Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Love is in the Air!

Hello and welcome to Magpieheaven! With Valentine's Day just a little under a month away hearts seem to be everywhere! PaperArtsy feature them as their theme this fortnight - you can see some beautiful examples on the blog here - and over at Relics and Artifacts, Sandra Evertson and her team are running a 'Be My Valentine' competition!
For many years hearts were bottom of my list of shapes. The garish pink satin and purple Valentines with overly sentimental messages on offer during my youth rather put me off. That was until I discovered the amazing art the heart shape can inspire. I love the vibrant Mexican folk hearts; the incredible riveted steam-punk hearts; extraordinarily original mixed media hearts and the way the heart adapts so well to stencils and stamps. I had been busy with all kinds of projects - arty and otherwise, so I decided to just get out my Relics and Artifacts hearts and some PaperArtsy paints and glazes and see where my heart led me! I didn't take photos as I went along, as I just became so involved in experimenting with effects on the resin blanks.
I wanted to experiment with drawing over PaperArtsy Crackle glaze because on my research into unusual heart shapes in folk art I also discovered some incredible Santos dolls with faces so old they had cracked with time. On the little heart-shaped area in the centre I painted first with Little Black Dress, then - when this was dry - added a thin layer of Crackle glaze and finally painted with thick, single strokes of Nougat before adding a face drawn with pigment pens and coloured with Inktense. The Latin motto under the lady's chin reads 'Amor Vincit Omnia' - 'Love Conquers All'. I first came across these words when I was studying Chaucer's Prioress's Tale. The worldly Prioress owned a brooch with the motto emblazoned on it, hinting that the kind of love she was concerned with might not have been entirely religious. The Relics and Artifacts wings remind me of cupid in this painting by Caravaggio also titled 'Amor Vincit Omnia' https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amor_Vincit_Omnia_(Caravaggio))
He might be a small boy with a mischievous grin, but those wings are pretty powerful! My lady at the centre of the brooch is Venus, I've decided. And I've featured one of her doves hovering above her head, symbolic of gentle, constant love.
I wanted to hint at Venus' birth too. As the goddess was supposed to have stepped from a sea shell, a fully  grown woman, I thought the tiny painted jewellery finding studded with pearl dots might suggest her origins. For a sense of age and mystery, I rusted the wings and added some rusted seam binding. I can imagine that this creation might have started life as a clasp on an Italian wedding chest. I hope the couple's love remained faithful, tender and constant as Venus doves!
With this heart, as well as rusting and crackling, I sprayed the tiny crackled heart at the centre with some diluted Jade Fresco paint to create the impression of egg shell. Once again I've used shrink plastic to create a tiny motto. It's a stamped one this time from a Sara Nauman plate and reads 'My Heart'. This little heart I can imagine among the treasures collected by an Edwardian lady while the heart in the image above suggests an earlier age - maybe Elizabethan or before! I wonder what manner of long forgotten beau might have shyly placed a heart like this in his beloved's hand at the end of a golden afternoon picnicking by the river with the sound of the birds to accompany his vows of love?
I've had so much fun playing with these heart shapes and just allowing my imagination to roam where it will. I'm linking 'My Heart' to PaperArtsy this fortnight and the 'Amor Vincit Omnia' to the Relics and Artifacts 'Be My Valentine' challenge. Thank You so much for taking the time to stop by my blog today and see what I've been creating and dreaming about. 

17 comments:

  1. a really gorgeous heart creation, Julie Ann!

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  2. Beautiful! Loving the crackle :-)

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  3. Such a treat to stop by your blog Julie Ann. More absolute treasures on which to feast our eyes, and links to great artworks! Your imagination is totally priceless, and I feel honoured to be able to share your fantastic stories! Once again you have produced wonderful artefacts, that would sit happily in days long gone! Xx

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  4. Always so many gorgeous details on your work. I particularly love the wings and the beautiful doves. Lx

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  5. Fantastic work, love your makes, hugs, Valerie

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  6. My heart is positively melting! You have been creating with a few of my most favourite things which adds another level of joy when viewing this piece of art and as for the story, of course they lived eternally in love! The little bird that you use, is that something you create by hand with clay or a mould. I am struggling to source a mould with such a pretty bird, maybe I am looking in the wrong place!
    When visual and narrative merge together, it is a beautiful thing and that is what occurs each and every time I visit here.
    Wishes
    Lynne

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  7. This is really cool. Fabulous detail-love it!
    Gill x

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  8. What a treat this post is! I love your heart, your art and the accompanying words! Hugs, Chrisx

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  9. Such beautiful rusting and crackle on your heart - making it look like a thing from ages past - great distressing. And I love the connection of Venus to her mother of pearl shell origins and the dove of fidelity - though I've always suspected the Roman and Greek Gods of being less than faithful... a capricious and highly-sexed bunch they always seemed to me!

    But your jewelled heart is definitely a thing of beauty to be treasured and honoured as a faithful heart should be... I completely agree with you that the pink and purple satin sort should be consigned to the dustbin, but I always enjoyed doodling hearts as a child - not because I was a romantic, but because it seemed such a satisfying shape to create with the hand... that and treble clefs from musical notation.
    Alison xx

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  10. This is so beautiful, Julie Ann! I particularly love the egg shell effect,

    Lucy x

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  11. Beautiful effects on this wonderful piece Julie Ann! xxx

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  12. Truly a beautiful piece Julie Ann! I love how you crackled and aged this heart and also love the research you did- amazing! I always love to learn more!!
    Have a beautiful Saturday my friend! xo

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  13. This is wonderful, Julie Ann!!!!!!!!

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  14. Wow that face most certainly cracked didn't it!!

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  15. The painting over crackle looks fab! Not only there is an immediate Vintage vibe but it also makes everything more "interesting". Enjoyed reading your post too, there's always something to learn...

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