On My Desk: Trial and Error

It seems, to me, that folks don’t just want to read about artists’ successes and their perfect projects. They want to see their crap and their mistakes, not to mention; their epic fails. So here I am to share a bit of that with anyone who cares to stop by.

Artists are an experimental bunch. We are continually inspired to see what happens when we use an art supply in a new way or when we use an ordinary, every day item as an art supply. In so doing, we make plenty of mistakes, throw away or rework numerous pieces often to no real end… Except, that in our attempts and failures lies the key to better art. We learn what works and what doesn’t. We push the proverbial envelope in search of new techniques, ultimately seeking that one piece that speaks to our soul….

My Trash Bubbles were born of this kind of curiosity… I call it the WHAT IF? mentality.

Over the weekend, after I finally let go of my glow-in-the-dark paint thing, (if you are unfamiliar with my dilemma, read more about it here: https://trashbubblesandlifeslittlebits.wordpress.com/2014/03/05/the-folly-of-hoarding-art-supplies/ ) I decided to add dripping blood to the top edge of my piece for the Dreadful Project.

It was easier said than done.

Specters in the Dark

Specters in the Dark

My background being black, I needed a medium than was red, would show up on the black and not blend in, that was thin enough to run, but thick enough that it would congeal quickly and not run down the entire page. That’s a lot to ask from any ordinary art supply.

Red acrylic ink and fluid acrylic paint were considered and dismissed because of their thin consistency. I thought about watering down an acrylic, but that seemed like a great deal of pain for something that would be very tempermental.

That was when it hit me! Why not use red candle wax?! It would be the right consistency for easy control and would set up quickly! So long as I had a rich, deep  red that could be seen atop the black gesso layer, I was in business!

I was so excited that I went straight to work! I could finally see the light at the end of the tunnel… in this case, that meant the completion of my contribution to the Dreadful Project.

This is what it looked like when I finished…

Wax Blood on Specters in the Dark

Wax Blood on Specters in the Dark

It was pretty cool, except that the droplets were peeling up off the page, leaving them vulnerable to being broken off in transit or by handling.

Peeling Blood Drips on Specters in the Dark

Peeling Blood Drips on Specters in the Dark

Can you you say, “Epic Fail?”

I have since scraped the wax off and am back to square one.

Back to square one....

On a more positive note, I DO like the look that the Antique Linen Distress Ink Pad gave the specters. (Used in lieu of glow-in-the-dark paint to soften the bright white page showing through the black gesso.) I also like that my black on black Jane Hancock in the lower right-hand corner is readable.

Back to the drawing board… the deadline is looming!

Happy Trash to you, until we meet again!

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2 thoughts on “On My Desk: Trial and Error

  1. Try, try again. I feel your pain, this project was “dreadful” for me too! Having to use what they gave us ( card made for printing advertising– not so a great surface for art), you can’t start over on a fresh piece of paper. A one shot deal! Just dreadful!!!!!

    • Agreed, Jill. Not the best surface to work with, but as it is a one shot deal, we have to do the best we can with what we’ve got. :/
      Be thankful that yours is on its way back to them!

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