Sunday, March 31, 2013

Eclectic Ellapu ~ Celebrate our Strengths

 April is Autism Awareness month, a cause that is near and dear to my heart. To commemorate this special month dedicated to bringing greater understanding and awareness of this spectrum, Trisha has chosen the theme for the challenge at Eclectic Ellapu with this in mind.  It's the Purple Team's week to repond to the challenge of using Primary colours and puzzle pieces to help convey a message of encouragement or thinking of you.

I chose to alter a wooden plaque which is approximately 5 x 8" in size. First the routered edge was painted in black gesso and allowed to dry. Next two patterned papers from an Amy Tangerine paper stack were used for the sky and the grass. The sky was adhered to the wood with Decou-Page and the green dot paper was torn into two strips which would be overlapped for the grass. Peacock Feathers and Faded Jeans Distress inks were applied over two stencils, Dylusions Letter Jumble and Dotted Flowers,using a foam applicator to create background texture. White gesso was pounced through the TCW stencil Mini Chevron. More Faded Jeans was transferred to the background via Unity's Cooped Up Notes stamp. I love that stamp for art journalling!

The flower centers were created by peeling a couple of layers off of 3 puzzle pieces and spraying them with London Blue, Pure Sunshine, and Postbox Red Dylusions ink sprays. I peeled the pieces because I wanted them to have a roughened texture to them. The puzzle pieces were backed by these lovely crocheted circles that my 83 year old neighbour makes for me. For added texture and whimsy, a piece of cheesecloth was adhered to the back of each flower. Threaded buttons finished off the flower heads. The stems were handcut and doodled from the perforated top pattern on the Amy Tangerine papers (waste not, want not :D ). The leaves were torn from the leftover bits from the grass.

Before the Idea-ology lettering was applied, I used some watered down black gesso and a gift card to make random lines in a few places. Doodling was done with a black Micron pen. Tiny gesso stars were added by pouncing with a brush over TCW's Mini Punchinella stencil. The wording was chosen with great thought. Many of you know that I am a retired teacher. Fewer know that what I taught for most of my career was Special Education which I absolutely loved and felt very privileged to teach. One of the values that I emphasized on a daily basis was to celebrate the strengths of all children (and adults). This is particularly important in dealing with those with special needs where it is all too easy to get caught up in the problems and challenges, what isn't working, rather than what is. Each day we celebrated the gains, large and small, and the strengths that each person brought to the table. I think it's a great habit for all of us to develop regardless of our age, stage, or situation. Just wanted to share that :)

Anyway, thanks for visiting today. I truly appreciate each of you for taking the time to share in my art journey and sharing your thoughts with me. Be sure to pop by the Eclectic Ellapu blog to see the wonderful makes that my teamies have created in response to this awesome challenge. I'm looking forward to seeing what you create next.

Life is good; so is art.


ParkNSlide said...

A great tribute and message to spread Autism Awareness and your strengths as a mixed media artist. Love the Spring colors and your choice of lettering.

Redanne said...

Such a lovely piece Bonnie, that holds such an amazing message. As someone who worked for many years with disabled adults I think it wonderful to celebrate strengths in individuals. Well done to you and EE. Hugs, Anne x

Words and Pictures said...

Beautifully done, Bonnie - love your jigsaw piece flowers!
Alison x

Anita Houston The Artful Maven said...

Love the knitted flowers and puzzle COOL!!! The theme is wonderful and special!!! Gorgeous little plaque Bonnie!