04 January 2014

The chair

A month or so ago, my friend had a chair for sale.  Another friend of mine bought it and gave it to me to paint for her office.  I wasn't quite sure what I was going to do. I made a couple of sketches and  did some internet research but in the end I thought about the personality of my friend.  She likes owls, her school colors are green, she is a child of God, and she's pretty awesome.  She needed a chair to fit her uniqueness. I scrapped all previous ideas and painted it in her school colors first.

I had made a bird and an owl for this friend but wasn't sure how or why to give it to her.  This chair was going to be perfect.  With the way the chair was made I thought I could fashion a tree from it.  A tree with branches to hold the bird and the owl.

Here is the finished product:

The bird and owl are made from plastic grocery bags. I took the bags and fashioned them into the shape I needed but using duct tape.  This was a very long process.  They were flimsy, but I wasn't done.  The next step was to make a paper mache with mod podge.  I used many many many layers of newspaper and glue.  I let dry for a week.  Then I made a texture paste and covered the outside of each animal in a thick layer.  I used my fingers to make bumps along each animal body to make it look more real.  This dried for two weeks because I went on vacation....when I came back to them they were hard as rocks.  Very lightweight but very hard.  PERFECT!!!

The chair was painted first with gesso to give the surface a bit of tooth.  I then painted the whole thing green to match my friend's office and school colors.  After that dried I painted on a background of a tree branch.   Next, I took a stencil and wood icing (both purchased from Ephemera Paducah www.ephemerapaducah.com) and added some tree bark and texture.  Once that dried I started painting on leaves.  I added the bird and viola we have a painted chair.