Saturday, 11 March 2017

A Very Modern Mid-Century Tea Time with Relics and Artifacts!

Hello Everyone and Welcome to Magpieheaven! Over at the Relics and Artifacts Tribe there's a fun challenge taking place - Mid Century Modern! It was certainly a challenge for me because I tend to associate Relics and Artifacts with either mysteriously beautiful antiques with a story to tell, or the vibrant folk art of Mexico. I wanted to keep up that New Year Resolution to blog more and to participate in some challenges, though, so I put on my Mid Century thinking cap with its geometric patterns and journeyed back to the 1950s!

Once I had researched - lots of fun on Pinterest - I gathered colours with what I thought had a 'Mid Century' mood. I grabbed some Harlequin napkins; a stencil and some musical manuscript paper, along with a few scraps of tea-bags - I was ready to paint and collage!

I used acrylics diluted with glazing fluid to paint over my collage so that the torn scraps would be visible. To create the blocks of colour, I used masking tape to help me keep to really straight lines.

Building up layers with collage, paint and stencils, reminded me of tattered posters after a carnival.

Now it was time to add the Relics and Artifacts to the composition. I wanted to carry through that Harlequin/Pierrot Mid Century style mood, so I grabbed the masking tape again for an asymmetrical look to the ex-voto flaming heart.

The Mid Century I recall from my childhood was a time of such hope and excitement as we embraced the 'Modern' and looked to Science and Technology to re-build our world torn apart by 2 World Wars. Yet there was fear too, at what the Modern World might do to itself with the Nuclear threat. Influenced by the exquisite Picasso drawings that I love, I added the pure white wing of Peace to my canvas. 

I leave the interpretation of the face to the viewer. Is it the Moon glimmering over Venice at Carnival time? Is it a Pierrot behind an enigmatic mask, the wing a fluttering white lace ruff; or is it the Spirit of Uncertainty, half facing the 'Brave New World' and half completely blank as to what the future might hold.

On a less serious note the colours of my canvas reminded me of my china collection, which I seldom use, so I thought it was time for a Very Mid Century Modern Tea Party!

Now all we need are some little Harlequin cakes with pastel icing and some Batten berg with its pink and blue squares of sponge cake and bright yellow icing! Have a lovely creative weekend and a great week! 


  1. oh I like this you say certainly not your usual style but gorgeous are certainly doing more blogging than me lol xxx

  2. Knock-your-socks-off background! Just love it. Reminds me of remodeling an old bathroom and finding layers of 1940's,50's and 60's wallpaper in patches...and always in those to-die-for killer colors! Your R&A heart looks like a Venetian Carnivale mask trying to decide if it's going to be a romantic and ethereal visage or an evil and eerie one!

    I've never seen this side of your work - and I love it! Brava!

  3. Just lovely.
    I think at first we all kind of thought mid centry mod..was a head scratcher

    But I am loving what I see so far and I plan to give it a whirl.

  4. Wow, Julie Ann, what thought and planning went into your beautiful project. You have certainly captured the essence of mid century modern. Delightful representation. Xx

  5. love this , Julie Ann, great colours and shapes.

  6. my goodness this is a stunner! xo

  7. Fantastic piece. You have kept it simple but oh so wonderful. xox

  8. Julie Ann! How neat that your dishes are similar to your canvas- Love both!! I told you obn FB I love this and I'll tell you here- Love your palette and design- Well done! Bravo ,my dear friend! xo

  9. I've just read at Jackie's that you were the deserving winner in the Relics challenge with this amazing canvas - congratulations!
    Alison x


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