11.01.2012

Art Projects: Air Plants, Edison Bulbs, and Autumn Leaves

Julia and I have found it difficult to find the time to make art (due to the move, work, and general busy-ness), but recently we've been getting back in the swing of things.  We've always wanted to sell some of our art in our Etsy shop, but we didn't feel like it was the appropriate venue for most our fine art works.  Finally we've made some art that might lend itself to being salable on the Etsy market.  We love original artwork, but it's usually too pricy to justify buying; we're hoping to sell these at a reasonable enough price so that people will be willing to buy.

By the way, all these pictures were styled with the paper gem ornaments Julia made last year (read all about them and get a template to make your own here) to add a little interest to the blank walls.

6" by 6" Air Plant

Julia used to be primarily an oil painter, but recently she's been working on a collection of simple ink and colored pencil drawings of air plants.  Unlike oil paintings, these take a very short amount of time and a small amount of materials to produce, which helps bring the cost down.  This one is a small 6" by 6" size, and it is one of our favorites out of her small collection so far.

Ravaged Leaf

And similarly, while I usually make photographs, I have been working on a series of photograms to sell on Etsy.  A photogram is a photographic print produced by placing a physical object on top of photosensitive paper, and then exposing it.  Due to the process each print is a one of a kind piece of art, and each has small discrepancies from the next.  This method is much quicker and simpler than a typical photographic print, and the results are really graphic and interesting, almost like an x-ray of an everyday object.  All of my photograms are printed on 8" by 10" photo paper.

Sketchy Air Plants

To start, Julia made some simple black and white ink drawings of the air plants we use for styling our thrifty items.  She actually started working on these thinking about using them for our wedding invitations and such, since we're going to use lots of air plants in the decor for the wedding, but she thought they looked really interesting and enjoyed drawing them so much that she decided to explore the concept further.

6" by 6" Air Plant

Then she began dabbling in adding colors to the drawings with colored pencils.

6" by 6" Air Plant

She played with different shading methods and styles.

11" by 12.5" Air Plant

Her most recent piece is a large drawing of our biggest air plant with pastel colors.  It's hard to see all the details in this photo, but it is an extremely intricate drawing, and it took her quite awhile to render all the curling and overlapping tendrils.  Julia is a very technical artist, so she really enjoyed the challenge of piecing together these complex shapes, and the air plants themselves are the perfect subject since they have a very unique, organic, and almost abstract form.

Japanese Maple Leaf

For my photogram project I began by making some prints of fairly perfect leaves.

Light Bulb

I also played around with clear lightbulbs, like our huge Edison bulbs, which gave me these awesomely detailed prints.

Japanese Maple

I tried both verticals and horizontals when the sizes were appropriate.

Leaf

Some didn't work as well as others due to the thickness and pigment of the leaf.

Oak Leaf

But as I was making these, I became bored with the niceness of the intact leaves.

Maple Leaf

So I began selecting leaves with tears and other discrepancies.

Maple Leaf

This yielded much more interesting results.

Ravaged Leaf

I began looking for more and more peculiar leaves.

Ravaged Leaf

I began to find some really interesting leaves in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, but I'm worried that because most of the leaves were ripped from their limbs that I'll have a harder time finding good leaves that haven't turned brown already.

Ravaged Leaf

Overall I've enjoyed working with these tattered leaves the most.  The leaves with rips and tears end up leaving very unique designs.  This is one of Julia's favorites; she thinks it looks like a fox.

Ravaged Leaf

This one is one of my favorites; it almost looks like a cartoon character.

Leaf and Light Bulb

... And last but not least, I made this which is a composite of two earlier photograms.  In making this print I used both a leaf and a large light bulb.


What do you think of our latest art projects?  Which ones are your favorites? Do you think these will work well alongside the other vintage items we sell?  We hope you enjoyed our little art show, and remember to look for our prints up on Etsy soon!

1 comment:

  1. These are lovely guys! Air plants are so cool. I have a bunch in my house, they are good conversation starters. And I love photograms, I'm so jealous of your dark room access! We did them in my high school/college photo classes. I think I still have mine somewhere (leaves and mica flecks). These fine art works would sell for sure!

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