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!

The Folly of Hoarding Art Supplies!

Yesterday, I posted a bit concerning my participation in the Dreadful Project.


My intention was to add a bit of glow-in-the-dark acrylic paint to the white spaces of the piece, in hopes of creating an ethereal effect for the specters.

Specters in the Dark

Specters in the Dark

The paint was already in my arsenal. I just needed to break it out and use it! I was so excited to finally have a purpose for it!

This is what I found when I opened the package…

Palmer's Luminous Acrylic

All dried up and no place to go!

All dried up and no place to go!

Clearly purchased on clearance (either close to, or past its expiration) this paint was then stored in a drawer until which time I found a use for it.

Oh! The folly!

If I can impart just one morsel of wisdom to you from the desk of The Studio at Piney Creek Acres, let me impress the following upon you; USE YOUR SUPPLIES!

They are meant to be used, not collected! Use your paints, your pretty papers, your markers, your ribbons, trims, stickers, etc!

Be FEARLESS! So what if what you attempt to make with them doesn’t turn out the way you hoped it would? It is in the act of creating that we find satisfaction. It is in the creating that we learn and grow. Don’t be a collector. Be an artist!

Go now and use that treasured supply you’ve been saving for “just the right project!”

Happy Trash to you, until we meet again!

A Hodge Podge

As I write, it is Fat Tuesday. Gumbo is on the menu here in our household, as we humbly celebrate Mardi Gras. Laissez les bons temps rouler! (Let the good times roll!)

This morning, I discovered that Kat Sloma of http://kateyestudio.com/ featured the doodled envelope I sent her for the Liberate Your Art Postcard Swap in a blog post. You can read her post here: http://kateyestudio.com/2014/03/whats-in-the-mail.html Additionally, you can check out my original blog post about it here: https://trashbubblesandlifeslittlebits.wordpress.com/2014/02/07/on-my-desk-doodling/

A week or so ago, I signed up to participate in The Dreadful Project. Sponsored by the good people at The Sketchbook Project, Showtime, and New Yorker Promotions, it endeavors to use artistic renderings of our deepest fears to promote the new Showtime ‘Penny Dreadful’ series. Read more about it here: http://www.newyorkeronthetown.com/experience/youre-invited-sketch-with-a-sense-of-dread/#c_0

Sign-ups are closed and those participating artists have already received their cards and have begun diligently setting their fears to paper. I have an abstract fear of ghostly apparitions and have begun to try to capture the essence of it here:

Specters in the Dark

Specters in the Dark

Do you see the man to the left of the fold? He freaks me out!

I’m popping back into the studio to work a while longer before heading to the kitchen to make the Gumbo….

Happy Trash to you, until we meet again!