Thursday, June 23, 2011

My Snack Food Box Canvas

This is a project that I found on YouTube.  It's a "cereal box canvas" submitted by Tim Coffey.  I've attached the original video below.  To get the complete process you'll need to view all three episodes of this tutorial. 

The canvas that I created above was not a cereal box, but a snack food box.  What you are seeing is the left side, front and right sides.  I chose it for it's slender size.  I loved this project for it's inventive use of something that would ordinarily find it's way into a land fill. 

The process is really very simple.  Begin by stringing wire through the back for hanging.  Having secured your wire seal the ends with masking tape.  Once the box is sealed cover it entirely with a layer of black acrylic paint.  Allow the paint to dry thoroughly.  Once it's dry cover the box again with gesso.  I used white acrylic paint in place of the gesso.  Again you will need to allow the box to dry thoroughly. 

In his video tutorial Tim used stencils that he created and applied them to the box.  Since this was a experiment for me I chose to draw freehand the images that I used.  With a number 2B drawing pencil I simply sketched very lightly the images.  With the images in place on the front and sides of the box I used a hot glue gun to trace over the drawn lines.  Once the glue was dry I began applying layers of paint. There was really no plan in place.  Remember that this was an experiment.  I let myself play and have fun with the paints.  The final touch was to apply copper colored acrylic with a dry brush. 

I had a great time trying out this technique and look forward to trying it again.  The hot glue was a bit challenging in terms of flow, but I am sure that with enough practice some truly beautiful and unique paintings can be created.  Check out Tim's video tutorial's and get inspired.  I was!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Transitions in life and in art

It's been an interesting summer thus far.  Back in April we moved out of our apartment, put almost all of our possessions in storage and went to live in the country with friends.  My daughter, our dog Birdie and I have a lovely three room apartment that is attached to the home of our good friends.  Being here has been a joy and a pleasure.  Our friends Tony and Regina are kind and fun loving people. 

Being here has given a boost to my creative energy.  I've painted more in the last two months then I have in a year.  Bear in mind though that I have been creative in other ways.  Knitting, crocheting, and jewelry making are wonderful ways to create.  But, painting is my first love.  I do after all have a Fine Arts Degree with a concentration in painting.

Giving up my apartment and putting my life into storage was not easy.  There is a feeling of being in limbo that is a bit disconcerting.  On the other hand, I've had wonderful opportunities for peace, quiet and reflection.  Every evening after dinner, weather permitting, the family and I take a long walk.  The opportunity to be in nature, breathe in the fresh air and listen for the bird and frog sounds is amazingly relaxing.  I feel the importance of this time.  It's a chance for my soul to heal so that it can go back out into the world stronger, more focused and poised to create on a deeper level. 

It has also been great for my daughter to be part of a loving and generous family.  Those family walks in the evening are great for her as well.  She gets to run, ride her bike, and entertain us with her antics.  Having the undivided attention of three loving adults must be so affirming for her.  When we are all laughing at her performances it gives her the impetus to continue.  She is in a sense honing her craft.  After all, her art is performance.  And all forms of creative energy and expression are valid.