Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Caulk for texture blowout-- a circle abstract piece

Well, once again it's been too long since I posted some new art.  My blog seems to be getting away from me, which definitely bothers me.  Lately, my blog hits have dwindled significantly, which hurts a lot.  Then again, I have to keep reminding myself that my blog, although it's very important to me, is only one part of my life.  A big part yes....but only one part.    The same thing with making art.

I've been in a mini-slump lately, meaning I've worked on some art but not to the extent I wanted.  I've been in much worse slumps, so in comparison, this one hasn't been that bad or frustrating, or even guilt producing.  So....that being said, here is my latest work of art, started and completed yesterday.

Well, as I've written before, I do love using caulk as an art medium, especially for texture.  And since most of the time, I tend to put a lot of emphasis on texture, caulk is right up my alley.  I love it, because it works, it's easily accessible and available, and it's cheap and economical.  It can be bought an any home improvement store for just a few dollars.  It has also been available at Family Dollar stores for a buck for the kind of tube that needs a caulk gun.  That's where I've been buying it as long as they sell it there.  I hope they keep selling it there, but I've stocked up on it, just in case.

Referring to this art piece, I used a thick piece of chipboard for the base.  Well, a few months ago, I bought 75 pieces of this chipboard on ebay, and am so glad I did.  The price was great, the shipping was not so great, but the overall price was reasonable.  It works for me on this kind of piece, which is 8 1/2 x 11 inches.  I used a non-serrated vintage butter knife to spread the white acrylic caulk.  I tried to spread it fairly thin.  Then I used the knife to texturize it in a somewhat random way.  Then I used foam circle stamps, a larger one and a smaller one, to impress on the caulk and swirl it around and pull it up.  And also a drinking straw to make smaller circles, and  then a sharp awl to draw lines in it.  Once I was done with it, I was satisified.  So then I let it dry.

Then I painted it with coffee acrylic paint, and then rubbed over it with brown shoe polish.  I've done this many times before in my art, but not so much lately, since I've been more into using bold color.  After that, I used gold and coffee metallic paint diluted with water to roll down the piece in a random way, based on the texture.  And then painted it with Future Floor Finish (FFF) for a gloss effect, and used splattered copper and gold Pearl-Ex over that.  I wanted a random paint effect, which I think I achieved.

So anyway, this is the abstract texture piece I ended up with.  I like it a lot.  And it just reminds me how much I like using caulk, the poor man's molding paste.  I think, even if I could afford to spend money on the most artistic/expensive supplies and tools, I'd much prefer to use other things, cheaper things, for basically the same effect and result.   I'm a lot more about that approach, at least whenever I can be.  I love using things not purposed for art in my art.  I love pushing the envelope that way, and also saving money.  

But then again, I think there needs to be a balance regarding that.  Because some art supplies can't be easily substituted by something else.  However, as for me, I'm always game to try!!!

Friday, June 5, 2009

My first "killed catalog"

Oh my, it seems like it's been too long since I posted new art. Or even made new art. Well, as I've said before, at times, life and reality intervene, and so art gets relegated to the back burner for a while. That has been the case for me lately.

However, I'm happy to post this new work, which I made a few weeks ago. I started reading Maggie Grey's blog about killed catalogs, and it seemed very intriguing to me. So I thought I'd give it a try with a catalog I got in the mail. I mean using anything free as a base for art always attracts me, which is one reason why I've used frozen pizza cardboard (FPC) for years as a base for most of my art. However, before I started reading Maggie's blog, I'd never heard of "killed catalogs", and the whole concept was totally new to me.

Maggie's concept was to bury a catalog outdoors and let it disintegrate for a period of time. As for me, I wanted more instant results, so I changed things up a bit and took my own approach. First I soaked the catalog overnight in water, then put it on my picnic table on the patio the next day to dry out. It did dry out to some extent, but then an art buddy, Linda East, suggested I finish the drying process in my clothes dryer. I thought - what a great idea - so I tried that. First I put it in a mesh dryer bag, but it escaped the bag, and got somewhat mangled in the dryer. Luckily, it didn't leave a big mess in the dryer.

Then Linda suggested painting it with flour paste, and baking it in the oven. That sounded good to me, since I wanted to adhere it all together, and coat it with something, and hey, flour paste is cheap, right? So that worked out well. Then I painted it with a coat of white gesso. Then misted it with Memories Mists Strawberry Daiquri, and Mod Podged down some netted fabric , and then some yellow lace on top of that.

Then I frosted some caulk over parts of it and texturized that and let it dry. Then I rubbed paint over the caulk with my finger using burgundy and orange, then misted Memories Mists Mango Lemonade (a cool yellow color) over that.
I glued down some threads, burgundy twine and leaves, and frayed fabric strips. And then the orange circles, punched out of paint chip, and the yellow square paper clips, and the yellow plastic "9" in the bottom left corner. The "9" is rather hard to see on the scan. I did a scan on this, and the art piece was bigger than my scan surface, so I didn't get it all on there. I had to sacrifice the far right side, where I had glued down three orange circles and two square paper clips. So one circle and the two paper clips don't show.

I'm happy with how this turned out, although it doesn't look much like a killed catalog, a la Maggie Grey. Meaning it doesn't have much dimension, and ended up rather flat. But hey, this was my first try at this, and I mostly improvised on the spot. And gee, isn't that what making art is all about anyway? We can all start out with a plan, and then kind of get sidetracked into a direction our muse takes us, and end up with something much different than what we planned. So I guess I have to say that's kind of what happened here, but even so, I really like the end result.

I'd like to thank Maggie Grey for coming up with the idea of killed catalogs and posting about it on her blog. And for opening the door to something new and different, a new idea, a new technic. And I'd also like to thank my art buddy, Linda East, who came up with some great suggestions. Take a look at what she's done with her killed catalogs on her blog. I think they are totally great!

In closing, I'm so pleased to post some new art. I have another art project I'm working on, which is my first fabric book ever. It's a project in my local art group, and one that has taken me far too long to make progress on. It has been very slow going, one small step at a time. I think partly because I've never done a fabric book before, so I feel more than a bit intimidated and lost. I don't know how long it will take me to finish, there is no specific deadline, but I am determined to finish it. All in due time, whatever that means.