September 8, 2014

Family Hand Print Art

After seeing this art work, I knew I wanted to try something like it. I just didn't know what or how.

Weeks passed and no inspiration came to me, at least anything I really wanted to make. I let it go.

It wasn't until planning my oldest son's world history class did I finally find the creative idea I had wanted months earlier. Incorporating a personal family tree into his studies was an ideal way to make his history studies more meaningful. Even the little I know of our family ancestors is fascinating. Between settlers, colonists, and immigrants our children are blessed with a variety of brave, self-sacrificing individuals, who's lives have brought forth much fruit which we enjoy today.

At first, I thought I would try to place all our hands together into some type of tree, but I wasn't sure if it would look like I envisioned. Six hands could be tricky. I wasn't sure if I'd get the placement right, and I wanted to be able to see each individual hand. A family tree would be nice though.

Looking at the history, I thought about all those before us. Each had a family tree. Roots. Trunk. Branches. Leaves. Each one of us has a family tree, too. In a way, we are a forest. Maybe we could try a forest of trees.

Not wanting to give up on the singular family tree idea, I asked my family to add their hand print to both designs. I'd decide after the handprints dried. {For the hand prints, I used muted colors which match our dining room. It was easily done with acrylic paint brushed on a hand and pressing the hand onto white paper.}

In the end, I couldn't make the one tree look like I wanted. So, instead, I pursued the forest idea.

Once the hand prints dried, I painted dark brown trunks and branches over the hand prints.

It was then that I measured and set off to the craft store for a frame...only to learn I had used an 'odd' sized paper. No off the shelf frame would perfectly fit! Back home, I measured the actual art portion to decide if I could crop it. Unfortunately, there wasn't much room to crop. Six hands filled the sheet.

Days passed as I pondered.

Finally, I decided to purchase an on-sale slightly bigger frame that came with a thin mat and filler cardboard. Using the mat as the back drop, I glued strips of burlap at the top and bottom. This burlap would add some texture, but more importantly make the art work the right size for the frame. Once the strips of burlap dried, I positioned a clean sheet of paper over the burlap pieces. This was to ensure the burlap did not show through the family hand print art work. Finally, I eased the forest print onto the very top, and secured it.

Once I placed the forest hand prints into the frame, I loved it, and knew just where I wanted it to hang.

I had picked the colors to match our dining room. I just assumed I would hang it off to one side. Yet when it was done, I wanted the family hand prints to hang in a more prominent place. Above the secretary desk seemed the perfect place, and I couldn't be more pleased.
~ Dorie

{Two of the hand prints are on the light side. If I redid this project, I would pick colors of the same darkness instead of trying to vary the tones.}

1 comment:

  1. oh my gosh i am so in love with this....we are currently in a hotel while house hunting.. but I am going to try and at least! get it all painted while I am here... thanks for the inspiration


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