A tutorial on creating art
and making homemade shimmer spray paints.
When our hearts are breaking and our mind cannot wrap around a tragedy I turn to art to help me cope.
In the aftermath of the Sandy Hook killings in New Town, Ct. I had to keep my hands busy as I watched the news unfold.
I wanted to share this piece of art that I created, entitled "Innocence", in honor of the children who lost their lives and the heroic teachers who died trying to save them.
It started out as "just a piece of art", then took on it's own life as it evolved into a piece related to the horrific tragedy that we all watched unfold. I always work intuitively and let a piece of art guide me to what it wants to do. It wasn't until "Innocence" was done and hanging on my wall, that I realized I had placed 26 found objects on the canvas.
I started by taking a 12x12 canvas and applied a coat of Gesso. I LOVE gesso. It's a chalky paint that gives the canvas "tooth" and opaqueness (is that even a word?).
I then started scrunching up tissue paper and painting it onto the canvas with a matte gel medium (a great adhesive) and a sponge brush. Once that was dried, I added pieces of lace and vintage textiles and covered most of the canvas.
I pulled out a variety of ephemera and found objects and started to lay them out until I have a pleasing arrangement. I kept changing up pictures and found objects until it felt right.
I used buttons, old earrings, charms, hardware, flowers, pictures of my son when he was 6 yrs old and anything that struck my fancy.
This is where "collecting a little bit of everything" really pays off!
I used a Heavy Gel Medium (Golden) to adhere all of the components and let them dry overnight. Then I took out my gesso and coated the canvas with 2 coats to unify everything.
I wanted to keep the Frozen Charlotte as is, so I covered it
with a damp paper towel and painted around it.
Making shimmery spray paints
I love shimmery spray paints but they are so expensive. I had found through one of my online groups, how to make homemade shimmer paints.
Buy small spray bottles ( I got mine at Hobby Lobby). I used the 2 oz ones. Then add to the spray bottle, acrylic paints (the cheap ones work well, I love the metallics),about 2-3 teaspoons, a good dollop of glue (white glue or Modge Podge), a teaspoon or so of Pearl Ex or Perfect Pearls (for a beautiful shimmer) and fill the bottle with warm water. Gently shake up and viola, you have your own homemade shimmering spray paints!!
Now comes the tricky part, spraying the canvas. I first covered anything I didn't want painted (the pictures of my son Brian and the frozen charlotte), with damp paper towels.
I started with the lightest color (yellow) and gently sprayed the canvas (I placed the canvas in a big cardboard box to contain the spray paint). I proceeded to spray the other colors.
I love the shimmer of the paints and the way they blend into one another.
I pulled out an old dictionary and found the definition of "innocent" and added that to the piece.
Don't forget to always sign your work
My heart is still broken but
I healed just a little,