Random thoughts and bits of life of a coffee loving artist

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Inspiration in surprising places

"Kimono" by Dawn Star Wood
Acrylic, Gold Leaf, White Gel Pen

For those who aren't familiar with Blue Moon Gallery during the holiday season, those of the Blue Moon Collective artists try to do small pieces that people could purchase for either gifts or holiday decorations. The last couple of years I've always been at a loss of what to do to bring in but this year I have been able to come up with something: Small paintings based off of fabric patterns. Of the different patterns that I have been looking at and tried working with, I've discovered that the patterns for bolts of fabric meant to be for kimonos has come out the best.

"Cherry and Plum Blossom Kimono" by Dawn Star Wood
Acrylic, Gold Gel Pen 
As many people know about my work, I'm for the most part a watercolorist but there are times I feel like experimenting with other mediums and often does a mix of them together to see how they come out. With this little project I've been using mostly acrylics. I started off using gold leaf but quickly discovered that for me it wasn't the best to use on canvas because I did end up having a small cloud of tiny gold flakes EVERYWHERE and if not painted over with a clear sealer of sorts, the gold leaf will rub off. While cleaning the excess gold leaf off of a piece, it was very tricky as to not inhale the flakes or keep them from going all over my desk. The next time I use it, I really am considering wearing a dust mask to try to keep down on any potential health hazards or mess.

"End of Summer" by Dawn Star Wood
Acrylic, Gold Gel Pen
Digging through the supplies I have on hand, I realized that my gold metallic gel pen works perfectly with the fine patters in the kimono patterns I was working with. Of course I have to make sure that I don't touch the ink until it dries or I would end up having smears all over the place. Another positive of using the gold metallic gel pen is that it's easier to handle and won't flake off like the gold leaf does. The night before, I had been talking to a few friends on Facebook about my project and a couple of them asked about the patterns I was using. In a moment of thought, decided to pair the paintings up with the jpegs I was working from and ended up with some really positive feedback.

Today, while going on another search for various patterns that I could try to translate into a painting, something caught my attention. It was actually an entry on a blog called Kimono Mania that spoke of a website that they had come across titled WAFRICA which brings African and Japanese design together. My attention perked, I clicked the link and was quickly transported to the website where I was greeted by images of lovely African and Japanese women wearing stunning kimonos which were made with traditional African patterned fabric. I knew right then and there that I needed to share this amazing website with others. Not only do visitors get to see the beautiful creations but get to learn a little bit about the brilliant mind behind these pieces, Serge Mouangue. I was fascinated while reading his bio over the fact a native of Yaounde, Cameroon found his way Japan by way of his work in all things, the automotive industry. I don't want to spoil the entire biography of this talented man so I will leave it up to my readers to look at the website themselves. The website also allows visitors to order Kimono and Obi sets. A delightful surprise, it really gives me ideas for future pieces. 

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