Since I am no longer a resident of Michigan, when we travel there to visit friends and family I inevitably visit stores selling Michigan merchandise. On the last trip, I saw a lot of the inspirational quote + shape of MI artwork. As I've been playing with watercolor, I thought I would try my hand at mixing some colors together on the paper.
I ended up with most of the Great Lakes looking decent enough, but I wanted to do something different than a quote or motto. Leaving it as-is was one idea, but then I remembered a gift my mother had sent along with my sister.
2017 was an emotional year and I wasn't sure that I was ready to face people or be social. So instead of using air miles or points to fly to MI in the summer, I used them to fly my sister to Canada. Aside from her smiling face and compassion, she brought some sand from the beach on Lake Michigan. I found my gift and did some research to find out how to get it on my watercolor paper.
I imagine some acrylic gel would be the best option, but a helpful woman at the art store said she probably wouldn't use it on anything under 300lb paper. Oops. So, I decided to try some Elmer's Glue-All. I used a scrap piece of my watercolor paper and glued some leftover beach sand that my spouse had from her collection. I mixed the sand and glue in one spot and on another I dumped sand onto the glue. The dump method looked better.
It was a process of adding glue, adding sand, drying, dumping any leftover sand, and repeat. Afterwards, I decided that I really needed the Upper Peninsula to complete the image. I recalled the one time that I may have actually been to Lake Superior, the beach was pretty rocky. My partner's beach sand collection leftovers saved the day again. Below is the completed work.
I worked on this on and off for a couple of weeks. I struggled with my anxiety coupled with the perfectionism as I stepped outside my box to work with sand and rocks. Then I just thought, "It doesn't have to be perfect. I'm making this because I want to, not for anybody else, an assignment, or a blue ribbon." Once I let go, I was free to make mistakes and learn. If it turned out poorly, I could always try again.
Now, I really have no idea what to do with it. I suppose I can frame it and gift it to somebody? If you have ideas or need for some dirty artwork by me, send me a message.