Sunday, May 27, 2012

The Gift

THE GIFT   mixed media on cradled panel   9" x 12" 

Now that it has been given I can tell you about the birthday gift I made for my Muse.  Kari is not only a gift she has the gift.  The basis of this is her favourite Charlie Russell painting, When Shadows Hint Death.  Over it, using Photoshop, I laid a sepia-toned, semi-transparent layer of my portrait of her (photo of it) as well as a photograph I had taken of my Father, when he was 82. 

Layers of the foundation created in Photoshop printed on 100% rag Stonehenge paper

Paper adhered to the cradled panel.  Acrylic paint distressed the corners and opalescent paint over the crystal ball

I rubber stamped the nondescript text (representing messages from the other side) on tissue paper and laid it over the entire image.  This not only relieved me of the angst of spoiling the image (with messy stamping, and yes I ruined one piece of tissue) but it also created a highly desirable, ethereal effect.

Of course there had to be feathers (see the link at the bottom of this post) collected by her daughters

For days, I pondered what to put in the bottom left corner.  I bought a concho, I made a clear gel buffalo skull, but neither of these seemed right. Mixed media makes you wait.  Wait until the right piece arrives.

Bill and I were honoured to be invited to Kari's (and Steve's) first branding on May 22nd.  (The photo essay can be viewed here.)  I went there looking for something and snitched a needle (used for inoculating the calves).  And wouldn't you know it, when I edited the 100 plus photos there was a singled out calf (of 300) that I had just happened to catch in a perfect pose.  Was it serendipity that I had caught Calf number 175 standing alone and perfectly still?  Absolutely.  She is the only completely hand painted element.

Detail of  CALF NUMBER 175   acrylic  (in the piece she's only 1.75" x 2" - half this size)

Thanks to my Muse for enjoying The Gift; thanks also for the inspiration and to the Universe for the loan of creativity and talent.

For the story of how Kari came to be my Muse click here.


  1. What a wonderful story, a deep and personal painting, and the perfect gift from the Universe to complete it. The Gift, indeed.

    1. Thank you Win. I am deeply satisfied with everything surrounding this piece. Gift. Gifts. So many of them on so many levels. You are my latest. See you tomorrow!