Thursday, March 13, 2008

Mega-Texture My Way

These two pieces are not recent artworks, but rather were done over a year ago. However, since I've been posting about texture, I thought I'd post about these. I call them Mega-Texture, because these are more dimensional than my other textured work.

This is how the first one, the framed one, came about. A member of our local book arts group, Mile High Book Arts (MHBA), asked our group members to make artwork for a charity auction she was involved with. I said sure, and then came home and thought about what I would make. The idea of making a very dimensional texture piece popped into my mind, out of nowhere. (Well, it was probably my muse whispering in my ear). So I decided to go with that idea, and basically just "wing it", since I'd never done a piece like that before.

So I can honestly say I developed this technic for myself, because I didn't learn it from a book or a workshop or anything online. I had a framed picture I bought at a yard sale, the kind with no glass. I pulled that out to use as my base. Then I just started gluing down all kinds of things that would give dimension and texture. At that time, before I was introduced to gel medium, I used Matte Mod Podge to glue things down. If I do this again, I'll definitely use gel medium.

Some things I used here were crumpled/uncrumpled tissue paper, used dryer sheets, gesso, fluffy yarn, string, twine, plastic mesh veggies come in, fluffy seed pods, other seeds, silk leaves, and used tea bag grounds. (Real leaves preserved with gel medium could also be used.) And of course my little friend, the lizard. As you can see, the list is endless and you can be very creative in what you use on a piece like this. As I recall, with the dryer sheets, I dipped them in a flour and water mixture, the kind used for paper mache, and tried to drape or fold them onto the base for that extra dimension. I suppose wallpaper paste would work for that too. It takes at least overnight for those to dry.

After everything was glued down and the piece was totally dry, I painted white gesso all over it, and let that dry. Something I didn't do was dribble gesso onto it, which is also a way to get some texture. Then I started painting it, which was a long, time consuming process, due to the dimension and all the nooks and crannies it produced. I mean seriously, it takes a long time to paint something like this. It would be much faster to spray paint it, which I would probably do in the future.

I honestly can't remember if I sealed this with anything, but I think I probably did, since there is glare from the flash on the digital picture. I most likely used Future Floor Finish (FFF), which is a great glossy sealer I use a lot. It's very economical too.

The second piece is a tag book I made, hence you see the fibers from the tags hanging out on the right side. I think I used frozen pizza cardboard for the base for this piece. Sorry, but sometimes my memory isn't so good. Pizza cardboard works okay as a base for this kind of technic, especially if you're just playing around and experimenting, but something thicker and less flexible would work better, such as heavy corrugated cardboard or chipboard. And of course, canvas board and stretched canvas would work well for this technic. If I did this again, I doubt I'd use the pizza cardboard for this kind of technic. You need something substantial that will lay flat when it's done.

I added most of the same things to the tag book cover I used on the first piece, and then I also added glitter after I painted it. That really added some pizzazz, but it's kind of hard to see the glitter in the photo. This piece was sealed with FFF.

Now that I'm posting on these, I'm thinking maybe I should revisit this technic, and come up with even more "stuff" to use for texture and dimension. God knows, I'm overflowing with "stuff". Well, isn't that the true mark of an altered artist??? Anyone interested in trying this technic? If you have suggestions for other things that could be used in this technic, by all means, leave a comment with your suggestions. I'd love to hear them.


Anonymous said...

Wonderfully rich in texture and, colour. The first piece is evocative of some tooled leather found in a hideaway behind a Turkish bazaar in Marrakesh... Love it, Val!

Gail P said...

Love your musings about your work! The pieces are once again inspiring and thanks for the tip about how to strengthen dryer sheets! I might just have to try wallpaper paste. I tried heavy glue and it took forever to get it stiff enough. Also, thanks for joining our small yahoo group!

nootka said...

A lot of work in this, thanks for the information.
Interested in the FFF!

ATCLindaB said...

I too love texture, I hope you will check out my blog :)

kristen said...

Hi Val,

Love these, they're gorgeous! I love to play with texture, too-I like to use embossing powder, texture, lace paper, metal-washers, cut pieces, etc...when you paint, try acrylic flow release with your acrylics-it'll make the paint get into all those cracks and crevices :)


Cyndi L said...

I can understand wanting to shorten up the painting process by spray paints! That must have taken forever :-)

Jo Anne O. said...

Hi Val!

I am a new member of Altered Art and Vision (Robin's group) on Yahoo too! I haven't really had time to do anything with them yet as I am so busy with other projects, but they are a nice, friendly group of ladies!

I love what you are doing here on your blog!

Thanks for sharing!

Smiles! Jo Anne

morningDove said...

very rich color and detail. love the tag book, lots of fiber. I want to finish one I started with Artist's Circle.

gulfsprite said...

Val these are just fabulous. I am still working on learning to use caulk so I must just admire this until after I learn how to use caulk from your last post :) Thanks so much for sharing your techniques and musings on them.

Anonymous said...

These are fabulous, my mind is wandering with the possibilities. I have some items that are either too damaged or too ugly to use as is and this would give me the option to use them, but paint them over. Great Ideas, thank you for sharing them.

Micki said...

Fabulous pieces. Love all the texture. Might I suggest for your next book venture, you might try using chipboard or even timtex for the covers.