Sticks & Leaves: Painted Glycerin Leaves
This is our first fall in the woods. While I've always enjoyed fall in the city, it didn't hold this much color. One of my favorite colors right now is yellow, and we've been immersed in it this fall. Yellow on the trees, on the grounds... large piles of bright yellow goodness to pile up & jump into. But, in the words of Frost, "nothing gold can stay." So how to best preserve these leaves to stay with us a little bit longer? With a little glycerin & paint, we've found a way. And we sewed with them too! But more on that later.
To preserve our leaves, we decided to try glycerin leaves. The process is easy enough, collect your leaves & submerge them in a glycerin solution- one part glycerin to two parts water- for two days or more. Our solution was 1/2 cup glycerin (which we had left over from our favorite bubble solution) and 1 cup of water. We put the leaves & their solution in a large baking dish, then stacked a duplicate baking dish on top of them. After five days they were very pliable, but a bit duller in color. Some of them (including our tulip tree leaves) had even turned brown in the solution. How could we bring them back to life?
Gloss varnishto the rescue! I usually use this to seal & give a glossy finish to my acrylic paintings, but I thought it could do the same thing to our leaves. It did! We added small amounts of acrylicsto tint the gloss. We used yellow & red for our first rounds of painting before Isia asked to try blue paint. I was a little apprehensive, but managed to hold my tongue & step aside for her creative vision. As she predicted it turned out lovely (see below), and I was so happy that I didn't mess up her discovery by making a comment. So many creative journeys have meandered off course due to comments, even well-meaning ones!
Other Sticks & Leaves Inspiration:
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