Saturday, November 28, 2009

Out of the Abyss --One Small Victory


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.


18 comments:

Vicki Holdwick said...

Val,

This is a wonderful beginning. I'm looking forward to the next step.

xoxo

Dianne Adams said...

Val...hooray for you! I always enjoy reading how others create a piece. I'm glad you're out of your slump; I think we all go there from time to time. Your background is great and I look forward to seeing what your plan for it is.

Corinne said...

I love this, Val1 it looks like layered fabric! beautiful texture. :))

Linda said...

Glad you are out of your slump. I hate when I'm in an art slump - thanks for sharing about yours! We are a small community aren't we!

Margaret Weiss said...

Val, your new piece of work is amazing, well done. Such a nice piece of work to get you back into creating again after your slump. I look forward to seeing what you do with it! xmargaret weiss.

Mary Lynn said...

This background looks awesome! It is so rich and deep. I think you could go any direction with this and have a wonderful piece.
I know what you are talking about when you mentioned the art slumps. I get these too. I think part of it this time has been the change in the seasons. I have to make sure that I always get sunshine so that I don't have the seasonal depression, and it has been so rainy and gray here for awhile, but just like you, I am feeling a little more inspired and want to strike while the iron is hot!

denise said...

Great background. I hate it when I get into a slump, but I think it happens to all of us at one time or another. If I can just get myself to go "fiddle" around, sometimes ideas will take off from there. Thanks for sharing this...I will have to try it. Keep up the great work!

Cinimom said...

Your background is beautiful. It has given me some inspiration. Thank you. I too have been in a slump and you encouraged me! I can't wait to see what you do with this project. Please keep posting. Your blog is one I follow. Love the shoe polish and floor finish techniques.

Anonymous said...

I do SO empathize with your recent slump as I currently fight the same situation...Today I read a poem that helped to inspire me; I'll share a couple of lines:

"Only engage, and then the mind grows heated;
Begin it, and the work will be completed."
(Johann Wolfgang von Goethe)

Tricia said...

Val, Congratulations! I think it is more than a small start. Your background piece is awesome. I really enjoy your blog and your instructions. Take care and keep it up. Your work is beautiful.

Tricia

Gail P said...

Another stellar piece. Are you sure that it's a background? The colors and textures are so rich that his piece could stand on its own. Do scan it so that you can use it again. Once might not be enough. Stay strong, as Roger keeps telling me.

peggy gatto said...

So rich in color and texture!
I want to touch it!!!

Alice C. W. Dennis said...

Val I agree with Gail, "Are you sure this is a background?" Very nice .
alice

Lizbethem said...

What a wonderfully textured and interesting background, Val! You must be very pleased with it.

Gaby Bee said...

This background looks awesome... so textural that my hands want to touch every detail! Simply perfect!

Zora said...

Love your stuff! Nominated you for a Kreativ Blogger award on my blog. http://www.wheniamlaughing.blogspot.com

Musing said...

Congratulations Val. It took me nearly 3 months to get out of my slump. It was the colours of accessories in a funky boutique store that inspired me. Thank God for that,as I had no idea what I was going to do for a special swap

susanwrites said...

These are simply beautiful! I am playing with torn paper myself but I'm such a newbie that I keep screwing up the pages. I'm bookmarking yours for inspiration. I have a stack of NG magazines but I'm gonna wait until I get a bit of a handle on these things before I tear into my stash.

Thanks for sharing.