Tuesday, 4 February 2014

What If?

Following the 'what if?' question has to be my favourite thing to do in the studio.

For example, one day when I'd overdosed on blog surfing like a hummingbird on crack, my brain combined two notations - one about foam paint rollers, and another about patterns. The result was a series of paint rollers cut, pulled and mnipulated into designs for patterning.

Foam roller does a wave
A student's query about creating unique stencils lead me to experimenting with a stencil burner filched from John.  Unfortunately, the burner broke, just as I finished this stencil:

Garden fence acetate stencil
You know, of course, that the craze had only started, and I needed to purchase another stencil burner.  Just as I did so, another blog post about using the plastic from mail envelopes prompted me to wonder what the Tyvek house wrap 'stuff' would do as a stencil.  Luckily, a good friend, Louise Olinger, was in the midst of renovations, and I scored a roll remainder to try - thanks, Louise. It works like a charm, and will likely last well into the next century.

Tyvek cut with a stencil burner
Some years ago, I had a piece of palette paper I LOVED, and the question 'What if I turned it into a skin?' popped into my head.  That was a great question, for at that time the finish of the palette paper by Daniel Smith was a heavy, waxy one, and the palette paper skins peeled so easily I was shocked!  Big score.

Palette paper skin on old-style Daniel Smith palette paper
I was saddened a year or so ago to find that they had decreased the coating extensively, and that these skins are no longer an option ( do you hear me whining?).

An  'old-style' palette paper skin overlaying a painted cradled wood panel
A student, Juanita Rose Violini , author, posted on the Facebook student page that she'd created a skin this way by following another 'What if?', and using glossy brochure paper on which to print an image.  Bless her - we've another multitude of options for our skins!

I have, through the years, done many white on white paintings, and one day I wondered what would happen if I combined one of them with my pattern-making craze in progress.  The result was this painting:

'The Key to Colour' © Win Dinn  Mixed Media on board, 10" x 14" 
Here's what I learned from this 'What if?'
  • Only work white on white at a distance of 50 feet or more from the area where you're working with colour
  • Only work white on white if there are no animals in the house (Opal the Studio Cat NOT excepted).
  • Only work white on white in a grid if you want to drive yourself completely bonkers pulling air dust, threads, random cat hairs and near-invisible-but-not items from your finished piece
Don't expect to have a viable product at the end if the above conditions are unmet!  

All in all, however, that 'What if?' question leads me in wonderful directions, opening the pathways to new ways of thinking and making art.  How have you followed the 'What if?' questions, and where did it take you?

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