This post is about how I created the Talisman for Western Bluebirds, a mixed media collage with a 3-D artifact, step by step. This is one of the artworks to be featured in Talismans exhibit. Last week I posted about creating Talisman for Eastern Bluebirds, which you can see a small portion of in the first photo. Scroll to the bottom to see the professionally photographed version.
The very first step of showing just the abstract watercolor on Arches Cover is missing. I thought about taking process photos only after I had drawn the bluebirds and glued them down, and drawn the map of their migratory habits. But other than that you see the watercolor without further drawing.
Those egg shapes are thumbprints that were a “mistake” when my thumbs imprinted into very juicy paint. I loved that they looked like Bluebird eggs and added more. For the talisman I made a string of beads from juniper berries from our tree, one of their food sources. They are painted a bit with acrylic, then varnished.
In case you are wondering, everything here is being held down by magnets, a system I invented to help in the design process. The mistletoe leaves will be glued down to look like a necklace. There is speculation that by depositing undigested mistletoe seeds on trees, the bluebirds may create new nest holes for themselves, once the wood has deteriorated.
In the photo above you can see that there is more drawing. The graphite female Bluebird has more detail, the eggs are more detailed, areas of the background are developed and shadows are drawn around the collage elements.