Sunday, October 05, 2008

Rock, Metal, Rust?

I've been having a ball with a technique I saw somewhere on the web using gesso and aluminum foil and adding inks and paints on top of it. It's tough to get good photos of this kind of thing, because of all the glare, but I'll give it a try here.

First, you take a piece of mat board or illustration board and coat with gesso. Then lay strips of foil in the wet gesso, and push the gesso up around the edges of the foil to be sure it's well adhered. I also added bits of crumpled tissue paper and some pieces of the woven-type butcher paper Cheap Joe's wraps all their shipments in. While it's still wet, you sprinkle on sand, salt, and sugar.

Let these dry completely, which can take a day or so. Be careful where you put the one with sugar on it! I left it outside on my deck over night, and it was covered with ants in the morning!

Now the really fun part begins. Take those little re-inkers for stamp pads, calligraphy ink, or any other liquidy color you have around, and drop spots all over the sheet. Spray with a little water, then set vertical and let it run. Watch what happens in the areas of salt and sugar. Turn the sheet around to get the drips to go where you want them, especially across the foil. Let that layer dry a bit, then add some walnut ink spray, Adirondak Color Wash, or whatever you want to try. I think some Pearl Ex mixed with watercolor would be great. You can also drop on fluid acrylics with an eyedropper. Spray with water again and let it flow!

Here are a couple of in-progress shots:

After this part was dry, I also rubbed on some Rub 'n Buff in various colors, scratched in colored pencils and graphite, and worked in some oil pastel in some areas. Oh, and a fantastic addition is some drybrushing of Micaceous Iron Oxide acrylic paint!

I cut the sheets into 3x3, 3x6, and 6x6 tiles for use in a "squares" series I'm working on. Stay tuned for photos of finished pieces!

This is the kind of artistic process that really gets me out of my head and into the flow, just letting the materials lead me and I watch where they go.

Taming the Art Room!

Is there ANY art form out there more material-intensive than mixed media??? I can only think of one, perhaps: assemblage. Which is why I've avoided that one as much as possible, though I do have one box of 3D junk and a little shadow box into which I've been dropping intriguing little gems. I know, I know: It's a slippery slope!

Anyway, I can't believe it's been TWO months since I posted here. Illness and general life busy-ness have intervened, but I believe (hope) I'm back into the creative flow.

My goal these past weeks has been to tame the beast that has become my art room. To that end, we cleared a cabinet in the garage to house all the materials that I have set aside for teaching art classes, and got all that stuff put away. It made surprisingly little difference in the room, but it was a start.

Then, Mark helped me tame the most out-of-control corner of the room, where I had stacked all my large, flat items vertically and they were constantly falling all over the place and I ended up piling things on top of them. I wish I had taken a "before" photo, but here are the afters:

We built that vertical file unit with particle board, and I LOVE it! Not only does it keep all the big, flat stuff organized and accessible, but it also gives me three little stepped shelves to clutter up!

Then, my mom brought me this fantastic tiered lazy Susan thingy, so I corralled all my pens and odds and ends on the table behind my work table, and reorganized all my brushes and other tool-type stuff. Now I can actually see the surface of the table again!

I now feel like I can move around in there and find things easily, which is essential for me when I create. Whew.