Monday, April 18, 2022

Tim Holtz Sizzix Chapter 2 - Modern Floristry and Artsy Stems Van Gogh Inspired 12 Sunflowers In A Vase 8x10 Inch Mixed Media Canvas

Hello everyone! I hope you had a lovely and blessed Easter. Today, I have the Vincent Van Gogh inspired (his sunflower series here) 12 Sunflowers In A Vase Mixed Media Canvas for you, made from the new Tim Holtz Sizzix Modern Floristry and Artsy Stems Thinlits as well as Cracked Leather 3D Texture Fade. Okay you all, I'm continuing on my excitement with this Sizzix Chapter 2 release from Tim. I cannot stop drawing out ideas using these artsy dies. When I first saw the large flower from the Modern Floristry Thinlits I thought they looked like the crazy sunflowers Van Gogh painted, and combined with the Artsy Stems I knew both sets were created just so I could create flowers like him, so I decided to use them to create my own take of the his paintings after a massive amount of research on him and his paintings. I felt like I was back in collage in Art Appreciation, and I can't tell you how much I enjoy the research and am continuing to learn. It's almost a creative epiphany for me that I must study the Greats and break out the canvas while doing so.  A moment of time that I must create just for me that I didn't know I needed, and it's all because of these two die sets. They have allowed me a new outlet of creating, with a resurgence as well as energy like I haven't had in a while.  I think it's so much easier to use layered collaged die cuts to create things rather than trying to only paint those things, and I am just not that good of painter yet, so these were perfect for canvas. Being a Mixed Media Artist gives so much more freedom when creating and not just having to use paint, and you have so much more at your disposal to my opinion. (Day dreaming now...Imagine if Van Gogh was alive today and was a Mixed Media Artist and all the more he could have done...LOL!!!!) Now since Van Gogh painted seven different versions of Sunflowers in his series, I decided to go with the two paintings that had 12 Sunflowers in them as my canvas was only 8x10 inches, and try to recreate the look best as I could with the dies. This painting came out even better than I imagined, and I am quite proud of the end result. In fact, I was so inspired by the dies that I decided to do my own series of Flowers In A Vase inspired by the Greats using them. I think you can pretty much use these two sets to create most types of flowers. You are only limited by your imagination. I seriously think I could use only these two sets for a whole year to create a slew of paintings and be perfectly happy doing so. Can you tell I am in love with these two sets of dies??? So you will be seeing one more painting for sure after this (Poppies), and hopefully a few more in the future...I'm thinking tulips or carnations next, got to research more. Enjoy and grab a snack...lots to see!
I took my inspiration from these two paintings from Van Gogh. The one on the left is the original and on the right the redo he did later. 
(Note: It's good to print off the two Van Gogh 12 Sunflowers In A Vase for reference while you work, or have the pics on your phone to use for detail work. I also printed out the Three Sunflowers In A Vase because I liked the look of the table better in that one than the other two. I used both 12 Sunflowers as reference while painting as I like different parts of each. Also, there are famous characteristics that each the paintings share that I took note of and tried to mimic, like the 'V' shaped petals on the flower in the upper left for instance, so you might want to study each and look for specifics.) Take an 8x10 inch canvas panel and using your fingers or a palette knife, apply a thin layer of Matte or Crackle Distress Texture Paste from Ranger to the whole canvas where the table part (about 2.5 inches wide) will not be. While the paste is wet lay the Marble Background stamp from Stamper's Anonymous in the paste to create a texture. My paste was not very thick so I only saw parts of the texture from the stamp, so keep that in mind. You don't really have to do this, but since the Marble stamp looks a little like Starry Night I thought it would be cool, but it didn't pan out like I wanted. Clean your stamp immediately after with soap and water. Let the canvas dry about 30 minutes. 
Paint over the textured area with Old Paper (or Antique Linen or Picket Fence) Distress Paint for a base layer. While the paint is still wet add a bit of Tumbled Glass and Peacock Feathers to the silicone mat and pick up both colors with a medium flat head paint brush (a color on each side of the brush) and paint over the Old Paper vertically creating stripes of color while blending them for a soft striated look. Let the canvas dry. 
When the canvas is dry, add a tiny amount of Picket Fence Distress Paint to the mat and lightly dry brush over the blue area for a little white here and there for some highlights. Let dry. Cut a piece of Woodgrain Cardstock to 2.5 x 8 inches. Paint over the whole piece using Gathered Twigs Distress Paint, and while wet blend in some Fossilized Amber here and there where you think the light will be facing it (I think the light source is straight from the front) blending the paint in, and then add a little Ground Espresso paint to the top line area and center of the paper around where the sides of the vase will be for a shadow effect, blending in the colors. Dry this, and then collage the paper on along the bottom edge for the table with Crazing Collage Medium for a little more texture. Let dry. 
Using Watercolor Cardstock, die cut two of the largest sized Ovals from the Sized Ovals Movers and Shapers set. Lay the ovals on top of each other and trim off the bottom slightly curved so it looks like the bottom of a vase. Separate the pieces and cut the top slightly curved inward of one of the pieces so it now looks like a vase. Set that one aside. Take the other piece and cut it in half slightly curved inward. This will be the leather wrapped bottom piece of the piece. Lightly mist this piece only with water and place it inside of the Cracked Leather 3D Texture Fade and run it through your machine three times. Discard the top part you cut off from this. 
Paint over the Cracked Leather bottom part with Old Paper Distress Paint and let dry. Paint over the vase part with Gathered Twigs Distress Paint and while wet blend over a little bit of Tarnished Brass Distress Paint. Dry brush the same two colors over the bottom part and then mist with water while using a paper towels to clean off the paint from the raised cracks. Dry both. Use more Old Paper to paint in some reflective parts on the top of the vase. Ink the edges of both pieces with Ground Espresso Distress Archival Ink, and then add the bottom piece to the vase using Matte Collage Medium. Let dry and then adhere the vase to the bottom middle of the canvas about an inch up using the Matte Collage Medium.
From the Modern Floristry Thinlits, you will need the large flower, half flower, groups of dots, leaf, and tulip looking die (used for flower centers), and from the Artsy Stems use will need the circular and sunflowers looking ones. Using the picture of the painting for reference and looking at each flower individually (I gave each a number starting with the flowers in the back to the flowers in the front as that is how I worked on them), plan out how many of the large flowers and half flowers you will need to build each flower. I used two large flowers for each regular looking sunflower, and three large flowers for the bushy gone to seed looking ones in the center along with three half flowers for the half looking bushy ones, and  then two half flowers for the one hanging off the right side. I also die cut more half flowers for fill in and leaves hanging behind the flowers. Looking at each center of the flowers, I decided which got circles and which got the sunflower looking centers, and I just used those stems for anywhere else. I started with a list of totals of each but I'm pretty sure it changed as I had a few left over half flowers, and I forgot to do a final count, but hopefully the pics can help you. Die cut the flowers and stems using Watercolor Cardstock and lay them out on the canvas like in the painting. Doing this will inspire you for sure.
 Starting with the side view flower on the upper right side (I circled it in the pic), cut a large flower in half. These will be layered on top of each other. You will also need a half flower for the leaves in the back. Paint one half using Wild Honey and one half using Scattered Straw Distress Paints, and then adhere them together with Collage Medium, making sure the petals fan out from each other for fullness. Paint the smaller half flower with Rustic Wilderness, and then adhere this to the back of flower making sure the leaves fan out and show on the lower left area as in Van Gogh's paintings. Cut the small sunflower looking center from the stem, and paint the stem with Rustic Wilderness and adhere it to the back of the flowers pointing out to the left and shaping the stem with a little bend so that it goes down but to the left like in the paintings. Paint the center part with Gathered Twigs, and then add a little Texture Paste with your finger to the petals and center of the flower for great texture. Van Gogh's paintings were a miraculous textured composition before impasto was really a thing. Wow he did it is still debated today. Anyway, when the paste is dry (Actually, I didn't wait for paste or paint to dry on anything...I like the surprises of that.) start adding detail with the paint. Add Twisted Citron to the stem and leaves for variegation, and Fossilized Amber stripes to the petals while looking at his light points on his coordinating flower. On this one the light petals are on the bottom and top petals indicating the light source is coming from the right center, but it does change a bit for each flower. Add dots of Ground Espresso to the center of flower and all those dots going round. Finish off the flower with golden stripes and dots of Tarnished Brass Distress Paint. To me, Tarnished Brass is what made my painting pop. I used it everywhere. Set this flower aside to dry on the canvas where it goes...that helps to see progression. One down, eleven to go!
I forgot to get pics of all these flowers in the making, but the large sunflower is two large flowers stacked and painted like the one above, but using a circular center and painted in like a bullseye using the same colors as above. The weird dark green thing (I assume the back of a flower) is two large flowers layered and painted with Rustic Wilderness and Ground Espresso, with Twisted Citron highlights and that weird mini sunflower painted on with Tarnished Brass. This flower has perplexed me bunches, especially because I think they are really two flowers, but then that would be 13 flowers. He did mess up on flower count though with a few paintings, so it really could be a 13th. Anyway, the cute hanging flower is one large flower base in greens, a circular middle in Fossilized Amber and Tarnished Brass, and then a half flower turned the other way on top of the center part painted in green. The stem is adhered up top folded to the left. All the flowers are painted pretty much the same and using the same paints. I let all of them dry on the canvas where they will go.  
For those four bushy gone to seed flowers, I did those all at the same time, and I trimmed around them once glued to make them a tighter looking circle of petals. There are really five in that group, but the one you can hardly see any off, I made just like all others with two large flowers so you can get creative with that one, but it has a group of leaves behind it on the lower right side that can be seen on the front of the vase. Two of the bushy sunflowers are full and have three large flowers stacked up, and one has a center that goes with the large flower die and one with a circular center and a regular center on top. One is darker in color with Fossilized Amber and Wild Honey with a Twisted Citron Center. The other has light parts using Squeezed Lemonade and Mustard Seed with a dark center with a green ring. The other two, I cut three large flowers in half and adhered three of the halves together. I also cut around the petals to make them look tighter like the others. One has a regular center from the large die, and the other is a leaf with the end clipped off. Both are painted with Fossilized Amber and Wild Honey, one with a dark bullseye type middle and one (the one with the leaf) with a green center, both with dots of Tarnished Brass.
There are three left, full one on the top left that has a stem and with the 'V' shaped petals (cut them if you need to) at the top and has lots of bright and light petals with a circular center and the odd diamond shaped bullseye and leaves off to the right side, top left right facing flower that is pretty dark with a sunflower shaped center and leaves off to the left, and then the last flower from the center right is a full flower with a circular center and regular center on it that looks like an eye and the large leaf off to the bottom right. Adhere all the flowers on the canvas once they are all dry using Collage Medium and slathering it on heavily, starting with the furthest back in the arrangement (see my photo). You will need to press down on the flowers about 10 seconds each to make sure they are adhered well or leave the canvas under a book a few minutes after each flower. 
Take the cluster of dots die and die cut it twice using Watercolor Cardstock. Adhere the dots to the centers of the flowers however you want. I put one in the center on the circular middles and dots all around on the sunflower looking centers. However, I was told by someone that some of my centers look like nipples (LOL) so if you see that and it bothers you, rearrange them or don't use them. Add paint to those centers and add any details to the centers and petals to make them match up more to their corresponding flowers from the real painting. Van Gogh's redo painting (the second one he painted with the red centered flower and red line tracings around the vase) has a few differences in the centers of the flowers so if you want that red centered flower go for it. I made mine more light orange than red. Once everything is detailed enough for you, print your first name in the Cracked Leather area on the left side of the vase slanting towards the bottom center as he did. 
I picked up the frame from Hobby Lobby during a 50% off week, but I didn't like the gray colored distressing on it, so I painted over it using Black Soot Distress Paint and wiped off what was not in the recessed areas with a damp paper towel before it dried. Once dried, I added a bit of Gilded Foundry Wax to the scrolly parts on the corners of the frames and heat set those. I added the canvas in and used Glazier Points with a hammer to hold the canvas in place. I also added the wire holder parts on the back for hanging.
(Glass Mat, Medium Paint Brush, Paper Trimmer, Water Mister, Die Cut Machine, Paper Towel, Die Pick, Ink Blending Tool, Small Paint Brush, Scissors) 
-Ranger Tim Holtz Distress Texture Paste: Matte 
-Stamper's Anonymous Tim Holtz Stamp Set: Marble and Doily 
-Ranger Tim Holtz Distress Paint: Old Paper, Tumbled Glass, Peacock Feathers, Picket Fence, Gathered Twigs, Ground Espresso, Scattered Straw, Fossilized Amber, Tarnished Brass, Twisted Citron, Rustic Wilderness , Peeled Paint, Wild Honey, Squeezed Lemonade, Rusty Hinge, Crackling Campfire, Mustard Seed, Black Soot 
-Ranger Tim Holtz Distress Woodgrain Cardstock 
-Ranger Tim Holtz Distress Archival Ink: Ground Espresso 
-Ranger Tim Holtz Distress Collage Brush: Small 
-Ranger Tim Holtz Distress Collage Medium: Crazing, Matte 
-Sizzix Tim Holtz Movers and Shapers: Sized Ovals 
-Ranger Tim Holtz Distress Watercolor Cardstock
-Sizzix Tim Holtz 3D Texture Fade (Chapter 2 2022): Cracked Leather 
-Sizzix Tim Holtz Thinlits (Chapter 2 2022): Modern Floristry, Artsy Stems 
-Ranger Tim Holtz Distress Foundry Wax: Gilded 
-8x10 Inch Canvas Panel, Frame, Glazier Points
Thank you thank you so very much for all the comments about these Chapter 2 makes over on Instagram! You all have shown me so much love! I'll be back again soon. Until then, I hope your hands get creatively dirty soon!


  1. Very beautiful! The details are amazing.

  2. Wow, I would be proud of myself too! This is just downright awesome. Looks really good all framed up, too. I have read the tutorial, now I need to go back through and see if I can follow along with the pictures...may have to try my hand at this one. Oh, yes, a flower collection would look awesome all hanging artistic.

  3. Great in-depth tutorial! Thanks for taking the time to explain your process, this is really breathtaking! p.s. I didn’t notice the “nipples” til you mentioned it. Now I can’t un-see them! ��
    Looking forward to your poppies. ��

  4. Oh, Anita, this is stop-you-in-your-tracks gorgeous. What a skillful, imaginative work of art. You knocked this project out of the ballpark and them some. Van Gogh himself would be proud!

    Autumn Zenith 🧡 Witchcrafted Life


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