Once a month for the past 5 or so years, I have met with 5 other artists in order to critique our work. If you're not in the habit of getting your work critiqued regularly, I recommend it-it's amazing how others can see the 'problems' that need resolving, compositional awkwardness, not enough tonal variety, etc. so readily that you cannot see. It's a non-judgmental and constructive approach. We've all learned and grown so much as a result.
At one of our gatherings, I was doing a 'show and tell' of an Artist Trading Card (aka ATC) swap that I do annually and this sparked a desire for all of us to create a work of art that we can give to each other. The format/size of the Trading Card easily lent itself to this. The concept is to make 6 ATCs and when completed, we will do an exchange, thus giving each of us 6 cards (as we also make one for ourselves) that can be curated as one art piece by attaching it to a 12" x 12" cradleboard.
I decided to document my progress on the set I was doing-which is an ode to the degradation of surfaces/deterioration. Rust and surfaces that have the patina and layers of age is something I'm very fond of.
I started of by painting my boards (these are Ampersand's Stampbord™) with gold.
The next step was to tint a self leveling acrylic medium with a teal color and paint that over the dried gold surfaces.
Here's what they look like when dry (pictured above).
Another component to this project is the piece that will look like rusty metal. I started with some paper that I cast using one of those styrofoam meat trays as a mold that has bumps on them. When the cast paper was dry, they were then coated with a clear acrylic medium so that the subsequent paint treatments did not get soaked up by the porous paper. From there, I painted it with micaceous iron and did a wash of transparent red oxide over that.
Pictured above in the next step for the Stampbords™ was to create a crackled surface by using an acrylic medium called crackle paste. All of the acrylic mediums I use are from Golden Acrylics-my brand of choice. I purposefully did not coat the surface evenly-allowing some of the painted surface from underneath to show.
On the 'rusty' pieces above, I've done another wash of the transparent red oxide paint and sprayed it with water to further disperse the pigment.
On the boards, I created a loose wash with the trans red oxide and went around the edges of the panels with it. Everything has to sit level unless you want things to travel 'downhill'. Using lots of water and going back in over areas I had already done was also key. After I had all the edges done, you can see that the paint seeps into some of the cracks (loving that). At this point, I hit everything with a spray of water which caused the edges to bleed.
Because everything is so wet, the real 'magic' doesn't happen until everything is dry, I make sure I have air circulating in the studio by way of a couple of small fans.
I love using trans red oxide-probably because it reminds me so much of the red dirt at home in Hawaii. The next step for the boards when they are dry is to introduce some areas of a cobalt blue stain.
Be sure to subscribe (follow by email) to this blog so as not to miss out on what happens next!