I won’t be painting the Nursery walls, mainly due to a large, immovable-without-a-6-man-moving-crew piece of furniture that sits in the corner. Instead, my painting contribution will be on a rug. And I’m painting what I wish I had growing outside right now: rows of green, sprouting vegetables. Appropriate subject matter for floor art, right?
In looking for reference photos to see what a garden looked like from overhead, naturally, the only view I could find was provided by Martha Stewart because who else would have not only a vegetable garden worth shooting from the sky, but also access to a helicopter to get the shot. See the picture below left – that dark brown stripe down the middle is the road for the pick-up truck to drive through…
Inspired by the colorful, textural stripes that Martha’s garden pic shows, I drew out a little diagram to decide what plants and colors to put on the rug. The rug itself isn’t anything special – it’s an inexpensive white cotton rug from Ikea, which I knew would accept water and paint easily. Acrylic paint will help to keep dirt from showing, and will make it easier to clean since it will “plasticize” the surface a bit.
Using a large brush and clean water, I got the rug nice and wet so that the paint would soak into the fibers and be soft (similar to water color painting) rather than sit on top of the fibers and feel scratchy. The paints I use are my standard Utrecht acrylics left over from college- they’re cheap, great quality, and have lasted through all the painting projects I’ve done in the last 7 years. You don’t need anything special for painting on fabric with acrylics – once the paint is on there, its never coming off.
You can see what I’ve done so far. There’s still more to do, more detail, dirt, and shadow to add, but I’m pleased with the progress. And in case you’re wondering, from the top that’s (going to be!) red leaf lettuce, bean sprouts, cucumber, cabbage, peppers, green onions, carrots, and lettuce.