My Wish For You

My Wish For You

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I've been Googling "Ralph Waldo Emerson" to come up with some pithy text to write here about him and this piece.  He was too large a human being to write something concise.  He speaks to me, because even over 100 years after he lived, the way he lived and his beliefs are admirable.  He believed nature was Universal and in his essay, "The Over-Soul," he said, "We see the world piece by piece, as the sun, the moon, the animal, the tree; but the whole, of which these are the shining parts, is the soul."  He was also an abolitionist.

This poem spoke to me before I even knew it was by Emerson.  I knew I had to create a piece of art for it.  Each wish is one that I wish for everyone I love, and for all of you and whoever ends up with this in their home.

This was a fairly complicated piece to create:

I started with a layer of gesso (like primer) on birchwood cradle board then added acrylic paint, randomly in multiple colors. Next, I added a layer of Titan Buff (off-white) paint to make the colors move to the background. I added multiple papers from vintage magazines (you can see “Life” from a 1938 copy of the magazine).  Then I added another layer of Titan Buff to move the papers to the background.

I created the papers the letters are printed on 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 to get the effect you see.

There are well over 300 letters in this piece, and I placed each one on a hard acrylic block, formed a phrase or word, stamped it with ink, then stamped it onto the gelli papers.

The bullet points were made by mixing a flexible light molding paste with orange paint.  I used a round stencil to make them all the same.  The butterfly, dragonfly and flower were also made with light molding paste.  The butterfly was topped with a collage of many different flowers and outlined with a chalk pencil.

The top border was done with orange acrylic paint, using a stencil.  The sides and bottom border are orange pastel chalk.

Lastly, I painted the edges with orange acrylic then used a spray varnish to finish it.

I hope Emerson would approve.