New Artwork Debut, “Bamboozled II”

"Bamboozled II," High bas relief

Whether it’s pop or classical music, action or romance movies, or art, most of us enjoy different genres.

In addition to the historically based art I create, I also create pieces based on nature. I justify this category being on my “Art of History” site because it’s Natural History, right?

Not to mention, “Leaf Peeping & Botanicals” is my best selling series. I I created the first piece in this series, “Bamboozled,” five years ago, which was a low bas relief piece on canvas of gilded bamboo.

Sometimes, I just want to create art that's beautiful and elegant without any layering of ideas or meaning. Bamboo is a beautiful plant and is a traditional image used as a decorative element across cultures, especially Japanese and Chinese. I also love gilding ­– the art of applying metal leaf to a decorative object. All of these elements came together in "Bamboozled."

Details being carved into the leaves.

Fast forward to today. I have a few more pieces in this series, and the newest piece is a second take.

In “Bamboozled II,” I kept the elements that I love – the metallic plaster background and the gilding – but I also wanted to employ new high relief techniques that I’ve learned.

I used a gypsum plaster to create the basic shape of the leaves and stem. This plaster is much easier to build higher so the bamboo literally and visually pops off the canvas.

After the plaster dried, I carved the detail, which is difficult on canvas; I ended up placing the canvas flat on my work table with books underneath for support as I pressed down with my carving tools.

Gilding bamboo leaves using composite gold leaf.

I gilded the leaves with composite gold leaf and glazed them to highlight the crevices and antique the look.

Why the blue tape arrow in the photo to the right? I tend to rotate the canvas as I work to get better angles for my hand. I wanted to make sure I knew which direction was “up” when I started painting in shadows.

If you’re interested is seeing a few quick videos of me working on this art piece, pop over to my Instagram account, @katiefitzgeraldart. You can find the videos in my profile starting in Aug. 2017.

“Bamboozled II” will soon be on display at The Art of Santa Cruz Gallery.