One of the companies making premium art mediums is Golden. They have Reps who give demos of their products to groups of artists at stores that sell their stuff. I’ve actually been to two of these, but it was some years back. The Rep talks about each medium, showing on a canvass board, what it is designed to do. This sample is then passed around the room while she demos another product.
By the end of the presentation the audience has oh-d and awed at the beautiful colors, the creamy gels, and special effects that can be produced. What we don’t see is how to integrate these products into a complete work of art.
I have a drawer of different gels in matte and gloss, with beads, will crackle, make a raised image with a stencil, or shine a different color in a certain light. I have papers, canvas, brushes, stencils, stamps, and almost anything else you can think of, but I rarely know with any certainty what to use to get the effect I have in mind.
During our rainy winter, I began reading a book about using these mediums and paints which is written like a workshop, so you can follow along step by step with the author. She started by covering her work surface with a variety of papers to provide texture, such as a page from an old book, a photo copy, corrugated cardboard, and crumpled rice paper. She also added some stencil images.
I rummaged through my scrap box for similar items. I found some pages from a psych-nurse’s pocket guide, one of which was titled “Decisional Conflict” which in normal language means the person can’t decide between two or more options. I experience this quite often in my studio. I also found some corrugated paper from a cookie box, a strip of rice paper I could crumple, and a single Tarot card. They didn’t look like what was in the book, but close enough.
Arranging them on the paper was easy now that I have been doing a lot of collage.
The next step was to add paint. The book’s finished collage was crimson and orange with white and black accents. I had paint, just not the colors she was using. So I used what I had that I thought might be close to hers. Didn’t quite work the same way. The red color was close, but the yellow was too intense. She used a transparent yellow color which I didn’t have. The white paint she added to lighten up some areas was zinc white, which I also didn’t have, so I used an Iridescent Pearl.
One of my goals is to use up the acrylic paint I have so I can get some new paint. Of course, the colors I really like are pretty much gone. I rarely use reds and yellows, preferring greens and blues.
The yellow paint over the dark photo copy and the black on the Tarot card turned a green shade. I liked how that went with the red and yellow, so I added some paint in a lime shade here and there.
Over all, I was pleased with the finished product. Looking ahead to the next project in the book, I saw that the author continues to use the zinc white and transparent yellow. In order to alleviate some of my “Decisional Conflict”, I have ordered them online because they are not available in Stockton.