Third Quarter Challenge – Marilyn’s Entry

Third Quarter Challenge – Marilyn’s Entry

Today’s post is by Marilyn Nelson (Pandagirl on the forum).

MNelsonchallengeoverviewThis was definitely a challenge for me since it was my first time using acrylics, modeling paste and curing modeling clay. I’m also more into abstract than realistic representation.

For some reason I was fixated on doing a butterfly (probably wanting to hold on to summer).  So, I worked on the butterfly first.  There were several renditions in silk and clay, but I ended up using the first clay one which I used wire between layers to bend the wings making it dimensional and painting both sides with acrylics. The antennae are wire.   A silk butterfly would have been even better, but I couldn’t figure out how to paint it like a Monarch.  I tried, but wasn’t happy with the results.

While I worked on the butterfly the rest of the picture seemed to come together.  I covered an 8×8″ stretched canvas with modeling paste and created a textured sky and meadow with a palette knife.  After it was dry, I began layering acrylic washes to intensify the dimension. However, after painting the texture wasn’t that obvious.

MNelsonChallenge side view 2

The bottom of the crinkled silk flower was left over from a failed felting experiment.  So, I cut another small piece to fill it out.  The stamens of the flower are yarn.  The leaf is prefelt that I felted a piece of wire on one side to be able to give it flexibility to form it.  Then I used copper wire taken from the ends of wired ribbon to make the veins in the leaf by running it lightly in spots through the felt to hold it.

I used the cut outs from the silk to make the smaller flowers. The orange spirals were a last-minute addition from left over clay I was playing with.Of course, I had to figure out how to attach everything.  I used a combination of modeling paste, acrylic medium and Mod Podge. (Not mixed together.) 🙂

MNelsonChallenge side view

I’ve included a couple of views to show the dimension of the piece.  I hope you can see the details.  I need to work on my photography skills.

Karen, a special thanks for posting the challenge and to all the members who have encouraged me to join the fun!  I had a great time and learned a lot.  I’m looking forward to the next challenge.

Marilyn Nelson




14 thoughts on “Third Quarter Challenge – Marilyn’s Entry

  1. Wow, Marilyn! That is excellent 🙂 All the individual parts are gorgeous and it all comes together really well. Your photos do show the dimension of it well.

  2. Wow Marilyn that is gorgeous, the butterfly looks so real and the whole piece came together perfectly . Im so glad you joined in the challenged its absolutely beautiful xoxo

  3. Thanks everyone! I had fun and have learned a lot from everyone on the forum. This was a good exercise for me because I definitely had to get out of my comfort zone. :-). I had forgotten how much I love to “find a way” to make something work.

  4. Great job Marilyn! It’s fun to get out of your comfort zone occasionally, isn’t it? I always learn something and think of new ways of working when I do that.

    1. Ruth it is great. You start seeing in a a whole new way.
      Thanks Lyn. I have a tendency to conceptualize things I have no clue how to accomplish. This time it turned out well. 🙂

  5. Nothing wrong with your photography at all Marilyn! Lovely photos and I enjoyed reading about your making process.

    Each piece of your ‘mixed media’ is beautifully done and they combine into a wonderful picture.

    1. Sorry Lyn I posted reply with Ruth’s.
      Thanks Lyn. I have a tendency to conceptualize things I have no clue how to accomplish. This time it turned out well.

  6. Very nice indeed. It is so difficult to explain what mixed media art is. It has to be experienced to be understood. Taking a chance on media that we have never tried before, makes us better artists in the long run. I never stop learning.

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