Inspired by Tibetan Prayer Flags and wanting to celebrate my chosen Word-of-the-Year over the last four years I decided to create this Word-of-the-Year banner to hang in my studio (and in the garden this summer). It was a simple and fun project that took a few hours (mostly drying time).
A few favorite acrylic paint colours + white**
White acrylic paint pen and/or small paintbrush (you can also use chalk to sketch out your word)
Palette & water dish (a plate or plastic container works well)
Ribbons, twine, embroidery floss or yarn
A piece of raw canvas or heavier muslin (my piece measures approximately 14x16 inches)
**I tend to be drawn to acrylic paints that are transparent and highly staining: pthalo blue, alizarin crimson, magenta, dioxazine purple...they all mix beautifully with titanium white...and often use lime greens & turquoise
Once I have my supplies gathered, I just have fun squeezing some spots of colour onto the raw canvas and using quite a bit of water on my paintbrush I spread colour randomly around the canvas. I also thinned out alizarin crimson with water and placed it into a spray bottle (in this case a recycled old body spray bottle) and sprayed through stencils that were placed randomly around the canvas. I use both stencil I have purchased and also created myself, using both the positive and negative shapes of the stencils (the pieces I cut out as well as the stencil itself).
Mixing white with some of my colours and using my palette knife I spread it through the stencils. I flip the stencils over and wipe them onto the canvas, as well as wiping off my palette knife onto the canvas because I like the layered and worn look.
Because I like the ragged edge of prayer flags I only make a small cut and then tear the fabric into sections. I don't measure, instead fold the fabric to where I think it looks good. Approximately in half lengthwise and then in thirds to create six pieces altogether.
Once I'm ready to create my word, I search for a free font program (like Dafont or Urban Font) and type in my word, looking for a font that appeals and that somehow reflects the word for me. At this point, I use my paint pen to transfer a reasonable facsimile to my banner. I'm not concerned if it isn't perfect, just like the rest of the banner, I find beauty in imperfection. If the paint pen doesn't seem bright or opaque enough I will go over it again once it is dry with paint and a small brush.
Finally, I cut small slits into the top right and left hand corners of each flag and string them onto a ribbon to create a banner. In between each flag I tied additional ribbons and yarn. NOTE: to keep the silkier ribbons from loosening up, I used a dab of gel media but you could also use paint or glue. If there are any questions, please feel free to ask and if you create one, I would love to see it if you'd like to share!
AIRdirondack Art Project