Tuesday, May 10, 2011

from the book to the canvas

 When I found out we were pregnant, regardless of the gender of our wee ones, I knew I was going to do a Narnia themed nursery.
If I could transfer myself to any place in literary history, hands down I would go to Narnia.  You can keep your Hogwarts and your... uh, is it the Pacific Northwest for Twilight?.... I would go to Narnia any day. So when I started to dream up my Narnian nursery I knew it needed three essential things working for it... a. it needed a wardrobe door.  Instead of a normal door, you'd enter the nursery through a wardrobe and b. it needed to be moveable since I know we won't be in our two bedroom apartment forever and c. it needed all the characters from all the books that I loved and held dear.  I'm a huge fan of Lucy Penvesie but I can also see the value of Miss Jill Pole, the courage of a Reepicheep, the simple humility of a marshwiggle named Puddleglum and of course, the pauper turned hero Shasta.  If you have no idea who I am talking about, add the 7 books of Lewis' to your summer reading and enjoy!
Why Narnia? You may ask. Let me tell you why I am infatuated with Narnia.  Several reasons, I was practically raised on Narnia.  It's the innocence and the bond of my heart to my brothers as we were read the stories together by my father.  It's the reminder of a childhood that was precious and protected by said brothers and my parents.  It's the story of children conquering and overcoming evil in this land that they come to love and even yearn for.  It's the reminder to me of better things to come.  It's the story of a forgiving King of the land who created, cared for it and gave the land it's name and animals. It paints a beautiful picture of what heaven will be like, what it is to be reunited to old friends and how the yearnings of a place you can't quite get to are not the yearnings of a "fool" but of someone who knows what "better" is and that "better" can't be experienced here.

Sorry, I don't know if any of this makes sense.
In short, the stories of Narnia are to me the best stories of how ordinary children become their potential heroic selves and overcome the evil that persistently threatens to ruin and deteriorate the land that they love.
So the wardrobe-as-a-door idea is still on hold and seriously, this may always be a sweet dream of mine.  But the one thing I could do was make "moveable art" that included all my favorite scenes from the books.
Here's how Hubs and I took the books and made them into art....
 well labeled stickies so that when Hubs went to scan and print the images he'd know what size to print them as.
 multiple prints of the same image so that I could practice and make mistakes without ruining our only copy.  We also took images from all the books trying to include the stories as a whole.  Even though Lucy and her discovery of Narnia is my favorite part, I want my babies to be able to enjoy and discover their own favorites in these stories.
 metallic gold paint to highlight some features of the paintings.....
 mod podge! oh, how i love thee.

and canvases of all shapes and sizes.

take an image.... spread mod podge on the canvas, then slowly lay the paper on the canvas smoothing it so that no air bubbles can get trapped.  No matter how slowly or carefully I did this, I got air bubbles.  But it adds character so I didn't mind.

 after the paper is secure and dry for the most part (shouldn't take too long depending on how much mod podge you used) you can mod podge the top.

then I added little gold highlights to different paintings.  Like Prince Rillians' sword as he is killing the serpent, the walls of the "inner garden" and Narnia "growing" from Aslan's song. 
Then Hubs sprayed the paintings with a finishing spray so that, should the prints ever endure a highly humid climate... ahem, Japan... they won't melt or become sticky.  They're supposedly "sealed" for life.
 then we hung them in our sweet daughters' room.

Oh look, here's all my friends....
My only qualm about these is that I'm not used to such .... uncolorful decorations. But if I know how to do anything it's add color so I'm on the hunt for my next project which will be adding color to the walls and room...
also, I should add that the canvas collage is not finished because we have two more pieces to add that are not from the book but are pieces of art from two amazing artistically gifted people; a painter and a photographer. :)
More to come on that later.


Kelli B said...

I love this!! what a creative idea. It looks great. I can't wait to see the finished room :)

Steven said...

A little birdie tole me you used to be pretty obsessed with the twilight series.

jamie said...

what a COOL IDEA. love it! and good thinking ahead with the sealant spray!!!

Anonymous said...

I totally get you on the Narnia books! Over the past few months I have read them for the first time. I only wish there were more so I could keep on reading.