I have been having a complete rest and break from making and painting but I am never far away from it. I do love volunteering for an art centre, it certainly helps bring out the creativity in me and has kept me focussed these past few weeks.
This weekend we are hosting a Midsummer Masquerade Event and the brief was to decorate the indoor art space and veranda with a tiny budget of just £100. I wanted the space to feel magical, to bring the outdoors in, incorporate colour into the white minimal space and, of course, everything had to comply with health and safety regulations.
I used what was already available with the idea of doing it up with cheap materials. They already had some fairy lights which always look amazing when up as the space has lovely white walls and gorgeous solid wood flooring, some paper shade floor lamps and recessed spots in the ceiling. To create more of an ambient light coloured filters were used to cover the spots creating pools of coloured light around the space. That was step one of the transformation.
Lighting effects were to be the main part of the look and to add more interest to the floor lamps I painted a design on large sheets of paper with bright drawing inks and Brusho. The paper was then fastened around the paper shade like a tube. I purposefully left the paper shade in place so that the lamp remained fire-retardant. Can you tell I am being very mindful of health and safety here but it is very important at events like these! The finished effect was stunning! the Inks were almost fluorescent while the white paper looked crisp and bright.
Inks on paper lampshade
I also returned back to an idea I had a few years ago using simple paper cutting. I am still very interested in mastering paper cutting as an art-form but somehow doubt I ever will. I made a rather crude attempt at paper cut leaves, although once draped over the light they took on another rather ethereal form. The contrast between shadow and light was very effective and beautiful. I made sure that none of the paper cut outs came into contact with the light bulb inside for safety reasons. ( There I go again!)
Paper cut leaves draped over paper shades
Bringing elements from the garden indoors seemed only right for a midsummer party and we also took inspiration from Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Nights Dream. To create a magical feel dark twisted branches were decorated with flowers and lights. A twig screen was made by securing the branches using wire and , what else would I have to hand? You guessed it, it was jewellery wire and it actually did the job perfectly!
Twigs with flowers and twinkly lights
Finally, the room was finished with white paper lanterns, bought from Ikea. These were painted by a user of the centre with a bright ink design. Once hung under the spots the light filled the painted shades which then glowed with a blaze of colour. The focal of the space was a large magical tree which splayed out from the pillar in the centre of the room. I am not sure what tree these came from but the branches were almost black in colour and had such interesting twists and nodules. The black looked so striking against the white walls and once finished with some LED Lights bought for me for my birthday last year the job was complete!
The Magical Tree