Monday, July 20, 2009

a turning point (part 2)

4x4 feet, mixed media on canvas, May 2009
(click on the image to get a better view)

Although I wasn't quite sure whether I could make this collage work, I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. Since I do most of my collage pieces in acrylic, figuring out the collage process in oil was a complete a mystery ...and a challenge! Ask me anything about collaging in acrylic. Chances are I can give you an answer. Oil? Forget it. I have no clue, but I'm learning and having a blast.

To start, knowing that my water-based markers wouldn't work on oil, I purchased some enamel-based markers from Durable Supply, my favorite place to get quality markers. You'd think that finding lightfast, permanent markers would be easy but it isn't (at least in Kansas City). Just about all the linework & lettering you see in the above piece was done using these enamel-based markers. I also bought some Testors paint which I also used on some of this stuff.

Next, and possibly the biggest challenge, was figuring out how to collage photos and other printed matter onto the canvas. Polyeurethane works ok, but aging varnish works way better. Unfortunately, the label on my aging varnish has worn off. I'll have to do a bit more research so I can tell you exactly what it is & who makes it because for oil collage, it's dreamy. In any case, I brushed the aging varnish onto the photo AND the painting. The key is to allow the varnish to get slightly tacky so that the photo and/or other printed matter adheres easily. If you wait until it's tacky, the piece won't slip. If you don't, it will. Then, I let it sit overnight. Once it's dry, I either coat it with polyeurethane, more aging varnish or another kind of varnish to seal it to the painting.

me with my painting at the 2009 Kansas City Art Institute Art & Design Auction

So, here I am with my piece on the night of the auction. This feel kinda strange to say, but I'm not sure if I've ever been so reluctant to let go of a piece before. This was a pretty personal piece. At the same time, it feels really good to support KCAI, especially since all the proceeds of the auction go towards student scholarships. Thanks to my friend Julie, I was able to meet the couple who bought my piece that night. It was their anniversary and they got it as a gift to each other. Kinda cool.

More pics of the piece and its progress can be found on my flickr page.


sMacThoughts said...

It's stunning, Maura. I totally understand not wanting to let go!

cabana boy productions said...

This is epic.
Hope you're well