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Back in the Studio

January 31, 2011

The past week or so has been busy, mostly with a lot of online marketing and blogging and networking and scanning and listing new art in my Etsy shops, and computer cleanup — everything but getting out into the studio. I don’t know whether I was just procrastinating about straightening up out there, or whether I was legitimately busy.

But today it just called to me in the right way, so I turned all the lights on and cleaned up a little. I sorted a bunch of collage papers into a more logical order, and as I was looking at my old freezer-paper table cover, I suddenly decided to cut it up into collage papers . . .

Collage Papers from Old Table Cover

. . . and then tape down a brand new pristine cover. I had to piece the paper, because I’m running out. But it will still work great.

The wonderful thing about making a table cover out of freezer paper (shiny side up) is that you can drip, glop, and smear it with paint all you want, and then you can scrape or peel it off if it builds up too much. Or you can just leave the smears in place for at least a year, and you’ll have some pretty interesting paint skins, material for collage papers or, at the very least, inspiration for new art.

If you do decide to cover your table with freezer paper, tape it snugly all around any edges so it won’t tear when you’re working on it. Mine lasted for well over a year and would have lasted longer than that. I just decided I liked it for art and so I cut it up and started over.

These are the six panels I’ve started. Interesting that I’m not yet ready for them to be anything other than white and gray and brown. Influenced the the winter weather much?

After I get a nice first paint application on these today, I’ll make some space to work on some collage. I have some new papers and that always inspires me to get to work on something new.

16 Comments leave one →
  1. January 31, 2011 4:56 pm

    Lovely to drop in Martha and find you in the studio! All the best with the new pieces. Terrill

  2. January 31, 2011 5:10 pm

    HI Martha,
    Thank you for the freezer paper idea! I think I’ll try it.

    • February 1, 2011 6:55 am

      Jane, I’ve enjoyed it very much. The most fun part is that when I want to roll out some paint with the brayer, I just do it right on the freezer paper. Or even if I want to mix a quick color to put somewhere I do the same thing.

  3. sue permalink
    February 1, 2011 12:55 am

    which panels do you order and do you coat them with gesso first? It looked like they were masonite in the photo you had of them in the box. I would imagine you keep working on them until they shout “done” LOL or is it a whisper sometimes?

  4. February 1, 2011 6:58 am

    Good observation, Sue. These panels are bare masonite on the outside and gessoed on the inside surface, and are sold as shadow boxes by Ampersand — and are cheaper than gesso board! I’m going to glop them up anyway, so no need for a pretty surface to begin with.

    Although my very favorite of all is Claybord, the clay coated ones from Ampersand. Even when I know I’m going to build up the surface, I still love the feel of them and the way they interact with paint.

    Yeah, I love the shouts! But sometimes it’s a whisper too. You have to be listening really carefully or you might miss those. 😉

  5. February 1, 2011 7:51 am

    I used to cover my working table with paper, though not freezing paper. Should get back to this habit. —
    The choice of color, I found, is something deeply personal and has to do with phases you’re going through, a very simple idea; but if you don’t mind an astrological point of view, I found that the colors are related to planet transitions. Jupiter makes me prefer pink, Saturn seems to favour the palette you’re talking about.
    I should try to find out more.

    • February 1, 2011 8:46 am

      Eva, I even thought about using brown Kraft paper instead. It would still serve the purpose. The only difference would be that I couldn’t as readily peel off excess paint.

      Interesting about the astrology angle. I’d love to find out more too. I used to read up on it a lot when I was younger. The more I learned the truer it seemed.

  6. February 1, 2011 10:07 am

    Martha — great use of freezer paper! I used to use it when I dyed silks and afterward the dyes would leave amazing designs on the paper — I should have saved them and cut them up, too! Great idea!

    • February 1, 2011 4:57 pm

      Kelly, I can just see those beautiful colors from the dye. The freezer paper doesn’t adhere to paint well — or dye either I wouldn’t imagine — but you could spray fix it or apply a glaze to it to keep it on there.

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