The Cherry Blossom Watercolor Collection started with a ruined painting. But by working through the creative process, the art work is happily up in my shop and on Etsy this week. I recently wrote a blog about creating original art. I wanted to go into that subject a little deeper by walking you through how I created this collection of artwork. The Cherry Blossom Watercolor Collection consists of one traditional watercolor painting and two watercolor texture collages. I am selling the artwork, the prints made from the work, art cards, notecards, and bookmarks in my shops.
How it Started
I started the paintings in 2019 and finished them last spring. The Cherry Blossom Watercolor Collection wasn’t planned when I started. It came together over a period of a year and began as a desire to paint cherry blossoms. Never having attempted the subject before, I started with two small 2 x 3 practice paintings. The purpose of the small paintings was to work out the colors I would use and the approach I would take to create the blossoms. I wanted to make sure the inner part of the blossom was rendered correctly.
Next, I worked on two watercolors. One was of pink blossoms and the other white. The photographs I used were complicated. Trying my best to simplify them, I was able to successfully paint the pink cherry blossoms, but the white blossom composition didn’t work out. I was ready to chuck it when I got an idea. I decided to chop it up and sell it as two small paintings. But when I was done cropping it, I decided they were too small to sell.
I Got an Idea
Then I got another idea. In 2019 I made several collages from .25 x .25 pieces of watercolor texture paper. I decided to incorporate the two small white cherry blossom paintings into two watercolor texture collages. I used the left-over pieces of the painting to create some of the tiny squares. Then I created more watercolor texture paper to cut up and add to the collage. I went through other paintings I had rejected, but had not discarded and looked for colors that could be worked into the collage. I don’t throw paintings out for this reason. I collect them in a box.
How I Created the Collages
To create the collage, I cut art board into 11 x 11-inch squares. I wanted the art to be 10 x 10-inches and I needed a half inch edge around the work. The art board was given a quick wash of watercolor as a base. I do this because the squares are as precise as I can make them, but there are always are tiny slivers of the background that shows through. Where that happens, I want color to show.
Next, I created a .25-inch grid on the art board, drawing it lightly with a pencil. The grid helps keep the rows precise. Perfection isn’t my goal, but because I allow for imperfection, the work has a more organic look. Since the work is nature inspired, I think that works well.
Creating Products from the Art
Creating the two 10 x 10-inch collages took several weeks. I worked on them section by section. When they were finished, I made a high-resolution scan of them like to do with all my art so I can sell them as prints. Because the collages are time consuming, I am asking $200 for them. A print of the same size costs $30.
Prints are an affordable way to collect art. But there are some people who only want original art. I like to offer both. And because I am a graphic designer, I enjoy creating products from my art. After I scanned the cherry blossom watercolor art, I made cards. Some people love art, but they don’t have any room on their walls for more. Offering notecards and art cards is a way they can collect artwork, like I do. I purchase art cards from the gift shop when I visit museums. Sometimes I get small prints. I like to take the cards out and look at them from time to time. Art cards are a memento of that day at the museum.
Cards created from art by the artist give you a unique choice for your note card writing. Over the years I have receive many wonderful cards like this from friends. Receiving the cards always made me feel special. And I have kept many of my favorite ones. Artist created cards are just something a little different and an alternative to the massed produced cards you find in a store.
Creating bookmarks is a new way I am using my art to make gift items. My older sister Margaret got me started on bookmarks when she requested I make some for her for Christmas gift. The colors she chose for my mother’s gift were the same colors as the colors in the cherry blossom designs, so I used the designs for her bookmarks.
When I wrote the article on making bookmarks, I used handmade paper to make a few bookmarks and they were by far my favorite. Recently I found a source for handmade paper and will be creating bookmark sets using the new paper and the cherry blossom designs.
That’s How it Works!
You can see it really is one thing leading to another that creates a collection of art. None of it was really planned. It came as a burst of ideas, that are then planned and implemented. And sometimes, like with the white cherry blossom painting, when things don’t work out, that is when unique art happens.
A lesson I learned early in my art studies, is that solutions to mistakes often make the most interesting art. I have learned to embrace that and go with it. Trusting that something more will come of it. And that is exactly what happened while creating the Cherry Blossom Watercolor Collection.
The Valentine’s Day Gift Shop is live. There are 10 different small creative businesses collaborating together. The Valentine’s Day Gift Shop is like a virtual marketplace or gift show. Instead of setting up booths and displaying our creations for a weekend, we have gathered online. And because we are online we are able to come together from all over the United States. The event runs for a month, Monday, January 18, 2021 through Saturday, February 20, 2021.
What you will find in the Valentine’s Day Gift Shop is samples of our art and gifts with links that lead to our individual shops. Some of us are on Etsy and some of us have our own websites. Then, some like myself, have both. Each shop is individually owned and operated. Visit our shops to purchase items and see the full array of the gifts we offer. That is where you can find our shop policies, along with shipping and contact information.