This was a commission that my sister, Christy, asked me to make for her birthday/housewarming gift. Her specifications were, "a sunflower theme with the word, joy."
If you would like something similar, you can email me for a commission at Heather@HeatherBurnell.com.
Here's how this piece was created:
I started with a layer of gesso (like primer) on birchwood cradle board then added acrylic paint. Multiple shades of green were used on the bottom. The darkest shade was added with a palette knife. The green shades were covered with a layer of Titan Buff (off-white) paint to make the colors move to the back- ground.
The word, “JOY” was created in Photoshop. The backgrounds of the letters J and Y are flowers.
The 3D sunflowers, butterflies and dragonflies were made with light molding paste and stencils. I created the butterflies and dragonflies on a separate piece of wax paper, peeled them off and painted them light magenta on the sides. The flowers were molded directly onto the board, so they were all painted after they hardened on the board. The sides of each leaf were painted with the tiniest brush I have.
The butterflies and dragonflies are covered with papers I created using a gelli plate (which has the consistency of Jell-O). I rolled paint onto it without blending it and placed rice paper on the plate, then pulled it off. I repeated this process multiple times to get the effect you see.
I wasn’t happy with the center of the sunflowers that I had painted. I slept on it, and woke up realizing I hadn’t added “bodies” to the butterflies and dragonflies. I normally add “bodies” using vintage sheet music. As I was adding the music to the “bodies,” I tried adding sheet music to the center of the flowers. And the magic happened. With that addition, the piece felt right.
The sky was painted with multiple shades of blue, white and pink using a palette knife to give it texture. The sun was painted using 3 shades of paint and a make-up sponge to apply it through a stencil. It was finished with glass beads.
I added shading with a charcoal pencil and a shading tool.
I painted the edges (diarylide yellow) then used a spray varnish to finish it.
My boyfriend added the wire to the back.
I hope the magic shines through.