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the rightful heir [mural 6 of 40]

jessie townsendComment

  from october 2012- october 2013, i am challenging myself to complete 40 8x12' murals. this is the mural 6, completed nov 8, 2012. 

the rightful heir
pyrography, ink & gold leaf on spruce panel

grandma Madonna, or grandma awesome as the great-grandkids lovingly call her, is matriarch of my mother's 15-sibling family,  a family that just recently hit the triple-digits.

even as she ages and becomes slightly forgetful, she keeps her sweet, graceful air. children and animals alike flock to her, and her cane only seems reminiscent of her life as a shepherd. grandma's house is the ideal: adorably adorned with house plants, a mini orchard, four o'clocks, lace curtains, and vines of gorgeous roses. 

if this world were fair, and status was decided by the amount of life sacrificed for others, she would be queen.

i wanted to keep the wood visible for this mural as a sort of "farmhouse elegance", so i decided to try wood burning. pyrography (wood burning) is something like painting.... and then again nothing like painting.

 it. takes. forever. 

since this is on of my first extensive go-rounds with the technique, i wasn't ready to commit to the (pricey) professional stylus and accoutrements. I used a small soldering iron with a bronze nib approximately 5 mm thick, though it only covered 3 mm of area at a time. the temperature seemed to fluctuate in the iron, making even burns a bit difficult. And it was slooooooowwwwww.

that wasn't quite enough emphasis..... 


but i love the results, and as soon as i forget how painful it was i'll be trying again :)    

for the blue and white i used FW ink, hoping it would keep the grain of the wood visible as you got close. grandma wears a lot of that royal blue, and it complements her. 

this was my 2nd experiment with the gold leaf, and it didn't turn out quite as expected. I'm thinking I'll be spray painting the lions in the near future and see how that works, or looking for larger leaves so the seams aren't so unseemly... If you have any tips for me, please share!  

some more grandma pics :]


(with some of the grandkids)