if I should let my best friend know I had given up a piece of my flesh in effort to create the coolest and most symmetrical wedding place cards known to man, I happened upon a lovely picture frame leaning against a neighbor's garbage can with the glittery magical letters that spelled out "FREE". Though the print that was secured fairly safely inside the frame was rather generic and not to my taste, the frame itself was a gilded gold, one that whistled and gleamed for a second chance at life. Swooped under my good arm, I marched it straight to my room to inspect it further (you don't want to be the weirdo that's paying too much attention to another's trash, after-all...). I was elated to note that no immense damage from being caste out in the unpredictable Colorado spring elements had occured, maybe a bruise here or there but it was mostly left unscathed. Investigating further, I took the frame apart and discovered that the print had acutally been permanently glued to its backing, making it a lifelong mate. Not wanting to force a disasterous and painful divorce, I decided that I would simply paint over the print, giving it a fresh, new and offbeat face. A chance for it to break free and be its own, original self.


The original dreamscape sketch!

Around this same time, my friend had commissioned me to create a mural on her awesome mirrored trunk. Originally, she had wanted a "dreamscape" theme for the design. I had come up with a couple dreamer/ fairy concepts before we switched over to a mural of one of my classic cowgirl designs. I loved the dreamscape sketches I had created, so I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to finally let this sketch realize it's full glory. Naturally, this meant first leaving the frame propped against many a different wall in my room to collect dust at various new angles.


The commission project that allowed me to create my dreamscape sketch

Finally, whether we call it inspiration or desperation to stop having this framed object be in my way, the day came to transform this piece into my vision. I sketched out my dreamscape over top the print with sharpie and dug into the different elements of the painting one part at a time. My first step was to mask the print below by painting a black basecoat for each section I was working on. I wanted to add a touch of dimension to the painting while also making sure that there was a good degree of separation between the paint and the print below it, so I mixed in a tiny bit of sculpting paste in with the acrylic paints on my palette. This step created a bit more texture, which I personally think give the actual painting a larger sense of movement--but who knows, maybe I tell myself that because it was a bit of a pain to work with the heavier medium of paint. Whatever I need to do to make it seem worth it, right?



The original print with my first sharpie marks

I didn't have an exact plan for the color palette when I began, I knew that I wanted to have a contrast of darker sky with whimsical pastel clouds. I wanted the dream catcher to be a mix of bold, warm colors to embody the drama and passion of one's dreams and wishes. I felt like the boldness of color should be on the verge of being overpowering to really showcase the drive and all-consuming nature of one's deepest desires. The desires that you keep caught safely on a shelf, for no one to know of, and only for you to see and behold. The dreams that stir trouble in your heart but light in your vision of the future possibilities life may be currently hiding.




I suppose, in some introspective sense, the fairy in the middle holding her heart out for the world to know, poised and ready to release it from her bounds, might of been something much more personal than I originally knew. Drawing is funny like that, often times when you let your mind create its own lines and ideas without question, it ends up showing you the storyline that you are in the heat of. In this instance, I was at the beginning of my journey to allow myself to create the possibility of working towards becoming an artist. I had started to come to terms with the fact that if you want to truly work and succeed at something, you have to be willing to admit your dream to yourself and share your vision with others. You have to be ready and willing to show your heart. Exactly the sentiment outlined by my wandering pencil.


All in all, this dreamscape piece came together in 3-4 days, from the sudden rush of inspiration to the final brush strokes and re-encasing it to its safe, cozy lair inside its familiar frame. An example that keeps me believing that I may just finish more projects than one.



I hope you enjoyed this week's offbeat anecdote, and will cheer along with me as I tackle the many unfinished projects I have set for myself. I hope you'll wake up and read along with me next Sunday!


As always,


Keep it offbeat!!

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