Saturday, July 21, 2007

Art Making Has Resumed

At the library fundraiser book sale I went to a week ago I picked up a bunch of books on art and photography.

Throughout the week I have been reading these books, mostly as before-bed relaxation reading. My creative juices started flowing again.

Yesterday I was busy doing things and going to appointments and that prevented me from making art when I had the urge.

Last night after dropping my kids off at a Harry Potter sleep-over party I took some time to cut apart food boxes (breakfast cereal etc.) to reuse as bases for making art. As we finished the box I’d toss it on the dining room table. So I went through that stack and cut up the pieces.

Because I had larger sized panels of thin cardboard I was inspired to try a technique I read about in Kaleidoscope by Suzanne Siminaitis. (That book is great but I don’t have time to tell you a ton about it right now, sorry.) However I decided to go to bed.

My cats woke me up at 4:50am playing with something in my bedroom. I was unable to get back to sleep. So I got up and did the project.

I had chosen the project “mail art postcard book”. The exercise was supposed to be a surprise of sorts. There was a list of materials that we were to assemble. Then we were not to read ahead at the directions. We were to do what the directions said. This was to be a fast, intuitive thing. A timer was to be used to time each step, we had only a little time for each technique.

I will admit that when I bought the book I did read the directions. And they scared me so I didn’t do it back then.

However I had not peeked at them since then, and I had forgotten exactly what it said.

Assembling the materials took a lot of time since I had them scattered around the house. We also were to pre-assemble these things then we could not change our mind. So for example I selected a few colors of acrylic paint and that took me some time to figure out what colors I felt like working with.

I had five pieces of cardboard and I was to use both sides. To give you a gist of what I did, I had five minutes to write one word on each side. Another time I had five minutes to completely paint over three of the sides. Another time I had to collage five items onto each of three surfaces.

At one point we were told to completely paint over three boards which I had already done a lot of work on. That directive was killing me. I was tempted to not do it. But she said, “you have to do it”. So I did it. I actually watered down the paint so that the stuff underneath shows through.

At this point in time I have ten surfaces which are a combination of acrylic paint, Sharpie marker, paint-ink-pen, rubber stamp ink, rubber stamped images and collaged papers.

The next hard part is that we are supposed to cut down these larger boards to 5x7 inch size. After that we are to use the scraps to make new postcards.

In the end the recommendation is to pick seven 5x7 inch pieces to bind into a book, two for the cover and five interior pages. The rest of the left over postcards we are advised to use as mail art.

However I really love some of these collages as full sized pieces and I simply cannot bring myself to cut them up. They are not dry enough to do that anyway, at this point. I will let them dry further, then will scan them. On another day I’ll figure out if I really want to chop these up.

This was a challenging exercise to work so quickly and to keep moving from working with one media to another.

I can’t wait to do it again.

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