Saturday, June 4, 2011

Sometimes you need to take a break from art!

And do more ART!!!  Ha!  Gotcha!  I've been addicted to this paper mache', figurative sculpting, art doll craziness for awhile now- its no secret!  But I do other stuff, too.  Besides yelling at kids because I'm washing clothes that aren't dirty but its easier to stuff them in the laundry than hang them up- I do other stuff.

I'm sharing this project with you because it falls under the category of "if I can do this-you can do this".    This lovely collage wall is part of my husbands pool room.  (Which I completely take over as my studio on a regular basis- "HELLLLOOOO!")  

I have a ton of photos from when we used to live in a tiny house on a beautiful river.  When our number of residents in that house became 4 it was necessary to sell it and buy a larger house not on water.  I miss that river.  

  I wanted to incorporate this history from our old life into our new life and hubby's pool room seemed like an ideal spot.  Frames however did not seem right- too fussy for this really contemporary room and I had a lot of these photo's to use up.

I decided to try mounting them on canvas with gesso.  But what to do around the edges?  I knew the photo paper would not bend well and I did not want cracks in the surface with white paper showing through.  So then this idea was born.  

I glued the photo onto the canvas and then went over the surface of the photo with gesso to seal it.  Depending on the picture itself I added a surface texture.  On this one I wanted to emphasize the waves of the water.  I wasn't crazy about the edge of the photo showing around the canvas which led to me using heavier gesso there to minimize it.  Then, I got a little crazy and added color to the gesso and painted away the edge.  In this instance I brought the color up into the painting around the edges and I really liked how it framed it.

I don't get everything right the first go round, just like everyone else.  This winter scene had some issues with the artist cutting the picture a little too small.  It works best if you take the picture right to the edge of the canvas.  And then when I tried to use paint and gesso to disguise the edges- well lets just say I'm still learning about color.  Again, this color change would be less noticeable if it occurred at the edge and then becomes the side of the canvas.  

But honestly, it really looks better in real life than it does in this blog post.  I wanted to show you where I went  astray while figuring out this technique.  I purposely chose the pictures that showed up the problem areas:)

Here's one where I got real crazy and I love it!  I wanted to grow the picture longer but not taller. Plus, I'm impatient and didn't want to mess with having something re-developed.  This was the view from my lawn.  Because the trees were small in the picture I didn't have to be some great technical painter to get this to look realistic.  I paid attention to light and dark and shape.  I think it was important that the photo not be placed dead center in the composition either.

I used to walk this hill.  Its the road down into our little area on the river.  It is called "Devil's Hole" because its way down and in the morning the mist would be heavy on the water...beautiful and creepy!
In this one I used a more liquid finish because I didn't want the gesso to obscure the tiny detail.  I also used some color on the surface of the photo.  I don't know if you can see where.  I think on some of the leaves to pop them out more.  Again- there was some issue at the edges.  If you are feeling like you don't want to try to match up colors I suggest that you use a contrasting solid color and either keep it on the side of the canvas or bring it up around the edges.  Mostly I suggest that you don't be too hard on yourself:)

This one is another one that I wanted to make longer.  I really used a heavy texture in the white area to simulate the snow and disguise the edge.

See how nice it looks all put together?  You aren't really noticing the problem areas now, are you?   How do you like my "hippie" sign?  It cracks me up- sorry hippies!

I don't know if this falls under the category of photo art,  photo collage, arts and crafts, mixed media or just plain fun!  You decide.
So what do you think?  Wanna give it a try?


  1. I remember those clean clothes in the hamper days!! I used to fold their clothes and put them right back in their rooms!! hahaha which reminds me to let them know one of these days! lol
    your painting is gorgeous!

  2. Thanks Joanna! I hate laundry worse than cleaning the bathroom so you can imagine the yelling coming from the laundry room when I pull out something that is still folded! ARRRGH!

  3. Oh my the clean clothes in the laundry! Ack my 14 year old
    Is still doing this. Her clothes come back completely I learned to take them and hide them in the linen closet! Hahhaa she has been looking for her clothes for months. Pretty soon I will tell her with a warning that they will never return if she continues to stuff the laundry room with clean folded clothes!

    I love what you did with your photos. I have been tempted to use liquitex acrylic textures for the same type of effect. They look so fun! You have given me some motivation :)

  4. Thank you fo visiting my blog Now you can find a trasnlation button in my blog
    I hate cleaning too but with 2 little kids in the house i must clean all the time

  5. I love the wall!! I have sooo much wall space in my house, I really need to do something like this. Thanks for visiting my blog too!!

  6. Such a cool idea! I have a heap of travel photos I had no idea how to display - now I do! After I've finished cleaning the toilets, bathrooms, dishes, vacuuming, oh and I can't forget the laundry! :)

  7. hehehe your comment was too funny on my blog post, oh but i always have this urge to die my hair in really bright RED color ! maybe with a little mix of green in between =)

  8. Ha, Ha, I can so relate to the laundry issue. Besides that I find clothes just left on the floor like someone was zapped out of them and dissipated! Any how, I love your arrangement of photos and how it all turned out. A great way to remember some good times. Thanks for stopping by! Theresa

  9. wow- you are one smart chickie Chris- they look fantastic!!! I don't have kids- but I have a hubby that doesn't seem to understand what a dirty clothes hamper is for- so I can kind of relate. Dirty clothes never make it to the hamper and dirty dishes never make it to the sink. What can you do- at least he takes the trash out :)

  10. Wow - they look so good and I have no idea what you'd call that process. Yep - washing the clean clothes - did all that. Liked the tooth fairy note in your last post - I still have one explaining to the fairy that the tooth got lost in the playground but she still had to pay up! Sweet memories.

  11. hey, can i get a close up? i want to really SEE what you did... and post them bigger. It's ok, I know her in real life so i get to be all bossy with she's my (mental) twin sister!

  12. Chinamommy- no! NO closeup for you. But you are welcome to come over and see it very close up!

  13. This is a fun site! Love your posts! I actually love running the wash and dryer because the sound is so soothing to me. I just don't like putting them away! HA! Oh, and I'm so glad you visited and shared your thoughts on my blog. Will definitely be back to visit.


Thank you for visiting with me:)