Challenge within a challenge

'Balloon Flowers', mixed media on 8x10" canvas

Day 204: Balloon Flowers

I watched another episode of “A Work of Art” on Bravo today (I heart On Demand), and on this last one, they had to use children’s materials and create something inspired by the experiences that molded them on their paths to being artists. Instead of pouting about not being on this season, I decided to use the show as inspiration. Though I don’t have pipe cleaners and neon pom poms hanging around (perhaps we should equip children with less obnoxious art supplies?), I decided to give myself a similar limited resource challenge and set about seeing what I could make with paper.

Unlike many contestants of reality show challenges, my childhood was pretty awesome. I didn’t have to use street trash for drawing paper, or burn paintings in the fireplace to keep everyone warm. My creativity was constantly nourished and supported by my family. I remember being amazed at my grandma’s tolepainting, my grandpa’s woodwork, and even the creative décor zeal with which the women of my family tackle parties.

I sewed concentric circles of paper in the center, trimmed them, then folded them up for the blossoms.

I began fantasizing about writing and illustrating in elementary school. I think it was Grandma who gave me a great “this book written and illustrated by Marianne” stamp. Grandma taught me to read as well, and words constantly worm their way into my visual art to this day.

After carving up a phone book and using some pages from The Iliad, I was on my way with a satisfying level of texture and even more color than I’d expected. The imagery on this 8×10” canvas is simple, but for me, it holds that childlike joyfulness I remember being consumed with when I first began to create things. Embroidery floss stems/strings anchor these balloon flowers. Else they may just leap right off the page… 🙂


2 thoughts on “Challenge within a challenge

  1. Stacey says:

    This made me flash on High School chemistry for some reason. I think my mon was genuinely concerned there for a while that a) I was going to run away and get a full body tattoo or b) you were going to grow up to be a tattoo artist! Lol! I don’t know about you but I learned nothing in that class but how to be a human easel an that Dr Pangburn (whoa pulled that out of my ass) can do a standing jump onto a lab table… And set stuff on fire… And make stuff blow up… Ok that part was cool hehhe


    • Wow. I totally remember the time he wrote his top 10 not-teacher career choices on the chalkboard and lit that thing on fire that was hanging off of the inoperable sprinkler. Thanks for being my human canvas! Your mom can rest easy knowing I haven’t gone the tattoo artist route…yet. 😉


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