This is one of the only times that I haven’t been home to celebrate Father’s Day with my dad. (Las Vegas suddenly feels impossibly far away!)
I wanted to send him something kind of special – but he’s the kind of guy who just buys stuff when he needs/wants it. And he’s definitely not the kind of guy who wants sports gear (he still uses a weight set that is at least 30 years old), or movies – and none of that is special, anyway.
But art… art is special.
Since I’ve been experimenting a lot with cut paper lately, I thought it might be kind of cool to make a card for him (with the added benefit of avoiding the card racks at Target). The beach has been a special place for my family since before I was born. At least twice a year (Spring Break and Thanksgiving) we all gathered, even when my sister and I moved away. And what is my dad’s favorite thing to do at the beach? Fish. Well, it’s kind of pretend fishing. If he puts the poles in the water, he can sit down on the beach and smoke his cigar in peace.
All of that was the inspiration for this card:
It started with a simple sketch. I love really graphic, bold shapes, so I chose to incorporate those as much as possible – as in the clouds. You can see that I’ve placed little X’s on all the spots that are going to be cut out. Without this, I am a lost paper cutter – once you get down close and see only lines, it is incredibly easy for your eyes to shift, and then it’s all over.
And here is the piece halfway through. With my first ever paper cut, I learned that you must start at the center and work outwards, especially if you have delicate linework. Otherwise, the movement of your hand back and forth across the paper turns those lines to mush. (We don’t talk about that experience anymore.)
This was the end product. I broke out my watercolors and spent a few hours (yes, hours!) creating the perfect color and texture for the background, which also forms the rest of the card.
But, of course it needed an envelope. A sheet of vellum coated with matte gel medium turned out to be just about perfect (although you can see here my distaste for actually measuring things). I used a piece of colored tracing paper to cover the card inside the envelope, both for extra protection and to preserve the surprise!