Oh my goodness, where does the time go? I'm really trying to post more consistently so my blog doesn't grow old and become stale. I'm so honored to have so many followers and people who visit my blog, and I feel like I'm dropping the ball this year because my posting has been so intermittent. On the other hand, when one is fighting the cancer battle, art becomes secondary or even further down on the priority list.
These pictures are not of new, recent art, and yes, they've all been posted on my blog before. But they are three of my favorite works using caulk....which is a product I love to use, write about, and show and tell how it can be used. I guess I just love promoting the use of caulk for great texture and dimension. Some artists out there already know about it and have used it in their art, but there are also many artists who don't know about it and haven't used it. Those are the ones I'm trying to reach and inspire to at least try using caulk.
I love the fact that it's so inexpensive (meaning cheap), so easily accessible, so easy to work with, and gives such great results. What could be better than that? It can be found at Family Dollar stores for a mere buckaroo ($1.00). It's a little more expensive at the home improvement stores, ranging in price. I buy the 5 ounce hard cylinders that need a caulk gun to extrude, but even caulk guns are cheap. Or, you can buy it in the tubes that don't need a caulk gun. I extrude it into a glass jar (the more shallow jars salsa comes in work great), and then put two layers of plastic wrap over the top, and then screw the lid on. That helps keep the moisture in. I've never had any caulk dry out on me, it can stay moist and usable for at least year, or even longer.
It can be colored with acrylic paint and liquid inks, and possibly even food coloring. Or painted any color after it dries. It can also be sanded after it dries. It can be stamped or impressed into when it's wet, or frosted over stencils for a great but subtle dimensional effect. It's a great adhesive and things can be embedded into it, or it can be used like glue to attach and adhere heavier items to a base or assemblage. It can be applied to rubber stamps or any item with a make-up sponge, to get some dimension. It can be diluted with water, or I suppose with any acrylic medium, to any consistency you desire. You can put it in a plastic squeeze bottle to get the effect of dimension, or dilute it even thinner and use it more like gesso. You can mix things with it when it's wet to get different textures, such as sand, cornmeal, tea grounds from used teabags, used coffee grounds, saw dust, small beads, torn paper, etc. The sky is the limit as to what can be mixed in with it. Oh yeah, and caulk can also be used on fabric and almost any surface. If any of you have any more suggestions on how to use it, please share that information in a comment so all of us can learn about it.
What I've shared here so far are general tips on all the different ways to use caulk. For more specific information on how I made certain art pieces using caulk, here is the link to all my caulk pieces. So just scroll down that page. And here's the link to my very first post on caulk, posted soon after I started my blog in February of 2008.
Regarding making some new art, I am actually working on an 11 X 14 canvas panel, a gift for my dear younger sister (and only sister) Jan, who requested an art work from me. She has helped me so much and been so supportive during my battle with cancer. And I love her and appreciate her so much. I've managed to get the canvas panel painted in different shades of blue, green, and purple, and duh....I'm not liking it much at all. Which is disconcerting to me. No, more than that, it's bugging the heck out of me. It doesn't happen very often that I dislike my art while in the process of creating it. Occasionally, yes, but not that often. Usually the more I do on a piece, the more I like it as it progresses. And I consider this to be a very special and important piece, as a token of my love and appreciation for my sister.
The problem is, I'm really in a quandary as to where to go from here. I suppose I could just gesso over it and start over again, even though I have many layers of paint on it, first with the credit card technic, then the sponge technic. It has lots of paint on it, but I don't like the way it looks. Even though it may sound crazy, I've never started over on a piece of art. It shouldn't be a big deal, but it feels like a big deal. I have so many ideas bouncing around in my head regarding what I want to do, I can't pick a direction to go in or focus on what to do next. The ideas are:
1. to use caulk and/or wallboard joint compound for a very textural abstract piece.
2. to do a layered collage, which I haven't done in a long time
3. to use fabric and lace on it, and maybe even some kind of transfer
4. to do a nature piece
All of these ideas are competing in my head, and I'm even trying to figure out how I can do all of them in one piece. That would be great if I could manage to do it. Or would it be? Maybe not. I just don't know. So right now I'm very stuck. I wonder if I should start over on it or just set it aside for a while, until I can focus on where I want to go with it. There's no time deadline or urgency to get it done, and yet I'm very impatient to get it done. Not only for her sake, so she can hang it in her home, but for my sake, to prove to myself that yes, I can still make art that I like or love. Because I am concerned about that since I've made only one piece of new art since January, when I found out about the cancer. At this point, I'm afraid I've lost a lot of the confidence I used to have, regarding making art. And that is not a fun place to be in. Oh well, this isn't earth shattering, I'm sure I'll work through it. But I'd like to be there already!!! I really need to gain my confidence back.
Oh, one more tip. When I go to thrift stores or yard sales, I always look for frames. Sometimes I find canvas panels of different sizes, either clean and unused, or already painted on. This panel I'm working on was already painted on, it was a painting of flowers. It was not a very good painting. So I just gessoed over it, and voila it was like a new large canvas panel that I paid a buck for. I've been able to accumulate six canvas panels so far. Sometimes I find wooden plaques that would make good, sturdy bases for a piece of art. So keep your eyes open for any kind of base that would work for an art piece.
And if any of you have any great tips for anything regarding making art, please leave that info in a comment. I think tips are always fun and interesting to read, and it's great when I haven't heard them before. Tips can really inspire me, and I could use some inspiration right now. So how about sharing your own tips? Please do!!! You'd be doing me a favor. I have the rest of the day to work on art. Here's to hoping I find my way out of this quandary today.
One more tip. If you like using lace in your art, look for lace tablecloths at thrift stores and yard sales. I bagged a large, mint condition white tablecloth at a thrift store on sale for $2.00 a few weeks ago. It's the thicker cotton lace, which I prefer. And cotton lace can be dyed. All lace can be painted. The easiest and fastest way to paint it is to use spray paint. Painting it with a brush can be slow and tedious. I figure this large tablecloth will last me a good, long time. I won't be running out of lace anytime soon, that's for sure.