Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Recycling Artwork and Happy Accidents

So I had this abstract painting on canvas that I wasn't happy with and it sat in a box for Lord only knows how long. I have been painting so prolifically though, that I ran out of canvas and had to recycle. The canvas was already covered with lots of texture, so I had to think a little differently about how I was going to create this piece, as I need to start with a smooth surface for the landscape girls I have been doing.

I picked the least textured area to draw the face and added loads of collage everywhere else. I used my star shape punch to cut out some scrapbook paper. I glued those down and used the leftover paper with the negative space star shapes as a stencil to put some gesso stars on the canvas, then I glued the "stencil" on too. I found some fantastic mesh several weeks ago that I had in mind to use for a fence, but it makes the most amazing collage material! I then randomly spread gesso here and there for more texture and to integrate some of the collage pieces. I built up colour over many, many layers with Golden Fluid acrylics and several different types of Stewart Gill paints. It's hard to tell with my not so amazing photography skills (too bad my friend, Toni doesn't live nearby), but the result is super rich and has so much depth. I'm definitely going to do more of this type of mixed media girl!

I always told my students not to worry if they made a mistake or if they don't like what they have done. They should look at it as a happy accident, as it's an opportunity to really stretch their creativity and come up with something they might like even better. That advice is easy to say, sometimes hard to follow, but this is proof positive that it's true! If I hadn't had an unsuccessful piece, I would never have reworked it into this piece that I love.

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