Saturday, October 4, 2008

. . . found new texture

at Home Depot, a really good art supply store. I went there to pick up another gallon of the Venetian plaster. But I spotted this stuff . . . $12 for 67 pounds of it. The Venetian plaster is $30+ per gallon. And it's basically the same stuff, except the Venetian plaster has marble dust in it. You can shine up the VP by rubbing it really well. I don't use it for the shine, so I purchased this instead. It spreads the same, dries a bit quicker, and is a bit less bright white, but I like it.

Cruising the HD aisles looking for something cheap and cool, I found this plastic grid. After I put the plaster on my latest canvas, I pressed this grid into it for one texture. Then I overlaid the grid on a sheet of the Citra-Solv paper I made the other day. The leftover plaster imprinted this pattern on the paper.

This is another texture-making object I found. It's metal and I did the same thing with it. Both of these grids cost about $1-$2 dollars and I can use them over and over again. Another grid pattern I picked up at Michael's is the plastic squares on which one is to do needlepoint. Those grids come in various sizes and I picked up three. They are also inexpensive and can be used again and again. All of these things can be used as stencils, painted and pressed onto your substrate, or pressed into the canvas without being painted.

This texture was created using "Great Stuff" below . . .

which is a spray foam that expands while it dries for use in insulating your house or filling holes. It's kind of like styrofoam when it is dry. In the portion of a painting shown above, I sprayed it on the canvas, then took a rubber spatula and spread it out. It comes out of the can in a thin line that almost immediately begins to expand and bubble. It is very very sticky, so avoid getting it on your hands. It is also flammable while it is being applied, so be careful. And you don't want it to be too thick on your substrate because it might pop off when it's dry. I found that any place where the foam came off was difficult to paint over, but the foam itself took paint very well. But truthfully, not much of it came off. I plan to experiment further with this stuff. If you click and enlarge the picture of the painting, you will also see the texture created by using the joint compound and another texture created by pressing the screen material pulled off the back of the brown plastic grid.

I don't have any idea what the longevity of the joint compound and the foam might be, or how archival they are. I'm not too worried about it, though. The foam could be a potential problem because it is definitely three-dimensional on the canvas and the canvas will have to be handled carefully so as not to knock any of the foam elements off the surface. I don't believe that either the plaster or the foam will just fall off the piece of art anytime soon, though. And at the price I sell my art, it would be asking a lot to make sure it survives five hundred or more years.


Catherine said...

I love hardware stores as art supply houses...the guys at my local small town store crack up as I wander through the aisles saying, "oooh, look!". That grid you found is great for printing too...and check out the hard plastic furniture coasters - nice geometry or the dot pattern. Lastly, I bet you'd like 'dragon skin' steel sandpaper...makes subtle but interesting marks.

man, I'm suddenly chatty - nothing like consistent internet service...

Mary Buek said...

Catherine, I am going to look for that dragon skin steel sandpaper and the furniture coasters. I know what you mean about the hardware store clerks. . . they think I'm nuts. And speaking of nuts. . . those could be very interesting, too.