Saturday, March 21, 2009

. . .searched fpr texture

and texture-making tools yesterday. While I waited to have a prescription refilled, I wandered over to a scrapbook store just to check out the goods and see if I could find anything that would be good to use in making marks on canvas. I know, I know, I practically have a scrapbook store in my basement; I sure didn't need to buy anything else. But I had already checked out everything in the drugstore and I was bored and didn't intend to buy anything anyway. And, quite frankly, I'm a little sick of the circles and dots that appear in all my art. I need something else. . . All I found was a tiny little bottle of white ink on sale 40% off. I will use that in this cool little writing instrument that I recently discovered. There's a little cup at the end of the instrument that you fill with a few drops of ink or watered-down acrylic paint, and you can write with it or make all kinds of scratches and marks. Most everything in the scrapbook store was pretty or sweet, and I can't do pretty or sweet. I couldn't really find anything funky enough. The store had a huge area for teaching, with tables and equipment all set up. I thought about asking them if they would be interested in having me a teach a class on how to make your own collage paper. But then I remembered that the store sells mostly paper, so why would they want to have their customers make their own paper? So I didn't ask.

Recently I have had the thought of adding some rusty elements to my small experimental paintings, with a view toward integrating that into my larger art someday if my experiments work out. I was looking for my stash of rusty washers when I came across an old set of tiny carving tools, like for making your own rubber stamps. The kit included numerous different sizes of those little curvy knives, and a old dressmaker tool. I remember using it when I was learning to sew, about 150 years ago. After you pinned the pattern to the fabric, you inserted a piece of carbon-like paper between the pattern and the fabric, and then used this little serrated wheel to run over the pattern markings, leaving the markings imprinted on the fabric. Too cool. . . I will be using that little wheel for my canvases.

Above is another little painting that has to be done, because it is groaning under the weight of the crunchiness now. I think it looks sort of forest-y.


Wildeve said...

I have one of those dressmaker's tools, good use for it! I was just cleaning out my shed last weekend, and it was full of old rusty things too big to use on canvas- like a fan from an old Ford- cool looking, my daughter wants to use it for something. I just want my ex's energy gone from this place- or I would have kept it.
I really enjoy reading about your process of creating art. I am just learning how to build pleasing textures into my collages and you are very inspiring!
Thank you.

Miki Willa said...

The colors in this one are so soothing and earthy. It reminds me of the rain forest on the coast in Washington. Very wonderful.

pascale said...

Have you already thought of using bitumen to add texture to your paintings? It makes very interesting effects when sprayed with water or terpentine (don't know the right word in English) Gary Reef is also teaching very interesting techniques on YouTube. Have a nice and creative weekend.

Seth said...

Oh so nice! That texture is amazing. And that writing instrument you got sounds incredible.

Virginia Wieringa said...

I love your work! I'm also a sucker for a good texture tool. Nothing is safe from experimentation! and you're right, the scrapbook stores have too much cute stuff. Great if that's what you want. Some of my favorite things came from the hardware store.

Jazz said...

That looks way cool and way textured... You do texture right.

Sojourner Design said...

Hi Mary,

I enjoy your blog immensely.

I think that you should reconsider your decision about approaching the scrapbook store about teaching a paper making class. If the owner turns you away because of that rationale, you probably didn't want to waste time there to begin with.

But if the owner has her act together, she'll realize that this is how people and businesses grow and if she tries to keep it all pretty and sweet she is missing those who want to make instead of buy. She could sell the materials that you would use to make the paper.

I live very close to WEBS, a very, very well-known and successful yarn retailer. Despite the fact that spinning is making your own yarn, WEBS supports the spinning community, offers spinning classes, and even opens its doors to a local spinning group at no charge. And in May when they have their blow-out sale, they allow local shepherds like me to set up a booth outside the store and benefit from the huge crowd of knitters who come to the sale. They understand we're all in this together.



Mary Buek said...

Eve, I'm glad you are inspired. Interesting about ex's energy. Lighten the load, friend.

Miki: Thanks, girl. Never been there, but one of these days. . .

Pascale: I've seen the guy on Youtube use the bitumen. I have never seen that stuff here. Maybe it has a different name here in the US? It reminds me of grade school when we had to learn the imports and exports of countries and learned that bitumen was a kind of soft coal.

Sojourner: I love that you are a shepherd. It sounds like a peaceful occupation. A few years ago I took a women's study class. The instructor had a woman come to class to show us how to make yarn by spinning sheep's wool. It was supposed to demonstrates that spinning was not innately women's work, as historically perceived. If I recall, the process involved an apple and a stick and tufts of wool. I could not do it. But I sure did gain new respect for those who can.