Friday, 5 August 2016

Borders and Bees- on painting my hearth

I am not an artist, yet my house is filled with examples of my need to express myself and make my home unique to me. I still get a thrill when I step outside the normal rules and write on a wall or paint something in an slightly eccentric manner.

We have all become used to people painting their cupboards and chairs in delicate chalky pastels but to add words and patterns to the structure of the house feels different to me, more daring and so much more fun!

A friend asked me " How do you dare, what if it goes wrong?" I suppose I keep altering it in the hope it comes right, or in desperation paint over it...
 I always draw freehand and feel it doesn't have to be perfect, although I will admit that writing the first word is always nerve-wracking.

My most recent artiness is a painted heath rug. Well, it's not quite that but all my heath rugs had holes burnt into them by spitting logs and the original concrete hearth was damaged and ugly, so I decided to paint something instead- less of a fire hazard or an eyesore.
I started with a simple leaf garland,

and then added details as the mood took me. I love medieval Books of Hours, with their gold leaf, vibrant colours and their quirky borders with tiny flowers and creatures, so these were my inspiration.

I haven't the patience or skill to match their detailed perfection, for one thing it's darn painful trying to paint, lying on my tummy trying not to smudge any wet bits- but I think there is at least a 'feel' of these beautiful books in my slightly scruffy attempt.

I haven't been able to photograph the whole of the final painting, the room is small and the light bad, yet I hope this gives an idea of the finished result.

I still may add a suitable quotation but I have yet to find one with a hearth and fire theme that isn't too trite or sentimental. I'm happy though and I enjoy letting my creations evolve over the months and years.