Art nouveau Ivy - reproduction on wood

Sunday, August 21, 2011
Inspired by work of Alphonse Mucha from 1901, I've sketched and then painted it on a wooden box. It was previously another cigar box made of cherry wood, about 21 x 15 cm. I've painted the Ivy on the lid, and I covered sides of the box with acrylic paint texture using small sponge...

Of course there's an original engraving visible under layers of my paint - it was so deeply engraved that abrading it or filling it with more paint didn't cover it completely (I also didn't have silicon mastic in my stock yet). Anyway luckly it's not so visible in reality :)

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Morpho butterflies & clematis lanterns

Thursday, August 18, 2011
In another blue creation I've decided not to use decoupage. Painted art over an item is much more beautiful. I've collected some photos of blue morpho butterflies and blue clematis flowers to see how did they look like in detail, where to add light and shadow and what kind of color palette should I choose. Then I took two tall jars used previously for olives, took labels off and cleaned them with alcohol to degrease them. I chose white acrylic paint used for painting furniture and covered those jars with a thick layer of it, painting them few times each half an hour. The paint covered the surface equally without smudges visible.
Then I sketched butterfies, flowers and leaves with a pencil and painted them with acrylics.
This is the effect:

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Two additional Arsenic bookmarks

Wednesday, August 17, 2011
As I wrote before I promised to make more Arsenic-related creations. I've enjoyed designing bookmarks a lot, so I decided to make another two of them to add to the set. Here they are:

I used photo references from old, damaged photos and postcards from ca. 1900-1930, authors and models are unfortunately probably dead by now. I've scanned old photos, retouched them and re-painted them using my Wacom Intuos 3 graphic tablet - the best tool with a pen to get ;) One of models of that old photos was of course a fabulous Maude Fealy (1883-1971), who firstly appeared in a silent film in 1911. It was so nice to retouch that old and damaged photo and then to paint it from a sketch to restore her beauty...

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Cobalt-blue wine...

Tuesday, August 16, 2011
This kind of thing happens when you clean your house up :) - you always find some strange items that: 1. you thought you've thrown away ten years ago, 2. you kept because someday they could be found useful (they usually weren't), 3. you forgot about them and now you're shocked you were keeping them, 4. you forgot about them and now you're mad at yourself you had amnesia...

Long time ago someone decided to make a house-made wine here and used two nice bottles for it. I don't remember the taste of that wine or who actually was occupied with it (and who got drunk by any chance!). I've just dragged that two lovely bottles out of my cabinet. No one confesses to a crime ;)

This is how one of those bottles looked like before:

Anyway, I started to like them instantly because of the color, a nice cobalt-blue hue. They are not a part of the set, actually they are completely different from each other in shape but the color is the same. One of them has got the sign of Peter Brum German Winery...
First thing I've done was ripping entire labels off the bottles. I've done it under a stream of hot water and I treated remains with salicylic spirit (used normally in hospitals for disinfection). Then I've made a simple decoupage on the surface:

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Art nouveau Dance - reproduction on wood

Monday, August 15, 2011
I have a precious box which was accompanying me for years. When I left home and went to study at University, it was always with me. I kept my collection of incenses inside of it along with other useful things. When I moved through the entire Europe, it went with me and now it's still on my shelf...
Just a dark brown ordinary wooden box: 38 cm long, 14,5 cm wide, 9,5 cm tall. It was always plain without any pattern. But I decided to give it a bit of character, which could be my simple thank you for the item that has never abandoned me.
I was inspired by the original painting of Alphonse Mucha's Dance (from the Arts serries, 1898). I loved the idea of it, the movement, dynamism and colors refered to flames. It was breathtaking, so I came with an idea of re-painting it, of making reproduction of it on wood using my own chosen colors...
I was painting it for seven days, next two days were meant for covering details with golden paint and another two days - for coating. In sum: eleven long days, begining with a simple pencil sketch. But I'm really proud of the ready-made product ;)

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Hamsa for my friend

My friend needed protection, so she gave me a piece of wood and asked me to paint Hamsa for her to hang above the doorstep...

For all people that don't know what Hamsa is yet - a short introduction:
Hamsa (also known as Khamsa or Fatima Hand) - is a hand-shape amulet with Middle-East origin which protects a person or house against the evil eye. Known as Hand of Fatima commemorates Prophet Muhammad's beloved daughter - Fatima Zahra. The symbol and its properties are spreaded accross the entire southern Mediterranean and Middle-East Region, they are also popularized in many parts of Europe. Of course - it's a matter of choice if you believe in a power of it or not ;) My friend beliefs, so it was important for her to acquire one.
Fortunately she allowed me to use colors I wanted to and didn't interfere with the process ;) I used some nice cobalt-blue acrylic paints for the shape and few spots I filled with golden and red paint. I must admit it was an awful block of wood full of splinters, so I had to polish and clean it a bit, still I lacked poper tools but I really did what I could...

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My unique retro bookmarks for Arsenic

Sunday, August 14, 2011
The idea about Arsenic blog was crawling in my head for a long time and I was also thinking about giving it a personal touch, creating a website which won't be only a presentation of things I make during free time, but also a place which mark my spot in the Internet. That's why I thought up a retro style fitting to my concept. Of course not everything I create is retro, vintage or related to Fin de siècle (but other ideas I'll present further in process).

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Finally... My very first humble presentation

It's been a long time since I'd got an idea of making this blog. I've actually abandoned it for a long time being occupied by my job (graphic design), family life (my husband and my alaskan malamute ;)) and also another passion I'm infected with: computer games (currently: Lord of the Rings Online). Suddenly I remembered about my blog and made a huge facepalm ;) - this is me, a completely chaotic, absent-minded person! Finally I attempt to publish something of my creations and I start modestly, with a romantic vintage decoupaged jewellery box:

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