"Klimt" at Scrapki-wyzwaniowo for April

This month for Scrapki - wyzwaniowo we were asked to create something inspired by the amazing artist, Gustav Klimt.

When you think of Klimt, you often think of the sensual portrayal of erotic figures, promoting promiscuity and desire ..... but in actual fact his paintings were much more than that. He painted organic themes such as trees, gardens, birth, death and forests and when he did paint erotically, he always portrayed women as strong, beautiful and desirable.

Controversial for their time, his paintings provoked scorn from the community. Admittedly don't search "sketches" for Klimt unless you're ok with erotic drawings. Honestly, they are no more detailed than drawings from the Kamasutra but all the same, they are definitely adults only content.

But even though Klimt's work was referred to as indecent at the time, like so many of our worlds great artists, after death, people began to admire his talent, and now, he's recognised as a genius of the art world and hailed as  "an artist before his time".

There are many formal portraits of Klimt online but I liked this casual one the best
Gustav Klimt was born near Vienna in 1862. His mother had musical aspirations and his father was a gold engraver. This influence later on in Gustav's career saw what is now commonly known as his "Gold Phase". He was awarded a scholarship at 14 to attend the Vienna School of Arts. What a brilliant opportunity. I would have loved it if my parents had sent me off to art school at 14!!

Many things about Klimt's paintings attract your attention. Besides the infinite details, the gold leaf he used and the richness it gives his paintings is enough to keep you gazing endlessly. I've never seen one of his paintings in real life but I imagine it would be mystifying and very engaging. Gives me an excuse to travel to Vienna one day.

"The Kiss" 1907 by Gustav Klimt
The painting I've chosen for inspiration for the challenge is the very popular masterpiece "The Kiss". Apparently it was inspired by gold leaf decoration from the bronze age and the flat Byzantine mosaics that Klimt had seen on his travels to Ravenna. The gold gives a feeling of decadence and expresses a fulfilment through the power of love. Two bodies are intertwined (some believe it is a portrait of Klimt himself and his lover Floge). The man dons a robe of a gold leaf square and rectangular pattern while the woman's gown is made up of flowers and soft swirls. His hands hold her face tenderly as he leans in for a sensual kiss. Some critics believe this to be a painting displaying the dominance of men over woman and that in the painting she is pushing him away. I disagree. I feel it displays protection of the woman from her man and as she snuggles in comfortably against the mans warmth and strength, she throws an arm over his shoulder to bring him in even closer.

My interpretation.

I've used the 7 Dots Studio paper "Lonely Evenings" from Finnabair's Cold Country collection. I prepared it by adding a base coat of gel medium then stencilled a mixture of modelling paste and green acrylic paint over The Crafters Workshop stencil "Cubist".

Gold leaf is one of the most beautiful things to work with. It is also one of the most expensive! There is however a cheaper alternative. It's called foil paper and you can purchase it from most craft stores. Mont Marte do an imitation gold leaf that is very affordable. To apply it, all I did was rub glue stick over the background and wait for it to be tacky, Then I rubbed the foil over the top. It took a little bit of experimentation but it worked out well in the end.

Using a combination of gold glitter paper, black gloss paper and gold leaf, I added to the background, creating a style similar to the outfit the man is wearing in Klimt's "Kiss" painting. 

I loved the blockiness this created and the gold looks divine. I had to create my own glossy paper because I didn't have any in my stash so I simply painted some white card stock with black gesso and then used Faber Castell glaze medium over the top and left it to dry. In the morning it was beautiful and glossy. The gold strips are a combination of glitter paper and more foil paper. This time I used double sided tape, layed it on the background where I wanted it and pressed the foil down. It stuck perfectly and left a gorgeous gold strip.

I added a garden bed of colourful flowers on the bottom of the layout using Posca paint pens and then, once they had dried, I drew little flower outlines around them to help them stand out.

To finish the whole piece off, I added some chipboard that I coated in gold ink and then heat embossed gold powder over. These are to represent the gold hanging branches/leaves on the painting you can see that flow from the ladies dress.

2Crafty Chipboard Snowball tree

I ended up placing a photo of my beautiful sister on this one. Right from the beginning I was intending of scrapping a photo I had taken years ago of a dear friend of mine while she was pregnant. I felt that it would be a lovely way to show Klimt's appreciation for the female form and his fascination with birth. But no matter what I did, I just couldn't get it to work. So finally, after pouring over my many photos, I found this one of my sister. Many of Klimt's  paintings are of women with pale complexions and red hair. Sonya fitted the profile perfectly!

I have to be honest and say .... I haven't been this stressed about creating a page in a long time! I know that must sound simply awful but for me it's great! I love to be challenged and have my creative side stretched and this certainly did that. That is why I love being on this DT, beside the fact that there are so many lovely and talented people on there too.

I really hope you are inspired to give this one a go. I really enjoyed the process and I really love my final piece. Especially because it's not like anything I ever thought I would create!

Thank you for popping by

Fiona xx


  1. OMG Fiona this is stunning your have certainly done the theme justice, the way you have interpreted Klimt's painting is amazing.

    1. Thank you Deena. I procrastinated over this one for at least a week!!! But I'm really happy with the result.

  2. How exciting that your challenged resulted in stress and produced this magical page! The glorious photo deserves such a rich, textured and detailed background. Utterly sublime. Thanks for the inspiration :D

  3. Fiona,
    Your layout is so very gorgeous! You did an amazing job with your interpretation of Klimt's "The Kiss." I can see his details in your layout - I am so very, very impressed. And, I think you should be impressed with yourself too - it is beautiful. Your sister is lovely as the focus of the layout. I hope that you will frame this one and keep it where you can see it each day!! I love it!

  4. Your interpretation is LOVELY. Your layout most certainly inspired me!!!! Thank you!!

  5. Really enjoyed reading about your process of creating this one. I'd actually discounted it from my attempts at challenges this month, not 'cos I don't like Klimt [& I've been to Vienna & seen some of his work & it's pretty amazing IRL!!!]......but cos I'm not that keen on trying to 'channel' this sort of thing.....BUT....hey! If you can 'work it' & succeed....then maybe I outta challenge myself too. Challenge....that word...gets me into trouble everytime. My fave bit of your page? The interaction between the black/gold/graphic strips and the pretty bright coloured flowers!!! And OBV you're of the Romantic School!!! Ever read Angela Carter......on her interpretations of fairy tales? You'd be most UNdelighted, methinks!!!!!

  6. This page is really gorgeous!! I love all your versatile artwork and with this interpretation of Klimt you made me wowing again <3

  7. it is absolutely beautiful. what an homage to Klimt. Lovely.


The only artist you should ever compare yourself to is the one you were yesterday.

Fiona xx