Yes indeed, I consider this one small victory, because I actually got it together to make some NEW art. New art is the key here. I've been in such a depressing and extended art slump, I consider making any new art at this point a victory. And hopefully, (fingers crossed) my first small step out of the abyss, the extended art slump, dry time, dark time I've been in. Well, every artist is different and an individual, and deals with art slumps in different ways. Many artists have written on this subject on their blogs and in books, regarding how to get out of an art slump. And that is a very good thing indeed, and is very helpful to many artists in this situation. Sometimes what other's have written has helped me, other times....not so much. This time around, trying to muster up motivation and inspiration at the same time has been my biggest challenge. At times, I've had motivation, but no inspiration. At other times I've had inspiration but no motivation. And for me, I need the two together, and that just wasn't happening.
Do I know why? No, and that was part of my frustration. But I don't think the "why" is that important anyway. Right now, I don't care about the why. What I care about is that I sat down and created some new art last weekend, and that finally motivation and inspiration came together at the same time. And so this is the result, a background made for an art piece I'm still working on. Which I'm excited about, and hope to finish within the next few days. When I get it finished, I'll post it. But today, I'm posting this background, because I really like it, and it's kind of a new technic for me. One I've never done before in this way.
Many months ago, at my local book arts meeting, we played with a similar technic. We tore strips of National Geographic pages, and strips of wide masking tape, and alternated those on a base for a background. They turned out very cool and I liked that technic, although I don't know where it originated from. This time around, I decided to just use torn strips of NG pages, to see how that would come out.
I used gel medium to glue them down on an 8x10 piece of thick chip board. After they dried I sanded the piece and etched into it with a very sharp awl to distress it. Then I rubbed brown paste shoe polish over it to kind of antique it and give it more depth. Then I used my finger to rub Golden's Quinacridone Nickel Azo Gold fluid acrylic paint over parts of it. I totally love that color, and it's the first time I've used it in my art. Some members of my art group suggested I buy some, and I'm glad they did. Then I brushed over the whole piece with a thick layer of gel medium to get more, yet subtle, texture. And rubbed over that with brown paste shoe polish and also some gold waxy stuff to give it gold highlights. Then I sealed it with Future Floor Finish (FFF) which gives a glossy finish. While it was still wet, I flicked Pearl Ex Pigment Powders on it, in Aztec Gold and Spring Green. I do love those Pearl Ex powders. After the FFF dried, I sprayed the piece with hairspray to seal the Pearl Ex, and then sealed it again with FFF.
So that's how this background was made. Not difficult at all. NG pages are great for this, although pages from other magazines might work as well. I think this is a great, easy technic for the first layer of a layered collage. It gets you past a blank base and into the mindset of layering. Beyond that it makes a great background for any kind of art, collage or whatever. It can be distressed or rubbed with different paint colors, or glaze colors, or shoe polish, or metallic waxy colors....or whatever comes to mind. I think it's an easy technic that opens the door to all kinds of inspiration and experimentation. And gee, if you should screw it up or not like it, it can be glued over or painted over or tossed, no great loss.
In closing here, I'm just so grateful and relieved to have made some new art, and to have a plan for how I want to finish it. True, this is a small step, but at least a step in the right direction. And that's more than I was doing before, for too long. So for me, it's a positive step back into the world of being an artist, and a step out of the abyss. And one small victory for sure.