I recently became a member of TAGOL - The Artist Guild of Lockport.
The guild is made up a fantastic collection of artists from all over the sw suburbs. They host a few art exhibition shows each year and the most recent one is Fables, Fairy Tales and Folklore which opened on March 25, 2017 at The Flower of Life Gallery.
What was exciting about this show was not only that it would be my first but that my niece was also going to be able to participate in it as a youth family member.
We were not sure what story we were going to base each of our pieces on so I gathered up a wide array of supplied and brought them over to her house so that I could help her come up with a concept and plan.
She knew she wanted to do something with a dog in it and so we did some google searching and found the Aesop fable A Dog and It's Reflection.
A Dog, to whom the butcher had thrown a bone, was hurrying home with his prize as fast as he could go. As he crossed a narrow footbridge, he happened to look down and saw himself reflected in the quiet water as if in a mirror. But the greedy Dog thought he saw a real Dog carrying a bone much bigger than his own.
If he had stopped to think he would have known better. But instead of thinking, he dropped his bone and sprang at the Dog in the river, only to find himself swimming for dear life to reach the shore. At last he managed to scramble out, and as he stood sadly thinking about the good bone he had lost, he realized what a stupid Dog he had been.
It is very foolish to be greedy.
After reading the fable she began working on the drawing for her design. She drew it on paper which she later cut up to use as a template to transfer it onto the wood panel she would be painting on. (Her little brother also got in on the action - that's him behind his drawing he is holding up).
Since I had brought with a wide range of supplied I suggested she use water color paint on the areas of her art that were the water and the reflection so that it allowed some of the wood grain to show through and appeared more watery. Then she used acrylic paints on the rest of the image. When it go to the wooden planks for the pier she had her dog standing on she started to paint in different pattern designs on each plank. It added so much to the image and was something I realized an adult may not have done but as a kid she freely experimented and it worked.
I still had not decided what I was going to base my piece on and then it hit me to do my own version of the same fable. And I used my niece's piece as my inspiration. She did hers close up so I did a point of view from further out. She used a range of bold colors and I sampled some of those same colors into my piece. And as I mentioned I was very intrigued by the design patterns she added so I added a design element of beams of sunlight into my piece.
Once I had completed my art, I printed it off onto canvas. I allowed that to dry for 24 hours and then I applied three thin coats of varnish to my canvas and my nieces wood panel.
Once the varnish had dried I wrapped my canvas onto the wood frame and stapled it into place. I purchased two matching floating frames to complete both of art pieces and unify them.
The pieces were then packed up and delivered to the gallery to be hung for the big show.
The night of the show was nothing short of incredible. To see all of the art and our two pieces hanging with them was a great feeling.
And most exciting and validating of all was that my piece was the first of the event to sell! It made all of these years of struggles and sacrifices so worth it. Then a bit later my nice sold her piece as well.
So both of us got the "red dot" stickers placed on our tags to signify they sold. Never has such a small round sticker been so thrilling to see!
A few days later we had the honor of being in a Lockport Legend newspaper article about the show. The article begins describing our pieces and tells the tale of how her work inspired mine.
It was a true honor and pleasure to share this entire experience with Mackenzie!
And thanks to TAGOL for making this all happen!