Arianna's Mural: A question posted to FB

by Meredith 25. July 2012 15:37

Which would be better for Arianna's mural: accuracy in the placement of the constellations or an artistic representation? Both elements will be there but I have to choose to focus on one direction or the other. Can't be equal parts of both.

Here are some of the replies:
GP - I vote for artistic. I think it'll be easier for her to go from a holistic understanding of constellations and then apply accuracy, than to go the other way. You can talk to her more easily about constellations is she can grasp the concept, then refine it with accuracy later.
JM - I would lean artistic. Go whole hog one way or the other and stay out of the uncanny valley. If going artistic, make up totally new stuff and stay away from real constellations. Fantasy beats the daylights out of poor representations of reality.
JC - The feminist in me says go for realistic! We need more girls in the sciences, although I'm sure you'll inspire that in her mural or not:-)
MB - I guess I'll be the dissenting vote, I would go for accuracy, how awesome would it be to later look at the real constellations and say that's in my room. to be able to identify and find Orion in both the sky and ceiling (or wherever it would be) To follow the Big Dipper to the North Star. Though I agree with Joe if you go artistic I would totally go whole hog and make up your own constellations that would be pretty cool!
H - I feel like you can capture both! Have you ever seen the old star charts? They show the constellations and then "behind" them the fantastic image of what they are. Plus space is so much more than either fantasy or reality. Why limit yourself?
T - Artistic....they change over time anyways
JS - We have the real sky and star maps for accuracy, and I'm pretty sure it will look cooler with an artistic interpretation. Can't wait to see it!
ET - If you wanted to realistic but different an option might be to use the constellations in the southern hemisphere instead of the ones that we see in the sky at night.
JS - I'm a fan of artistic representation for most things....
TP - Given the intellect of her parents, I'll bet she'll be asking why they aren't accurate.
AV - Artistic, because imagination is what makes a child's mind grow in an awesome direction.
KS - Won't matter in a million years the stars will have moved
SS - I always go for aesthetics, but on the other hand, you wouldn't want anything too different. I can just see it: in 5 years, Arianna asking, "Mommy, why are the stars in the sky all wrong?"
BC - I’d say use the coin flip. That’s how I make all my life altering decisions

My friends are awesome! Thanks for the feedback. I'm going to chew on this and do some more sketches. I'm leaning toward artistic so that the graphics tell a sorry. But I have some ideas on how to make portions accurate. I predict there will be a conversation in Arianna's future that will explain my decisions. Oh, and glow in the dark stars are a must!

On the fence about outdoor décor

by Meredith 17. July 2012 21:40

Surfing Pinterest inspired me to make some artwork for the backyard. Hunter had recently completed a fence project and there was some scrap lumber leftover. Stapling the wood together made some nice size canvases to play with.

The project combined two popular “pins” into one finished piece. These were how to distress painted wood and to make plant silhouette artwork. I won’t go into details describing how to do these techniques because I think the other websites do a great job but here is a brief summery of my steps:

I first painted the boards (6 total) a base color; 3 yellow & 3 green. I then coated one side of some plant cuttings with spray adhesive and arranged each onto a board. Next step was to carefully paint the board a second color using the plants like a stencil. (Note: Unlike the tutorial, I used latex paint and not spray paint because it was what I had on hand in the colors I liked.) I also added some random brush strokes of a third color just to add a bit more variation. Once the painting was done, I peeled off the plants and let the boards dry thoroughly overnight. The next day I did a little bit of paint touch up, adding highlights to some of the plant images. Then I used an electric sander to distress the boards; removing some of the layers of paint and in some places I took the paint completely off exposing plain wood. The final step of distressing/aging the wood was to lightly brush on a dark wood stain with a cloth. To protect the finished artwork I added a coat of polyurethane.

The only thing I would have done differently would be making the plants more firmly attached to the boards. It was very tedious to paint around them; often the wet brush would lift the leaves as I painted and made a mess out of the stenciled image. After applying the glue I laid a piece of cardboard on top of the plants and then stacked heavy objects on top of the cardboard (like you would do to press flowers). This worked well but I should have been more patient and left them on there for more than an hour (perhaps overnight would have been better). The more firmly the plant was adhered the easier it was to paint over them.

Overall I think the project turned out great and am really happy with how they look on the fence.

About Meredith Cook

Welcome to my repository of creative expression. I'm not a happy camper unless I am making something and over the years I have dabbled in quite a few different kinds of art projects. Some projects come from taking art classes, others are completely hobby driven, and projects like home decor come from a need to customize an item and make it better or unique. The overall theme behind what I do is to learn how to manipulate objects and practice what I know about visual aesthetic and good design. Oh yeah, and to have fun.