The Rhapsody Collection consists of four colors of my handmade watercolors made from wild-crafted Ozark pigments. They come in a self-contained travel box. This little box started out as an unfinished, empty box. I liked it then, but decided to do a little something more with it.
I made a stain using linseed oil and some of my Russet Lites pigment. To do this, I mixed it just as if I were making paint, on the mulling board with a muller. You see, when you have a pigment, you can make any kind of paint with it. Ordinarily, I make watercolors. But for this I basically just made a thin oil paint.
The stained box turned out beautifully!
But I wanted to do more. At this point I knew what I wanted to do was to make a self-contained travel kit for a set of my latest colors. I had some ideas and experimented until I found the way forward. Using my Rhapsody painting, I made a pocket for the papers and the water dish. The dish is a tin with a screw on lid. I use one side to hold a few drops of water to wet my brush, and the other side for rinsing with a few drops.
The Rhapsody collection comes with everything you’ll need to paint on the go. It has paper, a water pan, the brush, and a dropper bottle for water, and water conservation. So it needed a way to contain the bottle. So I made a little tube pocket to hold the dropper bottle.
Then of course, there’s the paints. There’s magnets underneath the name plate to hold the paint pans. So although when it arrives it’s going to have the paint collection I chose for this box, it doesn’t limit you to using only those colors. You can change out pans at will. I’ll have new colors and more of these colors stocked in my online shop soon, in the metal pans that work with the magnets.
The next thing was to find a way to store the paint brush. So I did that with tubes, too. That’s a No. 2 Whiskey Painter’s brush, by the way, and it works wonderfully. If I can only have one brush, this is the brush I’d have.
After that the only thing left to do was to decorate the box. I waffled on this. Should I leave it alone and not add anything to it? Or should I label it in a small and unobtrusive way? No, what I decided to do was make full labels and then distress it some. The front label was black and white when I printed it on the heavy watercolor paper. I painted it, added some swatches of the Rhapsody collection on the bottom.
This box is meant to be stored upright, like a book. And so the book end needed some identification so you’d know which of the collections was inside. I know you’ll want to collect more than one, right? So I added a distressed and burnt label to the spine. And on the back there’s the namesake painting, pretty distressed, too.
What I love about the box holding this Rhapsody collection is that it looks like a treasure box. And it is exactly that. I hope you feel the same way too. There will never be another exactly like it. The next three boxes will also be handmade (not the box itself, but the outfitting of the box), so they still won’t be the same as this one. Each one is numbered and signed.