Bloom where you are planted

Image of artwork page: Bloom where you are planted by Michaela Butterworth.
“Bloom where you are planted”. Mixed media artwork on water color paper 9″ x 12″.


Thanks for taking the time to read my blog post today, I really appreciate it. Recently, I took an online class with Renee Mueller. Her class was inspired by an afternoon in the garden with her family, the sense of connection she felt with them, and the beauty of her surroundings and the sky, as they laid on a blanket and watched the clouds go scudding by.

My interpretation of this class is shown in the image, above. I created a deep purple clematis vine, which reminds me of my maternal grandfather’s garden. He grew passionfruit along the back fence, and I always remember with fascination the flowers and their color. Watching Renee work and asking us to select a vine to paint, brought this deep purple clematis to mind which also brought the passionfruit flower memories flooding back.

Before I began, I wanted to give the background some interest before the class work started, so I did some gelli printing using my 8″ x 10″ Gel Press Gelli Plate to begin and to help the page lose it’s initial white starkness. I find it’s always easier to create on a non-blank page, don’t you?

The Crafter’s Workshop provided me with some product to create this project. The opinions I share are solely my own.

For this page, I started with stencil TCW874 12″ Poppy Grid by Rebekah Meier, using Unbleached Titanium acrylic paint. I brayered over the stencil with the paint, then did the print. Next, I used stencil TCW454 12″ Specimens by Rebekah Meier, with Light Naples Yellow acrylic paint. I used only the geometrical shapes from this stencil as background accents in a few places on the page.

Next, I wanted to try gelli printing a sky with clouds over the previous stenciling. I wanted to keep the paint light and airy to simulate the sky with clouds, but also to reveal some of the stenciling underneath for interest and depth. I lightly rolled Permanent Blue Light acrylic paint with the brayer first, then I added Titanium white, brayered randomly and lightly as clouds, and pulled the print. The finished sky is shown in the bottom right corner of the image, below.

Image showing the gelli-plate printing process with brayer, acrylic paints, stenciling, and outcome.
Stencils TCW874 Poppy Grid and TCW454 Specimens gelli-printed for background depth and interest.

To protect the gelli-printed sky background, I covered it with a thin layer of TCW9007 Matte Clear Gesso. Now, I was ready to begin the class. Renee had us begin the project by doing a wash of acrylic paint for the sky, clouds, and surrounding greenery. I used Payne’s Gray, Sap Green, and Titanium white as my wash colors. Once I had achieved my desired effects, I then used TCW9001 White Gesso with my fingers to blend it in as clouds and light. I must admit, I was so tempted to stop here because I absolutely adore how this background turned out and I didn’t want to cover any of it up! I will definitely be using these techniques again.
I added some watered down splatters of sap green acrylic paint and dried the project fully. I then added another layer of clear gesso to seal and protect these middle ground layers, as shown in the image, below. Aren’t they gorgeous?

Image showing close up images of the middle ground with acrylic paint washes, paint splatters, and white gesso clouds and light.
TCW9001 White Gesso blended with fingers to add light and clouds to the background.

Now, it was time to create the foreground and focal points. I created the clematis vines and leaves using the Sap green acrylic paint. I then added the clematis flower blooms and buds using the TCW9055 Orchid ColorSparx powder as a watercolor paint mixed with water. I just adore the vibrancy and intensity of the ColorSparx powders, and this color might just be my new favorite!

Image showing close up of clematis vine with deep purple flowers and green leaves and stems.
TCW9055 ColorSparx Orchid powder was used as watercolor for the flowers.

Next, I completed the focal point images with a hand-painted bud, torn paper collage, and hand embroidery on ribbon to represent the connections stitching us all together. I applied these focal point elements to my page using TCW9011 Matte Gel Medium as both glue and sealer.

Image showing close ups of collage and hand embroidery focal point elements.
TCW9011 Matte Gel Medium was used as glue and sealer for the focal point elements.

To finish the project, I added a hand lettered sentiment that fit with the theme. I chose ‘Bloom where you are planted’ because I have moved multiple times in my life around the world (not recently), and I realize it is up to me to thrive wherever I plant myself!

To see more of this project up close and in progress, please check out my quick video overview on my YouTube Channel.

Image of artwork page: Bloom where you are planted by Michaela Butterworth.
“Bloom where you are planted”. 9″ x 12″ Mixed media on watercolor paper.

Thanks again for stopping by today, it really means a lot to me. I hope this post inspired you and gave you the courage to try some new techniques and maybe even some new supplies too.
Until next time, happy playing, and happy day!

Michaela Butterworth
The Crafter’s Workshop Design Team Member

Dear friends,
I’m a relative newcomer to the mixed-media art world, and I’d love to grow my following. Will you please hop on over to follow me on my blog and my social media accounts? Thanks so much, and see you soon!
Teal Hare
YouTube Channel

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