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.

19 comments:

Zeborah Loray said...

Love it!!!

I will have to mull these ideas over for a while. Sounds like a fun project.

Lizbethem said...

What fun, Val! I loved reading about your various experiments! I think it turned out great!

peggy gatto said...

I sure hope you post this fab piece in the artparty folder at collagecats!!!!!!!!!!

Norma Soulet (AZArtist) said...

Val,
Thanks for letting us know about this new concept of the Killed Catalogs. Your piece turned out great.
I love it and will be trying one out soon. I love recycling things. :)

Pallas said...

This turned out so pretty - thanks for sharing it. I'll be looking at the links you shared as well.

Linda East said...

Oh Wow...Val...this turned out great..I think it is so awesome how different each of these "Killed Catalogs" turned out...they seem to have led us in different directions. Each of mine is so different and so is yours...I can't wait for us to start our collab with this media. I am soaking some more in the bath tub as we speak...lol

Marilyn said...

The end result is stunningly beautiful. A lot of work but it came out great. Love the colors and textures.

marciglenn said...

Oh My Gosh - what a wonderful piece of art and a fabulous way to use up what was considered junk mail! I love all of the different items you tried and am looking forward to trying this on some of my unwanted catalogs!

Cami said...

Love your description of the process. I LOVE how you calmly sound as you take the suggestions of your fun friend Linda! ( Can't wait to check out her link next)
I also can relate to the getting some art finished a posted. I joined and bought Maggie Grey's group but can't seem to find the time to work on any of those projects. You and Linda have inspired me to use my dryer for more than clothes.

Thanks
Cami
www.bluetangoartfactory.com

Laura Kay said...

You grabbed this idea and gave it your own twist! Very clever! The results turned out wonderful. Keep on Recycling!

di from di-did-it said...

This is beautiful, Val. I'd never heard of killed catalogs before your post. Thanks, as always, for sharing your gift with us, along with instructions in case we want to try something!

Michi, Orange County, CA said...

Hi Val!
I LOVE your KILLED CATALOG! It looks like handmade paper to me! The texture and colors are really attractive! I LOVE it!!!

Linda said...

Val, your piece is fabulous! I wasn't interested in burying a catalog, but soaking and smushing and drying, now that I could do. Thanks for sharing, beautiful work.
Linda T

Anonymous said...

Thats a great catalogue and the idears behind it. I started one left in the rain in UK,plenty of that but it smelled and I couldnt bring myself to handle it might try your way. Jean

Julie said...

Val, I think you've done a wonderful job! I belong to the KC group too but so far havn't actually worked on a killed catalogue but your work has inspired me to get on with it! :o) I like the idea of soaking and smushing too as leaving my catalogue outside resulted in a smelly mess!

Christy Grant said...

What a cool idea. You made the best of it, too. You're always an inspiration, Val.

Faye said...

Val, you are indeed one intrepid artist, venturing where few dare to go!!! This has got to be one of the most bizarre, way-out techniques I've ever encountered. What a wonderful piece of art resulted from your efforts. It's gorgeous!

darlene aKa HugGeR said...

Your right it look nothing like a catalog but I LOVE it!!!! The colors look good enough to eat. Thanks for the link and explaining your process. Wonderful piece of art Val!

Pearl Maple said...

Cool idea, thanks for sharing the inspiration. Know all to well what you mean about having to wait for things but it sure has turned out well.