Nature's Classroom - GIVEAWAY!

2:00 PM

Nature's Classroom
© Laure Ferlita, All Rights Reserved
9 x 12 inches
watercolor, acrylic, ink, gouache, and graphite
Please click to enlarge
Three or four years ago, I got an idea to paint old "specimen cards" that looked like they came out of a kid's science kit. You may remember them—they had a few slides, a small, low-powered microscope, and a manual about how to find "specimens."

I decided to start with a Google search of specimen cards. I came up with a lot of interesting hits, but nothing like I had in my imagination. I set about drawing out my idea and combined it with a paintbrush. The brush seemed more appropriate as much of my learning has been acquired at the tip of a paintbrush.

After the cards were drawn and painted, I decided to add some of the items from my personal "nature collection." Over the years, my husband and family have learned to save dead bug carcasses, butterfly wings, and bird egg shells (among other things) for me. Odd, I suppose, but each item is cherished!

From there, I was stuck. What to add next? Finally, I happen to be taking some photos of my journal with my palette sitting in the photo as well. I decided to add the palette. The palette itself is an old one from Winsor Newton that has 18 quarter-wells. A month or so later, I stumbled across a pair of binoculars my husband used to collect—into the painting they went.

Again, I lost direction and the painting laid, neglected and unfinished, for nearly a year.

The issue was that I could not figure out the background. I thought about rocks, grass, pebbles, or some other surface—outside. I wanted to get it finished, but just couldn't quite see the background working out. One day, Chris and I were in the studio and he asked why I hadn't finished the painting.
Nature's Classroom
© Laure Ferlita, All Rights Reserved
9 x 12 inches
watercolor, acrylic, ink, gouache, and graphite
Please click to enlarge
I told him about my dilemma and he immediately started making suggestions. When he suggested the surface of his antique Federal Reserve desk that he uses as an art desk in his studio I knew that was my answer! It was a reddish oak with heavy graining and years of abuse—perfect!

Well, almost perfect.

I had not taken into consideration that I might be doing a dark background and I needed to figure out a way to keep the binocs from getting "lost" against such a background. I knew a piece of paper would work, but what kind of paper?

I wanted something that would tell a story. I had recently purchased some old French letters from an online store and with them came an old air mail envelope. That became my model with sketches and notes on it as if I had gone to the post office and become captivated by the falling leaves.

For balance, the compass and leaf were added. Now I only had one "blank spot." Imagine my joy (and relief) when the new hardbound  Stillman & Birn sketchbook arrived! A sketchbook! Yes! The final piece.

Nature's Classroom was (finally!!) completed this month. It has a little bit of everything in it as fair as medium goes, but the majority of it watercolor. I love the fact that there was never a "still life" set up—it was all created piecemeal until it came together as a whole.

To celebrate the successful conclusion of the odyssey, I will be offering one 8 x 10 print* of Nature's Classroom as a giveaway!  This is a win-it-before-you-can-buy-it deal. I will be offering the prints in my Etsy shop after the giveaway.

If you'd be interested in winning this print, leave me a comment below about what you've learned in Mother Nature's classroom! 
_______________________________

*This giveaway is for one 8 x 10 inch print of Nature's Classroom. This is for the print only. No copyrights or rights are included. The print may not be reproduced for any reason without written consent from the artist.
Please leave a comment (just one, please!) on this post by Thursday night, November 1st, at 12:00 am EST. The winner will be announced on Friday!

You Might Also Like

20 Creative Thought(s)

  1. I found your post very fascinating - how you put together so many diverse elements and how well the work together. You have me thinking about what I might put together. Thanks for a great post and thanks for the chance to win.

    ReplyDelete
  2. This print resembles my desk which is full of nature stuff. I would be honored to have a print of yours. Nature is a way of life for me. I am either out in nature or thinking about nature. Not a whole lot in between. I don't remember the scientific sets you mentioned. Too bad I didn't have one when I was young. Heck I would appreciate it now.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi Laure,

    I love your painting and would love to win a print of it. Mother Nature offers me lessons regularly with unexpected flora and fauna cropping up in my daily wanders.

    xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  4. Wonderful print! Thanks for sharing how you designed the watercolor....it was very interesting. And of course I would love a copy

    Sue Hill

    ReplyDelete
  5. Glad you finished this painting, it's really fun and amazing. All the detail!!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I'd be thrilled to have this in my home. I can totally relate to the subject matter!!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I love this! I love the story it tells and your story of its creation. It's a beautiful painting!

    ReplyDelete
  8. This is an absolutely fascinating painting. It intrigues me and I keep looking to investigate and explore the different items you've captured.

    Mother Nature's classroom has taught me to s . l . o . w down..... and enjoy the scenery and the ride more! I've also learned to better appreciate all of the variety in nature.

    Please throw my name in the hat - I'd love to win a print of this painting.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Laure, this is so creative, beautiful and fun. I feel nostalgia looking at it because I had one of those microscope sets, and I loved it! This is a special painting...it makes me happy because I see so many things I love in it. Please put my name in the hat for the print. I love it...

    ReplyDelete
  10. I'm glad you got to finish this special project; not only are the cards special but my eye is also on your lovely journal in the background too Laure'. Your print would be a real buzz to me so I'd love to be in to win! As to what have I learn from Mother Nature - perhaps it is to deeply appreciate it and absorb as much as I can. Simple things bring great joys, like the changing hues of sunrise and sunsets, the seasonal changes with plant life, and birds ...watching birds and enjoying them. The list is ongoing and endless really.

    ReplyDelete
  11. What an amazing painting Laure. Wow, you have so much talent. Love the wood grain.

    ReplyDelete
  12. What an amazing painting Laure. Wow, you have so much talent. Love the wood grain.

    ReplyDelete
  13. this is absolutely breathtaking. my eyes go all over because there are so many beautifully painted and interesting things to look at. i'd love to see this really big!!!! i would love to win this!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Oh my goodness, I thought this was a photograph of your desk! Your work is AMAZING! And thank you for telling what media you used.
    And I love the ideas to use your nature collections for a painting. I have bugs, stones, sticks, feathers, etc. But my most favorite things are 2 bat skeletons I keep in Sucrets boxes. Kind of gross maybe but so very tiny and interesting. I never thought to paint them.
    Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  15. What a gorgeous painting - you were very persistent to keep at it but I'm so glad you did. Thanks for the chance to win a print of it. I agree with Claire - Mother Nature teaches to slow down and appreciate her.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Oh wow.. I saw this and was looking for the painting. It IS the painting. What a wonderful job. I love it. Nature has allowed me to study it for the past year in my journal and I find its ever changing. I was wondering what I would fill my journal up with each month for a full year and I have found I've had to edit a lot because there is so much going on if we only just look and see.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I love it! ... and I have my fingers crossed.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I've learned patience. It is a gorgeous piece!

    ReplyDelete
  19. I read the post, line by line and loved it.
    The 'icing on the cake' was at the end when I read you were having a giveaway..YES!
    Barbra Joan

    ReplyDelete
  20. Laure, this may be my favorite among the works of yours I have seen so far! So much to please the eye in this one! I'd be so pleased to have a copy of it.
    Since our retirement, the natural world at the back of our property is the joy of my days. We have wonderful birds, rabbits, deer, snakes, squirrels, and other creatures, as well as a wide variety of insects, bees, butterflies, wasps, dragon flies, the whole gamut, to provide constant entertainment and enlightenment. We've happily provided nesting space for bluebirds and have watched more than 25 nestlings fledge from the bird house.

    ReplyDelete

I would love to connect with you—please leave a comment!

Like us on Facebook

Flickr Images

Subscribe