Monday, December 8, 2008

"Raw Art" - the title of this piece


This is somewhat different for me, but not totally. Lately I seem to be into using paint chips and distressing them, then rubbing brown paste shoe polish over them to highlight the distressing. I've done several pieces using this technic, which is my own technic developed by me, as far as I know. I've never seen it used by anyone else, or read or heard about it, regarding someone else developing this specific technic. So I feel kind of good about that -- that I developed a new technic that I've shared on blog.

In this piece, it occurred to me that I could use a sharp awl to actually write text on these paint chips. And that it would show up, after being rubbed with the brown shoe polish. And I don't often use text in my art, but this seemed an easy way to do that. Although recently, I've been using more text in my art than I ever used to. I also discovered that writing text with an awl is a bit difficult, it doesn't come out like writing with a pen, it's more like a "carving" process. Perhaps I can improve on that with more practice, but at this point, I kind of like the imperfect effect of it.

Well, let me back up here a bit. Last year in November, Cyndi did an artist profile on me on her fabulous website, Layers Upon Layers. My profile is here, if you want to read it. Just click on the URL. http://www.layersuponlayers.com/artist-profile-valerie-foster/ Anyway, Karen Campbell, a very fine and talented artist and a friend, and the leader of our local book arts group, left a comment for me about my profile. In it, she said "You specialize in raw art — art that comes solely from you and art that does not depend on a lot of commercial products. That truly is the toughest art of all." Well, I'm not exactly sure what "raw art" is, but I found her description of it quite interesting. It is true, I don't use a lot of commercial products in my art. Such as pizza cardboard, caulk/joint compound/spackle, rusted paper and fabric, paint chips, shoe polish, etc. I tend to use those kind of things much more than commercial products meant for art.

So on this piece, the term "raw art" bubbled up into my mind, and so I went with it. Although I must admit, I'm a little nervous about posting this piece, because it's kind of "out there" with the awl written text. But oh well, I'm posting it anyway, come what may. I seem to be going into a more primitive or primal direction lately in my art. And I'm so glad to be making art again, after a long slump, I'm not going to fight it.

In this piece, I used frozen pizza cardboard, and it's 8x10 inches in dimension. I used a piece of wallpaper cut from a sample book for the background. And a paint chip, which was sanded and written on with a sharp awl, then rubbed with brown shoe polish. Actually, I used two paint chips here, one glued on top of the other. The "windows" were already in the top one. Then I used my Walnut Hollow Hot Marks heat tool with the appropriate nibs screwed on, for the question marks and the lettering in the upper left corner. I'm so glad I "rediscovered" this great tool. The hearts and rectangles were punched out of paint chips. I used tea dyed cheese cloth in the upper left corner, and scrapbook paper in the center, and some copy paper I stamped with a stamp I carved out of styrofoam (a meat container) in the lower left corner. I rubbed over the whole piece with brown shoe polish and sealed it with Future Floor Finish for a glossy finish.

I'm still not certain exactly what "raw art" is, but Karen's description sounds pretty good to me. I'm willing to go with that, at least for now.

13 comments:

Sanna(Susan) Burgess said...

Val you have a whole thematic development going on here! I am so proud seriously I see a definite style forming in you gf! Sanna

Kim said...

Well, I don't know exactly what raw art is either, but if this is it, I like it! I like the descriptions of the processes you include too. I know that takes effort, thank you for doing it.

Kim said...

Well, I don't know exactly what raw art is either, but if this is it, I like it! I like the descriptions of the processes you include too. I know that takes effort, thank you for doing it.

Faye said...

This is gorgeous, Val. I've used brown shoe polish before but not on paint chips. It gives stuff a leather look.

Mar said...

i would have to say that with in the 'description' of raw art...you have accomplished the execution well!

your field has grown a lot in the last year..yay

Dawn said...

Val, loving this. The use of the awl for writing with was inspirational because it so adds to this piece...
I love the fact that you use what is there and you just produce one great piece after another

Dawn

elizabeth said...

Wow, this is a fabulous piece of art! Beautiful, and yes, raw. Thank you so much for writing the description of how you created it. I'm going to have to get out the shoe polish!

Annie Littlewolf said...

I love your RAW ART piece. I see that it ties to your last piece. I think you have a series going. I would keep it up - keep going with what you are feeling. It seems to be working for you. And is very nice to look at.
Annie Littlewolf

Linda East said...

"RAW ART"? Sounds like a topic for an "Eastism"...I will have to think about that...but in the mean time I want to tell you that this piece of art is fantastic...I love all of the elements and the arrangement of the college is so awesome...I think you are addicted to the smell and texture of shoe polish...way to go girl...that FFF works great for a glossy finish. You are so talented Val...maybe you should give up your day job and and become a full time/self supporting artist??? Maybe???
Luv LE

Heather Robinson said...

The description of your artwork is so "dead on". It describes so beautifully your imaginative use of materials. I admire it very much and am always intrigued to read of your techniques. Bravo! You are so correct about our collaborative project. The results should be quite surprising!!

Mam said...

Hi, Val. Beautiful piece.
I've just presented recently a second daughter with her own personal collage (ala Val) beautifully double matted and framed. They have both been very delighted with these. I tried one for my 3rd daughter and could NOT for the life of me get it to come together. I was working on a circle (the entire pizza base) and maybe that's what threw me. I don't know.
Hope all is well with you.
Nancy

Dianne Adams said...

Nice piece...thanks for the description of raw are. I haven't heard of this before. Love the rich look.

trish said...

Val,
I love the composition in this collage. The way your eye follows the wide strip of paper.
I love the awl in the paint chip technique. It is a subtle way to write text without shouting.