One of the things you will find as you read through my new book is a collection of canvases that open each chapter. While I was working on them early last year I took some photos of the process so I could share how they all came together.
I started with blank 8×10 canvases that you can get at any craft store (your local scrapbook store may have some too) and a bunch of different colors of acrylic paint and some foam brushes.
There were a few things I knew from the beginning:
1. I wanted to work on them all at the same time – meaning I wanted to see them all as individuals and as a group. The dining room table turned out to be the spot I could spread out best.
2. I knew that each one would have a theme and that I wanted to have some consistency between them (ended up mainly being size and a bit of color). I also knew that I wanted the creation to match the theme at least a bit.
3. I knew that I was going to need to be flexible and open as I worked through the process – experimentation was the name of the game. That some of them I wouldn't like as I was working on them and I would need to be ready to change, adapt, or start over (on top of the same canvas).
I started off by painting each of them a base color – two coats. An easy first step. And as you can see above I like to just pour some right out onto the canvas.
Next I started working on the individual canvases. Most of them came together in bits and pieces. I would work on one, adding this and that, and then switch to another one. I liked that movement.
For some of the canvases I used found (junk) pieces to create patterns. This is a left-over after a print job that I picked up at a store in Vancouver, Canada.
I also used scrapbook items such as a Heidi Swapp mask or circle punches with patterned paper.
For the patterned paper (and paper such as this below) I used gel medium to adhere it to the canvas. Here's some info about using gel medium. I first learned about it from Claudine Hellmuth's book Collage Discovery Workshop.
I liked having them all laid out together and working on them all at once. I think it is similar to why I like to stand-up to scrapbook – I like to look down on the work at hand and have a view of the whole from above.
In addition to paints and papers and templates and masks I added rub ons, letter stickers, acrylic accents, stamps, and handwriting with black and white pens. I kept things consistent from one to the next with bits of color added here and there.
Lots of layers. Lots of moving from one to the next. Loved the process. Hope to do some more again sometime.
In the meantime I am super inspired by this guy: Rex Ray and this book: Artist to Artist that I found in the kids section at the bookstore. Some great words of wisdom in there. I loved Cathy's post about her 25 Most Played: my top song is Time After Time by Cindi Lauper + Sarah McLaughlin and my #13 is Jackson by Johnny Cash & June Carter. And you may already know I am a fan of Zen Habits, but I really loved his simple post yesterday: The Four Laws of Simplicity. So many of us seem to have simplicity on our minds (I definitely do after putting all the holiday stuff away today).
And finally, I loved one of the comments yesterday on the really long word post about taking all those words + using them as the basis of some sort of project. Maybe a journal, a word of the week, a prompt for something creative. Definitely something to consider.