Backlog Project: Map of Love

Here’s a backlog of some old projects and commissions over the past, what, year?  I’d like to start keeping track of this sort of thing.  That impulse should be natural for a librarian, but I’m not really the organized type.

Wedding Gift: One of my friends from childhood got married, and I think I gave her something terrible like stainless steel pots.  Yawn.  I mean practical, but how boring and impersonal.  So for her 1 year anniversary I illustrated a map of their love (watercolors on Rives BFK).  They met at undergrad and continued to date through a long distance BI-COASTAL RELATIONSHIP.  Their families are both old school, so living together before marriage was a no-no.  They were neighbors in the same city for a few years, even when they were engaged.  Finally, they tied the knot and now happily share a home together.  :) I love how their former addresses tell a story of love; it’s quite inspirational.

Top: Meet/ Middle: Transcontinental/ Bottom: The Knot

Map of Love


So I’ve stopped counting my hours spent on this project.  This wasn’t intentional, I just forgot.  The linework (my favorite part) is complete and now I’m adding color.  Ok, ok…so I just drew in 2 extra birds the other day, but the sky was looking a little sparse so I had to.  I won’t keep taking steps backwards, I swear!

I’m really pleased with the way the acrylic paints are thinning out with the Polymer Medium (Gloss) from Golden.  Most colors stay vibrant, yet translucent, so I probably will be able to pull off the stained glass effect that I was going for.  The yellow looks a little chalky, so I’ve cut it out of color scheme.

P.S. I’m done with this semester.  Just one summer class, then 2 classes in the fall, and then I’m a certified Master.

“So you’re the one defacing library property”

I feel like my old self again.  I’m so incredibly happy to be drawing and painting again that I don’t even care if I’m rusty.   I’ve got some old tricks and technical skills that help out the quality of the image, but my linework is not where it used to be.   Well, neither is my 2k time…

8 hours on the glass total, and I hit my stride. The paint is best fresh out of the tube, so it’s best to pour only a drop at a time.   Once it dries I can’t reconstitute it with water and expect it to be opaque.  I get really thin elegant lines with an old retired Kolinksy watercolor brush (and  a wet napkin nearby for shaping the tip).  I sort of need a task master to slap my hand when I go back into old birds to paint minute details, but all my hard ass friends gave up being hard asses as their New Years Resolutions.

I’m having a lot of fun, and I’m enjoying the interruptions and comments. There were some good ones, like “Lookin’ good in the neighborhood!” really stands out in my mind.  Some library staff were worried that this has been up for a long time but they’ve never noticed it before.  Those are obviously the goody goodies who bypass the staff lounge in favor of working through their breaks.  :)

I hope onlookers are enjoying the progress/ process.  I’ll take photos tomorrow and post them promptly.

My Superbowl Sunday…

…was spent at the library!  Some colleagues didn’t recognize me in my typical streetwear at first, but apparently I still look like a librarian because patrons still asked for my assistance.   So despite some distractions I accomplished everything I wanted for today!  And to think I was kinda nervous!  Thank you Mom, for pulling some strings and sending me absolutely perfect weather.  I was, in fact, able to trace and paint with the windows open without getting too cold.  Big shout out to Chris for doing most of the high altitude stuff on the ladder and for holding it when I was perched on top.

I’m very happy with the Golden brand “Fluid Acrylic Series” Carbon Black paint.  It has excellent coverage on the glass, no beading, and only a little streaking.  I’m sure 2 coats will do the trick.  I’m tempted to mix it with some sort of transparent base or glaze to use it for the transparent part of the “stained glass” but I’ll have to experiment a bit first.  If not, Michaels has the glass paints I need, even though I hate that store.  Maybe I’ll drive the 1/2 hour to Riebe’s…

I’m so glad all the set up stuff is already done, and now I’m up to the good part: the actual painting.  I could probably paint contour lines all day (Steve knows what I’m talkin’ about), which unfortunately I can’t afford to do because I now have homework.  Buzzkill.

So here’s your sneak peak of what got on the glass today.  Pictures below include: my artillery of paint brushes, the sketch taped to the outside of the window ready to be traced with litho pencil, close up of the tracing, and then the first painted bird of the mural!

Click on any of the thumbnails for a larger image: