The Creation of Umbrella Strut

The Creation of Umbrella Strut

By Marcella Muhammad / Artist, Designer

About four years ago, I had the idea of doing a painting with three lovely ladies in poses of joy with umbrellas. I had the idea in my mind all set but needed a model to make the particular poses I wanted for accuracy. I could just sketch the idea out but I wanted to have more precision in drawing the figures.So, my great little sister was cajoled into being my model one afternoon and did a great job posing for me and I snapped several pictures for reference. This is one of the center figure that I had in mind.

Well, life got in the way as it usually does  and this idea went on the back burner, but not entirely forgotten. It wasn’t until June of this year that I had a break to re-visit the idea of the “umbrella sisters” as I called the idea then. Using the photos of my sister, I was able to sketch up the idea with the accuracy that I wanted. You can see the sketch here. I have filled the skin in black for contrast already.

For the garments and drapery of the ladies, I used hand marbled paper that I made myself with acrylic paints and cut it to fit the lines of their clothing and glued it down. I used watercolors for the umbrellas.

Then I scanned the finished piece into the computer and using Photoshop, I added the jewelry and the Adinkra choices onto the dresses and umbrella. Now I had a finished product ready for publication. The result is available on Fine Art America in framed print on paper, on canvas, metal, and wood. Also available on a pillow, tote bag, and mug.

So when someone asks how long it takes to do a painting, the answer includes the time of thinking up the idea…acting on the idea…executing the idea…having a finished product. This painting took three years and 6 months to complete.

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Marcella is a visual artist that made a leap of faith in 1995 and took an early retirement from a successful elementary teaching career of 27 years. She and her husband moved from California to the Atlanta area to continue as a full time artist. She has a formal education in the arts, and has been a creative visual artist for over 40 years.

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