Here’s my latest art project, “The Secret Life of Pet Plants” – an illustration that I have composed of hand-drawn collage pieces. It’s about the love for house plants – the topic that’s close to my heart but that I haven’t touched much lately. I also wanted to include little secrets that I haven’t revealed in my art.
These little secrets are often pretty innocent stuff that we have labeled with words “too childish” or “too weird.” They can become creative blocks and drain our energy if we try to avoid them. Really, life is too short not to get them on paper! We can get more serious after they are out – if we ever want to get back, that is! I think I stay on this track for a while – making art that I have always secretly wanted to see. It feels good to be close to this kind of true artistic expression.
A Couple of My Innocent Little Secrets
One of mine is my secret admiration for traditional (and often a little bit tacky) cross-stitch designs. They often have decorative borders and look more like a collection of motifs than a real scene.
Another one is that, to me, plants are like pets with personalities. We have a lot of plants, both outdoors and indoors, and I feel a deep connection to many.
Here are the steps for an illustration made from hand-drawn collage pieces.
1) Make Small Drawings
I started the process by drawing and coloring the main elements separately.
I love using watercolors with smooth Bristol paper. The color is easy to layer and also to wipe off if needed.
2) Draw the Background
I placed the colored collage pieces on a background that I had made for the class Magical Inkdom and tried how they would work as a composition. I also drew a water drop just in case I needed a small element for balance.
Then I drew a new background and marked the areas where the elements would go.
3) Attach the Collage Pieces to the Background
I usually attach collage pieces with gel medium, but this time, I used double-sided tape. It is easier to control, so I didn’t have to worry about having the medium in the areas where I wanted to add more watercolors.
4) Display the Little Secrets!
One wall of my studio is white so that I can photograph my work easily. But when I want to display the recent pieces, I don’t leave them on the wall but place them on the side table under a clear plastic plate. I love how this piece fits with the ones I have made for Magical Inkdom. It truly feels my true artistic expression at the moment.
With the African violet that looks like a cuddly guinea pig to me, I want to wish you a happy and creative weekend!