Just a few decorative trays with autumn wildflower photos from the Panhandle Trail help to celebrate autumn. The larger tray is 10 x 14 and the smaller tray is 8 x 12, and made of lightweight unfinished wood.
I paint the outside and inside, then adhere a print of the image on my high quality art paper. When it’s dry I give them several coats of a light matte varnish to protect the image and the wood so they are waterproof for condensation from glassware, and can be lightly wiped down with a damp rag and mild detergent.
Woodland Sunflowers tray
I used a wash of olive green for “Woodland Sunflowers” on the left, so that the woodgrain shows through. I had initially planned to fully paint them in these colors and looked forward to the look of it. I use the wash of thinned paint as a primer before painting, but I so liked the way it looked in the olive green that I let it sit overnight so I could think about it. I still liked it in the morning, and that’s how it is.
Three Sunflowers Tray
The smaller tray has the image “Three Sunflowers” and initially I was going to use either the olive green or a rich brown, but I decided to add a little luster to those sunflowers and used an opaque metallic copper paint for all the copperish tones in the photo. I think it captures the feel of the warm early autumn afternoon when I took the photo.
These trays are purely decorative because they are made with lightweight wood which is especially thin inside the bottom so you can’t carry dishes to the table in them, but I have used them for carrying linens and flatware and lightweight things like breadbaskets. They do protect a countertop and also decorate a desk, used for papers. I am always on the lookout for more fully usable trays.
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