Saturday, May 24, 2008

. . . ironed paper towels

For sanity's sake, I quit ironing quite a while ago. So it pains me to admit that I spent quite a bit of time yesterday ironing paper towels. These are the ones I have used and saved while painting.

In a previous post, I showed some paper towels that I had somewhat flattened out and then varnished. While I was waiting for a canvas to dry yesterday, I thought that I would really flatten these things before I varnished them. So I sorted through my pile of refuse, picked out the ones that were truly used to the max, set aside those that could be used again to clean up or dab at paint on a canvas, and ironed -- can't you just hear it? "What did you do today, Mom?"
"Ironed all the paper towels." Time for the funny farm.

So then I scanned all the good ones into the computer, and played around with adjustments to color and saturation, as well as the collage thingie on Picasa. Here are some of the results. It was fun -- I end up with a bunch of good stuff on the computer, as well as the actual paper towels, with which to create more art.

At Half-Price Books, I bought a digital scrapbook instruction book only because it contained a CD with Photoshop Elements on it. Try as I might, I cannot get my computer to recognize that program. It tells me I'm missing some essential file and then shuts down. I think in Photoshop I could maybe make some of the layers of the paper towels more transparent and that could result in even more cool art. I would also like to avoid some of the obvious paper towel texture in these collages somehow. I guess buying the cheapest paper towels would be one way to do that. Also, if I can remember, in the future I will only use one ply of the paper towels, instead of two. It has to be easier to pull apart before the paint has dried.

I'm off today to visit my mom. No, I'm not going to my class reunion -- that's tonight. But I haven't been home since Christmas which is wrong, because it's only about 75 minutes away. Also my brother knows some really grungey places that he can take me in town so I can get some good photos. My daughter and her kids are going, too, so my mom will enjoy the great-grandbabies.


13moons said...

These are very cool.

I have been reading your blog and looking at your pictures for a few weeks now.

Instead of Photoshop you can use GIMP which is an absolutely free image manipulation program...just google it. I know they have lots of functions with layers and various amounts of transparency. Just takes a while for a non-computer person (me!)to learn it all.


Mary Buek said...

Anita: Thanks for the "GIMP" tip. I'm going to check it out. I'm pretty much a non-computer person, too, I always figure out just enough to get what I need, but that crazy photoshop program got the best of me. Thanks for visiting my blog, and please visit often.

Martha Marshall said...

Yeah! Gimp is great. I don't have it, but I've heard lots of good comments about it.

I do like your paper towel experiments very much, especially since that way they get a second life. I personally wouldn't worry about the paper towel texture. For me that's just a plus!

Mary Buek said...

Martha, thanks. I have downloaded gimp, now I get to figure it out. Thanks, both of you, for that tip.