Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The House Protects The Dreamer....

Greetings.  This month the contributing artists of the Sketchbook Challenge decided to do a blog hop using the September theme, "Houses and Hideaways".  The meaning of home in a personal and larger scale is very important to me and frequently makes appearances in my work, either literally or in an abstracted way.
I'm always reminded of a favorite quote from the movie, "Under The Tuscan Sun".  It occurs at the very end of the movie:
 "What are four walls, anyway?  They are what they contain.  The house protects the dreamer.  Unthinkably good things can happen, even late in the game.  It's such a surprise".

The house protects the dreamer.  Oh, how I love this.

With that in mind, I decided to create a whimsical version of my house.

I used two pieces of 140lb hot press watercolor paper.
The left piece will become the background.

The right piece was cut into the shape of a house and covered with 
a variety of washi tape from my (ahem) rather large collection.

I would like to mention that this idea was inspired by a recent blog post for 
Stencil Girl contributing artist Carolyn Dube.

Using two types of paint I covered the background paper.

I used a portion of the "Rafters"  stencil by Mary Beth Shaw from the Stencil Girl line to
create the windows and doors of my little house.


I took several die-cut shapes of Grungeboard and painted them white.

Then, I painted each element individually.

I used Mary Beth Shaw's "Gears" stencil and overlaid it onto the background paper.




I partially-concealed that image with more paint.  The stencil seemed perfect as a 
metaphor for time passing, sort of like the mechanism inside a watch.

Using an old stamp I printed into both the "door" and "window" shapes on the house.



I blotted a bit of contrasting paint on the edge of the house 
(and on the background paper) as I plan to glue the bird over both.


The palm tree and the "104" are significant because they are elements of my current home.
In addition, prior to glueing the house to the background I used a leaf stamp on both edges of the background paper.  Birds, the garden, color, and a bit of dreaming:  these are very important 
components of my house, my home.
The house truly does protect the dreamer.

If you haven't done so already I hope you will stop over to the Sketchbook Challenge blog for my companion post on this subject.  Thanks for stopping by!  Please leave a comment to be eligible for a drawing!  Cutoff for the drawing will be 5:00 pm CDT on September 20th.  




51 comments:

  1. Such amazing layering! It gives a wonderful richness to the finished image.

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  2. Wow, I'm always amazed at the beautiful end product! I often wonder how someone has such a great imagination to create something like this layered home image. Truly inspirational work - you have a new fan :)

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    1. Thank you for your kind words. I'll look forward to "hanging around" online with you!

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  3. I love all of the layering - this is something I need to start doing! I particularly like the colorful end result.

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    1. Thanks, Valerie. I admit I have a fair amount of ephemera in the studio, even though I cull through it periodically. It is nice to pull things out for collages.

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  4. Wow! Thanks so much for taking us through the process...I don't know which I like better this house or the one you posted today on the SBC blog!! Hmmm...I think it's equal!:)

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    1. Well, thanks! They are (obviously) quite different from one another, but there is a strain of whimsy in both houses. I love both processes for very different reasons.

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  5. Beautiful and I love your take on Carolyn's house she recently posted. xox

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    1. Thank you, Corrine. I use Washi tape on lots of things but was particularly inspired by Carolyn's post. I love how well it tolerates paint layers!

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  6. Love it! Saw Carolyn's video to do the house too - love how you incorporated it on your page. Thanks for the opportunity!

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  7. I love not only the result but that you shared the reason behind your choices.

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  8. Love that quote - The house protects the dreamer. Also enjoyed the story that you posted on the SBC blog about the unique homes in that small town.

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    1. I'm glad you enjoy it. I hope you have a chance to visit Telluride one day! It is quaint and isolated!

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  9. Both of your "posts", such a mundane word for your thoughtful, inspiring pieces, nudge me forward. Wow thank you.

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    1. I am SO happy if anything I have done has served to inspire you!

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  10. Oh to dream! Isn't it wonderful? My dream spot is under the live oak in my FAR back yard...quiet except for the songs of birds, the rustle of leaves, and aroma of the bay trees. A glorious spot! Thank you for asking.

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    1. It doesn't get any better than that. I love my garden because there are so many live oak trees and birds. Sounds like you really do have a glorious spot to dream.

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  11. Isn't fun to play with houses. I don't think I ever grew out of my Betsy McCall paperdoll fascination. To be able to freely create whimsical dolls, houses, critters is such a joy.

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    1. Oh! Betsy McCall paper dolls. Be still my heart. I don't want to grow up!

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  12. Love the layers in your piece! I have to admit I have accumulated quite a stash of washi tape myself! It seems... I can't help myself. LOL

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    1. Maybe there should be a washi tape anonymous group....

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  13. All sorts of cool stuff! What a fun house! Thanks for the great ideas!

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  14. I loved your post on SBC and this one on your blog. So many people who have never had to pull up stakes and move away from their roots do not realize how wrenching it can be, and how wonderful it becomes (!) when they realize that they can take "home" with them. Home is really the internal space, the people and the feelings that transport with them. We have moved 20 times with military and government assignments and lived in 10 states. All were wonderful in their own way. The house protects the dreamer and the dreams transport wonderfully. I love sketching and working with "homes", so i loved your post with such whimsical houses. Perhaps the dreamer creates the home?

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    1. Your comment really touched me, Marit. You completely get it. For me, it was the first experience of moving to a completely new place. Starting over and learning it will be okay is very powerful stuff.
      Perhaps your are right: maybe the dreamer creates the home; the house merely protects those things.

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  15. I love the use of washi tape to create the house. Think I'll have to give this a try. Very creative. And I love the sentiment that the house protects the dreamer.

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    1. If you haven't played around with washi tape before you will really enjoy it! I use it for so many things.

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  16. Not being very artsy myself, I am fascinated at what artists can do. I am loving your house.

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  17. I love how you used the washi tape as a background. Problem is it's made me think I need to buy some more myself. Yeah. Right!

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    1. Oh Gillian. There is always room for a few more rolls.....
      Signed, Leslie, the enabler

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  18. Loved seeing your process as always. "Under the Tuscan Sun" is one f my all-time favorite

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    1. Me, too. We should make a list of our faves. Let's do it in Houston!

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    1. Well, that means a lot coming from you, dear Desiree! Back at you, darlin.

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  20. Leslie, it is wonderful! Love your use of so many elements and vivid color. (I didn't even know there was such a thind as washi tape!)

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    1. I'm not sure how you managed to avoid the wash tape obsession, but I can definitely "show" you some of mine. When are we having that play date?!

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  21. I love your house and the way you used stencils and washi tape. Very cool!

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    1. Thank you, Cheryl. You know, all of this is making me feel much (MUCH) better about my quantity of wash tape! ;-)

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  22. I loved watching your process building all the layers of your house. It makes me want to get out my supplies and build my own dream house!

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  27. Wow I have never seen a technique like this! I am excited! It is so unique and interesting.

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  28. I always love seeing your process. Thank you for taking us through. So how much washi tape do you own? Lol

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