Wednesday, February 18, 2009


I created this canvas last night (YES, Margaret, a canvas!!!!) for a friend who just walked away from a stifling, 2 year, co-dependant relationship. I think the whole "fly" theme is trite, cliche'd and over used, but nonetheless very appropriate for this friend, who has recently discovered a liking for altered art, so even the cliches are new to her.

The canvas was a forgotten treasure I found in a suitcase my husband pulled out of our bedroom while decluttering. A timely discovery for sure! I glued old , yellowed newspaper all over the 8"x 10" canvas (bought at a garage sale a million years ago for 25 cents) and the wings came down from my inspiration board to be finally utilized for the perfect project. Good thing the wings are printed on a cardboard instead of just paper, because they stand out from the sides of the canvas, unsupported. When we spread our wings, don't we break free of boundaries? The word "fly" is made from stencil letters I distressed with first a rust then a brown ink pad (direct to paper) and I used the same on the edges of the canvas. I attached the stencil letters with foam dots so they added dimension to the piece. The beaded fringe is attached with hot glue. On the reverse I scrawled "Stella's" story with a Sharpie marker and the altered postcard I wrote a note on conceals my friend's identity (the canvas is inscribed).
When my friend saw the piece, she cried.
I love when that happens.
I wish I had enough materials to make one of these for myself. I could use a reminder to soar to great heights. I think we all could. And so "fly" will remain a beloved sentiment, no matter how over used!
I am hooked on this canvas thing. It is such a soft, springy surface. So yielding. I am going to look for frames to stretch fabric on and prime myself. I bought guesso this past weekend (DH obligingly stopped at Michaels on our way home from our romantic getaway) so I am armed and dangerous! Watch for more canvases in the future! Maybe I will even do a tutorial on preparing them yourself.


beth said...

beautiful....and perfect in so many ways !!!

Margaret said...

Oh you clever clever gal!! Love everything about this piece, superb choice of wings, very appropriate for all sorts of reasons. Can't wait to see where you go from here??!

Shabby Chick said...

What a lovely thing to do for your friend, I'm not surprised she cried! I'd love to see a tutorial on canvases :)

Mel xxx

Donna said...

This is Beautiful!! I Really need to make a "visualization" board!! It helps focus on what I want to attract into my life!! Hope all's happy with you little love!!hughugs

Anna said...

awesome! it's a beautiful piece! I have never tried the canvas thing so... a tutorial would be awesome.... no pressure :) regarding the guest list...... on my altered book.... YOU are the guest artist :) (hehe) it's you , linda and three inspirational friends...... So since you asked frist - It'll be coming your way in a week or so - no time limit - so don't feel pressured.....I know it will be in good hands. xoxo anna

Jeanie said...

Nathalie this is just beautiful, and you're right -- so very perfect for a friend in her situation. I'm glad you explained the technique you used. I've done little on canvas, but seeing things like this inspires me. Tremendously.

Shabby Chick said...

Thanks so much for your lovely comment Nathalie, glad you like the name too!


Ragamuffin Gal said...

I love when things like this happen ~ finding forgotten treasures and getting inspired! I found some of my first altered work the other day and all I could think of is ~ I use to be so creative, why don't I do this anymore? Back then I was just letting my "muse" sore and trying new things and now... sometime I get trapped into thinking too much about what I'm doing. So your post was very timely for me.
Blessings, Kt

~*~Patty Szymkowicz said...

I bet your friend DID cry, the canvas is so uplifting and right on target AND wonderful! I too have been getting busy on some canvases. I have some minis that I am trying to relocate

I am enjoying catching up with you, I missed a lot while we were away!