In a previous post, I mentioned I am working on a new series for a solo show at Harcourt House Artist-Run Centre‘s Art Incubator Gallery in 2020. I would like to incorporate text into the series in some way. So far I have spent a lot of time thinking about how this might work and I have not been satisfied with my attempts.
Last week having trouble sleeping, as can happen when anxiety levels are high, I thought about a different method using embossing. Some excited searching at 1:30 am made me think it could work. Lucky for me I had some supplies at the ready, due to a brief flirtation with scrapbooking in the early 2000’s. The next step was to find the right material to work with. My work is digital and I have not bought art supplies in a long while, however I do still have a fairly good assortment of paper from my traditional art material days. After some unsuccessful attempts, I went to You Tube to look up embossing (spoiler alert – the stencil goes under the paper). Next step was to think about making stencils. After trying to trace on paper taped to a window, I realized this was not sustainable. My arm was aching something fierce.
DIY Light table – dust-free, chemical-free, one stop shop
Next step, searching light tables. These can be a bit pricey, from $60-$150 depending on what size you would like to have. If I was going to trace things all the time, I could see making the investment, but for now I want a cheaper option. After looking up DIY light tables I was starting to think I would need to check out some used furniture places for a glass topped end table (not my favourite activity as I find they are like a dust mite rave and I have a strong reaction). Most of the information I found in blogs involved using a router or sawing, getting a specific size of acrylic sheeting, spray painting, etc. I wanted a dust-free, chemical-free one-stop shop kind of option. I checked out Ikea, based on a comment made by a blogger about using an Ikea picture frame and some LED lights. Success! I didn’t think a picture frame would work, now that Ikea uses a thinner plastic for their glazing, but I did find another option.
I purchased the Nesna Nightstand on sale, then sourced a white cardboard box (note: white to increase reflectivity) in the home organization section and purchased LED string lights (lights do not get hot so won’t be a fire hazard). After assembling the nightstand, I put the lights into the box and slid the box under the table top, using the lid to raise it up for a snug fit. Once I knew it would fit, I used a piece of paper palette left over from my painting days and taped it to the underside of the glass top with painter’s tape (you could use waxed paper or white tissue paper). I didn’t want to make it permanent as I want to be able to repurpose the table when I don’t need it as a light table. All in all I am pleased with the result. It cost me about $30. I am thinking of replacing the LED string lights with an LED camping lantern I found in the basement, as I’d like the light to be a bit stronger. My Ikea was out of the 24 light strand, so I bought two 12 light strands, which are ok but not as bright as I’d like. As you can see in the photo below, it will fit a pice of 9″x12″ paper.
To make it more permanent, you could close in the sides and bottom of the table and/or use LED strip lighting, however this will increase your costs so you’ll have to decide if it still makes sense to DIY. If you would like a larger table and you don’t mind dust, chemicals and using tools, I found this video, as well as several other options.
I had the pleasure of attending the opening reception for my show All exits look the same in the Upstairs Gallery of the ArtPoint Gallery and Studios Society in Calgary, Alberta last week. I had many interesting discussions, and was also pleased to find a community of people who have lived similar experiences to mine. It’s hard to put into words that feeling when you are among people who understand.
Art became, and continues to be, my way of processing events in my life. It can be as simple as a stick drawing or something more developed. It can be traditional pencil and paper or paints, or it can be an art-based application. The method is not as important as taking the time to make marks, or an image. Put away the critical voice in your head and just try.
Watch for my next post about art applications. If you have a smart phone or a tablet, applications are relatively inexpensive ways to be creative.
“… accomplishment shouldn’t be the end of the road, just the starting point for the next leap forward.”
My solo graduating show is now up at the Extension Gallery in Enterprise Square until October 18th. I am grateful to those who took time out of their weekend September 30th to come to the opening reception and share their impressions with me. A few people asked what I would do next, now that I am finishing my certificate in visual arts. I plan to make more art! I have several different directions I am interested in exploring, and lots more learning to do. I can’t take typical art classes (chemicals, dust, etc.) but I will find a way to continue adding to my art education as I go. I also plan to become an expert art packer. All exits look the same will be at the Artpoint Gallery in Calgary in February 2018, and I plan to apply to other public or artist-run galleries. Below is a selection of photos from the exhibition.
All in all, I am excited for what lies ahead and I welcome my next leap forward.
quotes: BrainyQuote http://bit.ly/2xa7aLv and http://bit.ly/2xOJ9XD
I completed my final portfolio review at the end of February. The panel who reviewed my work said it was ready to show. I’m so glad we agree 🙂 It was a great feeling of accomplishment to see the works as a cohesive whole. Watch my site and Facebook page in the coming months for more information. Here is a preview of a piece that will be in the show:
Chemicals: 140,542 Me: 0
Some of you know I am preparing for a solo final show for my visual arts certificate. A part of my formal plan involves exploring materials that I may be able to use in spite of my severe sensitivities. Unfortunately, my first attempt did not go so well.
I thought I might be able to create something using fabric and thread, wrapping the fabric with the thread. I chose cotton fabric, which is pretty much all I wear these days so I know I tolerate it, and bought some thread. Two tries later I knew it was a big fail – my face was bright red and my chest was tight. Likely the dye on the thread was the problem. (It’s so fine, I thought, there can’t be enough to cause a reaction. But I guess running it through your fingers for 20 minutes overrides the fine-ness.) I can consider sourcing out a different type of thread, but I did want some colour on it, so we’ll see if I get anywhere with it. I wasn’t sold on how my half finished sculpture was progressing, and I may or may not pursue it.
To console myself, I purchased two new art apps to try and I have been having fun with that. These two drawings were created using ArtRage.
Image at top: Monochrome 2 2016