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Allow Me to Persuade You….

Hand painted book shaped box, and sleeping girl

Future model, Mia, wanted to get involved in my photo shoot...

I’m actually going to attempt to write 2-3 blog posts this evening, to get my work caught up.
So stay tuned over the next few days… *fingers crossed*

First I wanted to show everybody my FINISHED wooden box. I’ve been talking about this box quite a bit recently, as I’m so excited to see it finally coming together!
I’ve shared its official release on Facebook and Twitter… but for those of you who aren’t stalking me yet, you may have missed it. ;)

This is a sanded pine box, shaped to resemble a book, with a “spine” drawer… which you can pull out completely, and store all sorts of things inside: greeting cards, stationary, photographs, letters, crayons, pressed flowers, recipe cards, and so much more…

The book is 1.5″ high, and the drawer is slightly over 1.25″ deep… enough room for small tubes of watercolor paint, but not chunky acrylic tubes (unless they’re half empty and squeezed flat).

I painted the entire surface, inside and out… once I started, it became my obsession not to leave any unfinished pine wood exposed.

The “pages” have been given a faux treatment that fooled my husband! hehe
I had the box partially hidden within a stack of real books, and he didn’t recognize the imposter.

Faux book shaped box, hand painted by Tara Fly

I painted the cover with a scene from Cobb Harbor at Lyme Regis, one of the pivotal settings from Jane Austen’s Persuasion… and fitting, because Anne Elliot Cat is still mourning the decision she made to break off her engagement to naval commander Captain Frederick Wentworth.

If one wonders why I didn’t paint the author’s name anywhere, it is because none of Jane Austen’s novels were published with her name on them, which was common for female writers in that time period.
The Bronte sisters, for example, wrote under male pseudonyms.

The title page, inside first editions of Persuasion, simply credited the novels to “the author of Pride and Prejudice and Mansfield Park”.

I’ve spent the last two weeks painting this box, in brief spurts, whenever I possibly can. I even took it outside, to work on while my kids played in the backyard! Something I don’t normally do, because I can’t easily keep my supplies away from their curious fingers… (I need a standing easel, with a locked compartment – lol)

Unfortunately, I didn’t keep track of the total length of time I devoted to this painting.
Which is rather important, as artists need to be compensated for their hours.

Tara Fly art studio, painting faux book shaped jewelry box

I do know that I spent more than eight hours on this project, and after subtracting the cost of materials, that would put my wages @ under $8.00 per hour for the price I’m asking.

It will always be a struggle artists face, when wishing to make their art affordable to everyone and still be fairly compensated for their time.
I will also be offering Limited Edition prints in the next couple of days… and I’ll keep the wood-grain background to make them extra special. :)

Joe suggested I create a “time clock” for my studio, to punch in and out, which made me laugh!
But since we both have retail backgrounds, I had to concede it is a sensible idea.

Nothing fancy, mind you… when I worked as a housekeeper one summer, my boss asked everyone to write down their hours on a clipboard sheet:
We jotted our arrival to work, the length of time we took for lunch, and signed off as we were leaving.

So keeping track of my actual studio hours will be a huge boon to accurately pricing my work, and perhaps tracking my time maintenance skills (or lack thereof) as well.
I’m sure it will be an eye-opening (on-going) experience, and if I learn anything interesting as a result, I’ll share with you guys.

But in the meantime, while you’re waiting with baited breath for my posts…
go check out Jane Austen’s “Persuasion”, and acquaint yourself with Miss Anne and Captain Wentworth.

If renting movies is more your style, I might suggest the 1995 BBC version with Amanda Root and Ciarán Hinds first. :)
I found the characters more genuine in that adaptation, than those in the 2007 BBC film… who I think were cast more for their physical attractiveness.
Just my humble opinion, however, as I’ve never been a huge fan of pretty-boy Rupert Penry-Jones, and simply couldn’t buy into his portrayal of Wentworth.
Although many other ladies would beg to differ with me, claiming he was the one improvement over the earlier film. :P

Okay, just watch them both! Tell me what you think…

Faux book shaped storage box, portrait of Anne Elliot Cat

And if you love this Anne Elliot storage book, please tweet and share away – using the Share/Save button below!

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