Thursday, July 3, 2014

One Art Leads to Another

by Terri

A little over a year ago, I wrote this post about wishing I were an artist. Through photography, I found a way to express my creativity and that has become my art, both in the taking of the photographs and in the post-processing that made my photos look like paintings. I have had great fun creating art with both Photoshop filters and iPhone apps.

Most of us here at FOL (and possibly many of you) are currently in the yearlong class taught by Kim Klassen called Be Still 52 where we are focusing on still life photography. It is something I hadn’t tried much of before and am thoroughly enjoying it.  However, as I am getting into it, I am finding that I need props and backgrounds for the photos I’m taking.

The first item on my list of coveted props was a painted white tray, the older and more beat up the better. I found a little vintage store not far from me and spent some time wandering around looking for my tray. Unfortunately, this was all I could find:



I did love the shape, size and design of this tray, so I bought it. Right next door was a little shop that sold chalk paint so I decided to take it in there for some advice. They were very helpful and gave me some ideas about how to go about this project as well as helped me pick out the paint.

The great thing about chalk paint is that you don’t have to sand or prep your piece at all. Just make sure it’s free of dust and dirt and you’re ready to go.


Two coats of paint later and a bit of sanding to distress it a little, this is what I ended up with:


And so I continued on and set up a complete “scene” with my new tray:


I’m sure it is a prop I will use often. Lots of fun with only a small amount of invested time and money.

Another thing I had been wanting to try was to create a watercolor background. There are more videos than you can count on YouTube but I found a great one here. After watching it, I went to Michael’s to pick up the needed supplies. I was a little afraid to begin and then I realized that the least expensive part was the watercolor paper and if I messed it up, I could just start over. Here’s my first watercolor background:


I used two colors, both a blue and an aqua and LOTS of water to blend them together. So much fun and it left me feeling like a real artist!  I’m sure I will do more of these in different color combinations.

Summer here is our time of year to be indoors and so Kim’s class and my little “artistic” projects are keeping me creating through the hot months. Do you have any photography projects in the works? We're all about "simplicity" here at FOL this month and would love to see your images depicting the theme in our Flickr gallery. Hope you're all enjoying some lazy summer days!




14 comments:

kybarb said...

Beautiful photos Terri! I would have had a hard time painting the beautiful wood of that tray but I can certainly see why you did it. LOVE the watercolor background and shells:) I'm learning so much from you all that are taking Kim's class!

Carol said...

Terri, these are so good and such complete works of art! I reacted the opposite way to Kim's suggestions. In my effort to simplify, I was not going to go and get anything, but to try to put to use all the stuff I have stored around this house! There's nothing wrong with that, but it did effect my enthusiasm a little since I've been staring at this stuff forever. I hadn't really thought about sanding and painting like this. So YOU have inspired me! There's a 3 day weekend with some rain coming....where's my paintbrush????

Carol said...

Ps the photos are just beautiful!

Dotti said...

Kudos, Terri! The world might be sorry they introduced you and me to chalk paint. Just sayin' ... Your tray in priceless! It has such a sweet design and the painting and distressing are perfect. It's making me think I need to distress my chair a bit more, I was very tentative. Now, the watercolor background is something I hadn't thought about. Yours is a beauty and of course you know I love that photo. We're heading out tomorrow! Your still life is gorgeous, too. Lots of inspiration here!

susan said...

Thank you so much for sharing this Terri! I love to distress wooden boxes and now will have to try this with 'chalk' paint instead of regular paint. Thank you!!! xo's

Sherri B. said...

These are beautiful!! I keep seeing this chalk paint online recently - I love that you don't have to sand or prep before painting. Thank you for sharing your lovely works - you are an artist, in my opinion.

kelly said...

terri this is beautiful!!! such a perfect piece for your still life shots! i love how photography exposes us and inspires us to try new mediums. and how creating something with out hands adds a whole new dimension to our photography. i sort of feel that way about calligraphy. it's so fun!!

Barbara said...

You did good my friend on your summer projects, both are wonderful indeed and I love being in the class with you and we can discuss our progress from our AC armchairs and IM messages back and forth. As I said last night is Summer Over Yet? At least we have Kim to get us through and Ice.

Kim Stevens said...

Whoo Hoo....the tray is just perfect. When my daughter was younger and in an effort to save money, I bought unfinished finials and brackets (for curtains) and hand painted them myself. It was so fun and they turned out so great that I ended up painting them for all my neighbors. I just love projects like these. Right now I'm taking a class on making journals with old books....stay tuned! xo ....and your photos are super duper awesome! :) (and P.S. it's hotter than blazes here AND humid)

Sarah Huizenga said...

Love that watercolor background, what a great idea! I have lots of water color paper, I will have to give this a try. Annie Sloan paints are the best.

AFishGirl said...

Put on coffee! Let's have arts and crafts day. All those lovely smells of paint and coffee and the sound of laughing. I'm in. I vote you have arts and craft day for us. Last night I showed my PL album to my stepdaughter and her family (visiting) and she said, "Who did those cool letters?" and I said, "TERRI!"

Deanna said...

Oh I love this....you did good with that painted tray, a great idea. And the watercolor paper is a GREAT idea....I even have some in my stash. Beautiful!!

Deanna said...

PS I have an old chair that would be a perfect candidate for chalk paint!! Thanks for these ideas!!

sherrygaley.com said...

Great post, Terri! I'm really loving that perfect little vignette you set up on your new tray. The tones and composition are just wonderful. Very cool and serene looking. And your watercolour background turned out beautifully. Very inspiring!

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