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.