Saturday, April 19, 2008

Doodle Bird Haunting

What a strange title for this art piece, no? I agree. After all, doodle birds are supposed to be whimsical and cute, not haunting at all. So why did I name this piece that? Well, first of all, because it just popped into my head, second of all I'm not very good at naming my art, and thirdly, I named it that because this piece seems rather washed out to me, and nothing like my idea of what I wanted it to look like when I started.

This was supposed to be for a postcard swap using gesso as the technic. Using gesso for the texture. And I'm a big texture nut, as some of you know, so I was excited to use gesso for great texture. So I sponged the gesso on the stamps I used for this, and gee, it didn't produce texture at all, it was like using white acrylic paint. And I used wooden mounted stamps, so I couldn't re-stamp over what I'd stamped. The gesso is supposed to work as a resist and for texture.

Well, it worked pretty well as a resist, but not well at all for texture. After I stamped, I sponged glazes in violet, yellow, and blue, and then rubbed them partially off with a paper towel. Oh, and I also used gold glaze on the very top, the last glaze I used. Then I sealed with Future Floor Finish, which gives a glossy effect and makes colors pop. Which it did. But I was very disappointed in the texture, or lack thereof. So I brushed gel medium over it, in different directions, to get some real texture. And that worked, but then it was so glossy, it was glaring with reflective light. So I tried to tone down the gloss and glare by sealing with Acrylic Floor Finish (Family Dollar Brand), which gives a satin effect.

So that's what I did with this piece, but I'm not very happy with it. I don't intend to use it for the swap, I plan to make a new postcard for that. I may, however, use this piece in another piece of art, in some way. I'm also considering using diluted caulk, instead of gesso, for the stamping and texture on my swap piece, because the gesso I used just didn't do the job for creating texture. Or maybe not even diluted caulk, but just caulk, to get the kind of texture I'd like to get.

So, this is a piece I'm not thrilled with at all, but I thought I'd post it anyway. Just to show that I sometimes make art that I'm not satisfied with. However, I learn from that, which is a good thing.


Gretchen M said...

Hi Val, I think your piece looks good of course I can't tell what kinda surface sheen you have on it from the photo but otherwise it's a very nice little piece. As far as texture with gesso, you might try spreading the gesso onto your surface, (kinda thickly) wait a little bit for it to start setting than press your stamp into it. Just be sure to wash off the stamp before the gesso dries.

Gail P said...

Don't you hate it when a piece doesn't turn out the way it was "supposed" to? I try to get out my way now and allow the piece to lead me. I'd say that this piece led you somewhere you didn't plan to go, but turned out great anyway!! I haven't had a lot of luck using stamps pressed into gesso, I do, however use tools like sticks to create designs in the gesso. Try pressing objects or bold stamps into the gesso. It's hard to get fine details with gesso. What brand of gesso are you using? And where did you find Future wax?? I can't find any and the cheap stuff just doesn't cut it!

purplepaint said...

Val - I love this! Love all the layers and beautiful colors! Marva

Faye said...

Val, I think it's beautiful. Most of my art is seredipitous. I've learned to just go with the
flow. If it's awful and I'm using expensive
substrate, I cover it up. However, what you
have here is so gorgeous. It would make a
superior background for a greetings card
if you choose not to send it to the postcard
swap. But i would love getting this in a
swap. Faye

Kim said...

It is tough when you don't get the result you want... but don't cover it over immediately and don't throw it out. Looking at it again 6 months down the road, you may decide it is just what you want for a new project. I love the colors, and on screen it looks positively luminescent! K

Nona Parry said...

Gretchen's suggestion of spreading the gesso, letting it set a bit, and then stamping into it is a good one.

My recommendation is don't use rubber stamps for this -- they are too fine. Use foam stamps which have broader surfaces.

Gesso is good for light texture. For heavy texture use moulding paste.


Nona, in New Zealand

Lindart said...

"A happy accident" It's a lovely piece! And someday you will know just what to use it for! You also know a lot more about gesso than you did before! All good!

Jean said...

Great feedback here....and I totally agree that in a few months you may find exactly the use for this!! It might grow on the way? I think it's pretty cool...

Anonymous said...

I really like the piece, Val. The colours are great and it appears textured--perhaps not as highly textured as your usual. I'm sure it will make a great background. Some day, as Jean says, you will find this again and be so glad you did.

ScaryCheri said...

I think it's very nice Val. It might not have turned out the way you planned but I love theme. I have heard of stamping into gesso and stamping with it on the stamp. I like the stamping with. I love the white it puts down. Keep up the good art. Hugz, Scary

Wendy said...

Just my two bobs worth. The piece is quite beautiful, but I can see a way to improve it so that hopefully you will like it more. I always look to see that there are light, medium and dark tonal values. You only have the light and the medium, not the dark. It has no real focal point/centre of attention. You could fix these two things in one by choosing an area to be the centre of attention,and using coloured pencils, put some dark tones in behind some light tones to get more contrast. Hope I'm not out of line here. I'm just used to telling the students in my acrylics class this sort of thing.

Carla said...

I like your piece, Val. LOve the shape of the bird, too.

mary schweitzer said...

I think the modeling paste would work too. And what about wood filler maybe? As usual you got my brain cells clicking together!!