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One More Reason to Make Art

August 25, 2009

We’ve had lots of great responses to yesterday’s post about ten reasons to make art! Be sure to read through the comments for insights into an artist’s motivation.

What I neglected to add was my Reason Number 11 — a commission. So I have this commission and it is to be on 16″ square panels, which I don’t have yet. They are being produced today, will be shipped tomorrow, and I will have them on Monday.

But between now and then, I need to get some textures prepared so that I can apply them to the surfaces as inspiration dictates. Textures take a very long time to dry, so I’m making some that I can incorporate into the paintings when I get the panels.

Do I know that this will work? No, I don’t. So many things that I do are experimental. But here’s what I’m doing:

I’ve covered two big tables with freezer paper, shiny side up, and taped it securely to the table tops. Then I’ve made random pours and smears of different paints and textures onto the freezer paper.

I want these to be paint skins that I can peel from the freezer paper and use in my compositions. If I want them to be a different color, I can spray paint them before peeling them up. The textural areas are Golden Coarse Pumice Gel and Golden Crackle Paste. The crackle paste had dried in the jar over the move, having been stored in a hot moving van for a week. But it was still soft enough to just get it out of the jar and still reasonably workable. Texture is texture as far as I’m concerned.

Also, where you see paint with a very coarse grained texture, that’s cat litter. Clean, of course! Hey, why not? It’s clay.

I’ll let you know if this whole thing is a good or a bad idea. It had better be good.

Paint Skins 1

Paint Skins 2

Note:  One of the tables is a temporary makeshift one that I made from a hinged set of bifold doors that I found in the studio closet when we moved in. The four legs are paint cans all the same size.

18 Comments leave one →
  1. candiedfabrics permalink
    August 25, 2009 1:12 pm

    Left over doors & paint cans – good old necessity!

  2. Annette permalink
    August 25, 2009 2:41 pm

    OOOH, I have some doors and OOPS paint cans.

    • August 25, 2009 3:50 pm

      Voila! Instant studio tables! I actually love that they are low to the ground. Good positioning for pours and drips.

  3. Sandra permalink
    August 25, 2009 6:08 pm

    Congrats re commission, all fingers crossed for the texture, sounds like you’re getting well organised. Camellias are pretty hardy, main requirements acid soil (no lime), and cool moist root run – best planted on shady side of property. Sasanquas (autumn flowering) will take more sun, might be good type to try if you are tempted. Japonica hybrids also hardy, America has an excellent hybridiser called Nuccio – any of theirs would be good. If they are your state flower you’d expect the conditions to be suitable for them.

    • August 26, 2009 4:40 am

      Sandra, the organizing is getting better every day. For now, instead of adding wall shelving, I am putting everything in clear plastic bins that will be stacked against the wall and labeled. Yesterday I managed to get a couple more boxes of unrelated household stuff out of my studio. The remaining boxes contain stuff that we have no place for. Ugh!!

      Thanks for the encouragement and inspiration about the flowers. Florida had its own difficult conditions for growing flowers. I think the options will be much more open here. I miss my mother. She would make it all so easy.

  4. Sherrill Pearson permalink
    August 25, 2009 6:43 pm

    Hi Martha,

    So excited to see you back making art with skins. This process interests me so much. I have been using them and I find they really give you a kick-start (sometimes).

    I so envy your studio space. 🙂

    • August 26, 2009 4:42 am

      Sherrill, I thought of the skins again when we arrived at our new place. When I opened the drawer of a cart that had a bunch of cans of oops paint, I found that a couple of the cans had tipped and created their own paint skins in the bottom of the drawer. I peeled those off, smiled, and saved them.

  5. August 26, 2009 2:05 am

    Jewels of spotaneous painting! Kind regards from Jackson Pollock and Joan Miro. – Hope you will you get them from the paper onto the canvas or board unbroken!

    • August 26, 2009 4:44 am

      Eva, we’ll see. I have been wondering if I can remove it undisturbed — especially the little strings of paint that I would love to preserve.


  1. Freezer Paper as a Surface for Paint Skins « An Artist’s Journal

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