Annie Leonard, a nail technician based in Seekonk, Mass., has been drawing all her life and handpainting nails for eight of those years. So when she saw an article about a nail artist who handpainted the Mona Lisa on a nail tip and attached it to a pendant, she was immediately inspired to recreate her favourite paintings on nail tips and make her own nail art pin.
Leonard, a self-described freehand artist, used acrylic paints to recreate the four paintings on her small canvases. It took approximately 30 minutes for each. To paint Salvador Dali’s “Persistence of Memory,” she referred to an onscreen computer image. “The Last Supper” was painted from a reproduction she owns. A memo pad with “Mona Lisa” on the cover served as her guide when painting the famous face. And to recreate a portion of Michelangelo’s “Creation,” Leonard referred to a plaque. For the fifth tip, she painted Raphael’s “Cherub from Sistine Madonna,” which appeared on a 32-cent “Love” stamp.
To make and decorate the pin, Leonard’s talent in making costume jewelry came in handy. For the base of the pin, she cut out an oval from a peach Kleenex box and attached a pin back to the cut-out piece. She cut some flowered lace into pieces and glued them on the pin, along with a gold angel button, a gold heart button, blue ceramic roses, and clear rhinestones. She used a nail drill to make wholes in two of the nail I tips, then linked a gold chain through them. She also glued sections of the chain to the pin.
“I wear my nail art pin so my clients can see the quality of my work,” says Leonard, who also wears nail art on her own nails to advertise the service. “Nail art is not just a seasonal thing - it’s year-round. It’s great to be able to express yourself on your nails.” So far, Leonard’s clients haven’t asked to express themselves with any of her favourite paintings, mainly because their nails aren’t long enough, she says. It would also take someone who really appreciates art to request one of her recreated masterpieces.