Thursday, October 11, 2007

Froggy Went A Courtin'

Image Size 11.5" x 15.5"
Paper Size 12" x 16"
Mixed Media
On an autumn night, when the moon was full, Old Mr. Froggy put on his best overalls and his lace-up boots and rode in his carriage over to the holler where Miss Mousie lived. He met Miss Goldie Frog, his true love who lived near the bog. While fireflies danced around them, and stars twinkled in the sky, they spooned by the light of the harvest moon, all on a Saturday night. He gave to her a flower fair and laid his cheek on her golden hair. His grin was as wide as the sky, and , while her smile was shy, her toes curled up as she looked at him.
And who else did he see in the moonlight, but little Miss Mousie, who came out of her door, and old Mr. Grasshopper, who brought a bouquet of posies. Miss Lady Bug came dressed in her finery, but who should she meet but old Mr. Flea.
This is how I pictured the old song, as Grandma and Grandpa Miles sang it to me when I was a child. I thought that Froggy really needed a girl frog instead of a girl mouse to court. And I thought of him riding on either a horse, or taking a fringed carriage to take Miss Froggy for a moonlight ride. "Why doesn't he just hop over there?" I asked. A frog would hop, not ride a horse or a carriage, in my way of thinking. I guess I made up my own story! Grandma and Grandpa had a hard time teaching me this song, because I had my own idea of how the old story should go.
The image I have shown above is a portion of the top part of the painting. There is more which shows their feet, the other characters, and Miss Mousie's house. I know. there could be more characters, but I thought that these were enough. (After all, Miss Mousie needs a mouse boy friend, Mr. Grasshopper needs a lady grasshopper, and Miss Lady Bug and Mr. Flea need them a date, too.)
The colors in the original are a bit different than the scanned image. The purples, especially, are more interesting in the painting.
I started this one by pressing Dewberries on the paper. These are in the distant trees or brush that appear rust colored. Usually, I get a beautiful purple color by starting a painting with Dewberries. But, this time, unlike the way I usually work, I had to stop and put this one aside for a while, after I did the drawing and applied the berries. By the time I decided to finish the painting, a year later, the purple area appered more brown.
It sort of inspires me to see that lovely Dewberry color on my paper or canvas. The next step is to add some Cobalt Violet paint, then use my yellows and work to my darker purples and blues. With watercolors, you work light to dark, while in oils, it is the opposite.
Someone told me that the acid in the berries would damage the paper, and that the sugar would attract bugs. But I use natural materials sort of like watercolors, or, when I do press the berries on paper, I use water on a brush over it, which dilutes the juices, once it has stained to the color I want. And, I have found that, if these paintings, where I experiment with using different natural materials, are framed and sealed in properly, they will last many years. So far, I haven't seen any show signs of deteriorating. This painting is the only one that has shown even a change in color, and I feel that is because a lighter weight paper (140# Arches, while I have used vellum or 300# watercolor paper in the past for this technique) was used, and it was left untouched for so long. Using the water and other colors with it probably helps. And there have been no bugs, at all.
White acrylic paint was used to make the fireflies show up and for the occasional small highlight.
Once I got into this one, I enjoyed working on it. It just took me so long to get around to it! (I am kind of slow-spend a lot of time thinking about things before I actually do them-, and I get distracted, sometimes. So, be patient. I will get things done, eventually.) I have others that I have painted with the theme of old songs that I remember, including "Big Rock Candy Mountain", and "Row, Row, Row Your Boat". I even have a drawing of Grandpa Miles, baking in our kitchen and singing "Billy Boy", and other old songs.
With cooler temperatures and the arrival of autumn, I've noticed that other artists are posting some fall themed paintings on their blogs and their websites. So, I thought that this one might be kind of fun to show, with a bit of a fall theme.
Hope you enjoy this one, and share it with others .
Please be sure to notice the new artists and authors that I have added, and the new Organizations section. There are also some new things under Eye Sites.
For those interested in Vision Problems, I noticed that there is a website called Don't Lose Sight, and, on that site, actress Jane Seymour has a page as a spokesman. Her mother, who just died this month, had AMD and she tells a very interesting story. I didn't know that Seymour also is an artist. I tried to add a link to those two sites, but they just wouldn't save. So, maybe, if you are interested, you can just do a search for them.
I also had an e-mail from Prevent Blindness America yesterday, concerning legislation to help prevent and treat loss of vision. I did a Google search for HB 3750, the Vision Preservation Act of 2007. Believe me, I contacted my legislators as fast as I could. I just thought that I would pass this on, in case you have an interest.
Also check out BlogRush in my sidebar. They are making updates and improvements in it. If you have your own blog, and want to add that widget to your own blog, know that they are working on the feature.
Thanks for your comments and support.

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