Spring was definitely here yesterday, pink roses are blooming.
Some time ago I started Mary on a new journey using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint (ASCP) to give her a complete makeover, a new wardrobe in the shabby aged and distressed look you see
ASCP weathers nicely if left outside and that’s where Mary is. Right now she sits in the garden at the eastern side of the house.
Though Mary was beautiful in her ordinary creamy yellow shade common in garden statues, I felt she deserved a new and colourful chapter in her life.
This is not the first statue I have done in this design and size using chalk paint as this Mary above demonstrates. A couple of years ago I gave her a new lease on life using ASCP, the only difference being I used a dark Primer Red for Mary’s mantle/cloak instead of the light pink of my latest project. I talked about using chalk paint on another outside garden statue here.
Beautiful spring climbing roses in full bloom right now.
When you see a Madonna statue around it’s usually ‘hands up’ (as Mary’s hands are in a praying mode) or ‘hands down’ where Mary’s arms are down by her side, hands and palms facing out.
You can see how rough is the concrete surface. The lumps, bumps and texture are a natural part of concrete statuary made for outside in a garden or, perhaps, in this case, a grotto.
Chalk paint always works well on rough concrete surfaces and simply glides over.
The statue is heavy, made of heavy concrete. This one stands about 95cm/3′ tall. Not for the faint hearted to move.
I started doing Madonna statues so I could move away from the traditional blue and white hues usually found in historic portrayals of Mary.
In this statue, I went for deep, soft pink shades for the outside of her cloak, the mantle. I used a mix of ASCP shades of Henrietta, Scandinavian Pink, Antoinette, Primer Red and Cream layered and highlighted.
Her long sash or cummerbund is Duck Egg, a colour that works beautifully with most colours especially creams and shabby pinks. I love the duck egg and the pink hues together.
Mary’s main gown, her floor length dress, is done in Cream and Old White shades, also complimentary to Pink and Duck Egg. The inside or lining of her outer cloak is also in cream shades.
I undercoat the mantle or outer cloak with a dark shade usually Graphite or Primer Red. That way any rubbing back produces a more layered, weathered look.
Generally, the mantle can be shades ranging from deep dark red/burgundy to pink to white, cream or beige, to mauve, lilac, lavender or blue shades.
Mary’s face, hands and feet are a mix of Scandinavian Pink, Coco, Cream and Old White. I simply layer the colours using a rough sort of dry brush method to get the right skin tone. I dabbed on a little watered down Scandinavian Pink to highlight her cheeks and facial features.
Honestly, chalk paint is drop dead easy to mix and blend.
I used Primer Red on Mary’s lips highlighted with a little Cream. I used a little French Linen on a small brush for her eyebrows. I used Graphite and Light Blue mixes for her eyes with Pure White for the whites of her eyes. I accented her eyes with a light liner of Graphite.
The gorgeous weathering effects are obvious in Mary’s face.
I don’t believe I’ve ever seen a portrayal of Mary wearing shoes.
I embellished and gilded the edge (trim) of her pink gown using a very small brush and artists paint in dull gold.
It’s middle of spring here in Australia with yesterday’s temperature in the 30s. Yes gloriously warm. Definitely an outdoors day.
The sweet pink climbing rose behind Mary is easy to grow. It’s basically a thornless rose with small, very pink, soft and weepy like blooms.
Of course we’re lucky here in the Barossa as Annie Sloan Chalk Paint is available right here in Angaston at Brocante in the Barossa. In the Riverland you can find it at Cammies at Paringa just past Renmark.
Mary’s right arm is draped in rosary beads and crucifix, a part of the statue itself.
I coated the beads with Graphite and a little Cream. The crucifix is Graphite and Jesus is a mix of Old White & Cream shades.
Of course, over time, the statue acquires a naturally weathered and distressed patina just by being outside.
Becoming weathered and rustic, etching and aging nicely as the chalk paint chips and fades naturally.
Indeed Mary is ready for her prayers and devotions. Um, let’s see, the Credo (Apostles Creed), the Pater Noster (Our Father), the Ave’s (Hail Marys) and the Gloria Patri (Glory Be) many times over.