Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Exploring Backgrounds

Yesterday I spend some time creating different canvas backgrounds using lots of products + techniques. I wanted to mix things up a bit + dedicate some real time to developing backgrounds that I am truly happy + proud of and that I would feel were almost good enough to be considered finished pieces of art, without having to add any focal points, so to speak. And, I want to get defensive with myself + say "hey, I do this every time I create art" but truth be told it sometimes feels like the process gets a bit stale for me. Anyway, it's never a bad things to try out some new things and we are learning everyday, we are never finished learning, ever. 

So, lucky for me, I decided to pop in to a charity shop while I was busy in town yesterday + that was a pretty smart move I must say cause I picked up some gems that I was able to include in my backgrounds.

Among which is an old bird watchers logbook from the 80's, dress patterns! (which I have been looking around for for freakin' ages!) + old music paper.

Dress patterns make an amazing way to cover a canvas because it is almost the same thing (if not the same thing entirely) as tissue paper + anyone who uses tissue paper in their art will know that it gives instant texture. Just look at all those wrinkles! And the best thing about them is that they have all these funky + interesting markings and wording on them which looks really cool on a canvas. And, and, AND they are usually a brownish colour, which looks vintage + old. Who doesn't love that? So, I am hearting dress patterns at the mo.

I used the usually suspects while creating these backgrounds such as acrylic paint, alcohol inks, rubber stamps etc but I basically gave more attention + time to the act of creating. In effect I fell back in love with this art process + art materials that I use day in day out. I also used Dear Lizzy American Crafts Die Cut Cards as stencils + I used them with modelling paste.

I treated pages from the logbook + music sheets the same way as I treat any paper that I am using for backgrounds which is to adhere them to the canvas making sure to glue below + above the paper to seal it. I use a homemade version of Mod Podge which is basically just white PVA glue mixed with water in different proportions depending on the strength of glue I need.

Getting my hands dirty through creative play, I felt at peace within while these backgrounds transformed + developed before my eyes. It was a definite learning curve that I have stored away now + will be able to pull out to use in the future. I am grateful that these bursts of pure inspiration come to me, especially in times when I have felt hopeless + a little lost. I knew this week would bring me something amazing!

Have you learned to re-love some creative processes of your own? What happens when you spend quality time with your art in a way that you hadn't considered before - just make the art, worry about it's meaning later....? I think some times we can get too wrapped up in creating a masterpiece or that our art has to have a message or meaning or a purpose. But just by creating it, well, that is it's purpose. I believe this is true anyway. Let me know what you think, leave a comment or send me an email

I will keep you updated on what happens next, if anything, with these backgrounds. I may develop them further or I may leave them just as they are. You will have to say tuned to find out ;)

Whatever you are doing, where ever you are, I hope you are having a beautiful + creative day


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