Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Flower Power Box

About a year ago, I developed a love for painting, stamping and stenciling on deli paper when I took a course with Julie Fei-Fan Balzer at the Ink Pad in New York City. Deli paper is thin, inexpensive, strong, and layers beautifully. It also dries amazingly fast.

A mixture of acrylic paint and molding paste worked great when I printed the Artistcellar Sacred Geometry 2 stencils on both heavy watercolor paper and lightweight deli paper. My particular favorite of the new stencil set is the Seed of Life stencil. I made print after print with my new stencils in my favorite shades of aqua, ended up with a big pile of beautiful geometric designs, and then asked myself: “What the heck are you going to do with these prints now?”

Seed of Life stencil, printed on deli paper with acrylic paint and molding paste
 The answer came to me late that night as I was lying in bed—the Seed of Life medallions looked like the geometric flowers that were so popular in the late 60s and early 70s! Songs about going to San Francisco and wearing a flower in my hair, and flower children in the park on a rainy day ran through my head. I knew just what to do, and could hardly wait for morning to get back to my art table.

Part of the printed Seed of Life stencil was cut away
to create a flower shape

As I sipped my morning coffee, I cut away parts of the round stencil prints to turn them into flowers, still humming the Summer of Love songs. I decided to use the flowers to beautify an old, beat-up shoe box that had been home to my marker collection.

I love newsprint as a background, so I grabbed my husband’s New York Times (after he read it of course!) and adhered the newsprint to the box top with matte medium. I gave the whole box a coat of white gesso and mended a few tears on the box corners before I started.

Shoebox top covered with newsprint
Once it was dryish, I auditioned the flower heads on the shoebox top until I got an arrangement that I liked, then used a UHU gluestick to secure them. I loved the way the newsprint showed through the unpainted sections of the flowers. For the sides, instead of covering the whole thing with newsprint, I kept the white background of the box and glued torn horizontal strips of newsprint to create a stripe, and then glued a flower on each side. Extra newsprint may have made the bottom just a little too thick, and the box top might not have fit the box bottom quite right.

I looked at the newsprint and flower covered box and it occurred to me that something was missing. The box bottom and box top still didn't quite say Flower Power. It looked a little dull. A lightbulb went off in my head. That missing "something" was music. I couldn’t make the box sing or play, but I could add song lyrics. So, I pulled out my mini alphabet stamps and my black archival ink, and let the song lyrics flow as I hummed the tunes and stamped the words that I remembered.

I added Artistcellar pocket stencil inspirational words on three sides of the box using the same pale aqua acrylic/molding paste blend, and a large flower head to the fourth side.

I intentionally used a mix of alphabet font styles and
also mixed upper and lower case to make the box more whimsical.

The finished Flower Power box top

Short side of the box, with lyrics from "Sunshine Superman"

Finished box side
 Now my markers have a new, happy home...so much better than a beat-up old shoebox!


sonja said...

The summer of 66, i recall it well...Donovan songs do run in a circular motion, don't they?Your revamped shoe box is so cool.like all the treatments!

Squiddy said...

Clever way to use the stencilled images.