Mixed media Sunflowers step one

Mixed Media Sunflower Painting

This mixed media sunflower painting started out as a blank canvas like all paintings do. I only had one goal, and that was to use spray paint. I am taking a class online for painters right now. Next week is the last week. This week is spray paint week. I had to use it. Otherwise, why am I even taking this class, right?

Mixed media Sunflowers step one
Paper, paper, paper…GLITTER!

So, Tiny-Small and I glued paper all over the canvas. We ripped stuff, we cut stuff, we randomly tossed it all onto the canvas and then Tiny-Small globbed on some gel medium. The way she was using it all up you’d think the stuff grows on trees or something. That paper is never coming off. In a 100 years someone will be purchasing this painting at a garage sale for three dollars. Maybe my work will be famous by then and that certain someone will go on Antiques Road Show and find out it’s worth $5,000. Sometimes I entertain myself by thinking about such things. The historians will probably wonder if my daughter helped me paint it and will look for secret signatures and brush strokes (and the amount of glue used) to determine the paintings authenticity.

After we glued the paper down, Tiny-Small glitter bombed it. She’s not suppose to play with glitter because she gets it in her eyes, up her nose, and in her mouth. I hide it from her. This time, she found it on the counter because I had just purchased some and forgotten to put it away before she discovered it. So, I let her glitter bomb my painting. Why not? What’s a little extra sparkle in your digestive track once in a while, right?

We let it dry. I went to the store to buy doilies. That is something I never thought I would say out loud. I also bought spray paint. Then I sprayed the doilies. I also sprayed my arm and fingers. I wish I had sprayed my finger gold so I could make Gold Finger jokes, but instead I sprayed my arm gold. No good jokes for that. My fingers are blue, yellow, and green. I am gorgeous.

Spray painting doilies to make sunflowers
Spray paint madness.

I went to bed smelling like spray paint. I feel sorry for Jim who probably got a contact headache from me while he slept, but we all suffer for art around here. Suffer, suffer, suffer…also, never spray paint in your pajamas. Also, never marry someone who spray paints in pajamas.

Finally, the painting dried once more over night and I spent a good part of the morning staring at it skeptically. I secretly and not so secretly hated it. I told Jim. Then I attacked it with paint. All I could see was sunflowers so that is what I made. It’s not exactly Van Gogh, but it’s something. I am actually quite pleased with how it turned out. To go from a bunch of glitter bombed paper to an actual painting on sheer luck and random paint splattering is kind of amazing. I am really pushing my own boundaries with this class. I feel a shift coming on inside me. Like I am about to crack open a new door of self-awareness. It’s exciting and scary at the same time, but I guess that is the price we pay for new things and for happiness.

Mixed media sunflowers by Lillian Connelly
Mixed Media Sunflowers 18×24 on canvas board

It’s also the price we pay for art.


20 thoughts on “Mixed Media Sunflower Painting”

  1. This looks fun. I can see your experimentation. There’s a fantastic spray paint artist, “urban wall art” all one word; he has a blog on WP. His works are breathtaking. Have more fun with this; I can see your evolution. It’s good!

    1. I don’t think I will be using Spray paint too often. It stinks. I had a headache well into the next day. Not sure it is worth it, but never say never, right?

  2. I love how you get Tiny-Small involved and let her help you. That’s got to be so much fun for her! I also love the way this turned out. I swear, everything you touch turns to awesome.

  3. Beautiful, Lillian! It’s awesome how you let Tiny-small get in there and help you out. I’m going to have to try that (you know, with my kids), it would probably get me to loosen up a bit. (When it domes to painting, anyway!)

    1. Yes, try it! I am trying to teach her to respect my tools and we have to have rules, but mostly she is just so thrilled to be involved. She takes it pretty seriously. Plus, I get to paint more than I would otherwise so it’s totally worth it.

    1. It is, isn’t it? I find that amusing because it started out without so much pessimism. I was sure I wouldn’t be able to pull off spray paint.

  4. You are SOOOOO freakin’ talented. I LOVE what you did here. I didn’t see it until it was finished…but YOU did. God, Lily. I want to be like you when I grow up.

    Also, I’m not allowed near glitter either. Brian says it’s infectious. (And yet my birthday card? TOTALLY full of glitter…He wrote “That’s how much I love you”).

  5. Wow Lillian! This is freaking wonderful. Seeing the progression of how you got to the finished piece of art is wonderful. You’ve inspired me to try some more collages and maybe some spray paint. Hmmm!!!

    1. The spray paint would work well with your pieces I think. I am looking for new things to use as a stencil or to create a mood. Watched the teacher in my class use a tree branch and that looked pretty cool.

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