April 4, 2012 § Leave a comment
I consider myself pretty clever now that I’m on Pinterest. A blank canvas as large as the semi-vaulted ceilings in my apartment can be quite the intimidation if you aren’t armed with the proper inspiration. My inspiration? Every time I looked at it, the eyesore grew until it was large enough to track me down in my dreams and swallow me whole. Which is exactly what it did. My subconscious made my tall blank white wall into a monster that attacked me in my sleep. I had to do something.
A collage of some sort seemed best. My single paintings and framed artwork were dwarfed by the massive wall and I don’t want to bother with painting anything that size, the only ladder I own is quite literally a step stool. I searched a few things on Pinterest and determined that a picture frame collage would be the most cost effective. However, every piece of artwork I had was already on the wall, so I agreed with myself that empty frames could be just as cool. I was looking to add texture and shape, not display.
I started out on my hunt. You’d be surprised what thrift stores ask for empty frames. I told my mother, the most creative person I know, about my idea. If you give a mouse a cookie… To give you some back story, I’ve lived in LA for 6 years and she’s visited exactly once and on zero occasions since I left the nest 10 years ago have I ever received a ‘care package.’ That is, unless I have a project. Three days after our creative consultation I receive a box with over a dozen frames, sans glass and backing. Haunted by the giant white wall worrier, I got right to work.
Most of the frames were wood, so I enlisted a friend, put down a drop cloth and started painting them black. To add some flare I did a crackle treatment on a few frames, which is ridiculously easy. I paint as a hobby, like on canvas, so I just used the acrylic I had in the house for everything. For the crackle effect you paint your under coat and let it dry. Keep in mind this is the color that will crack through. Then squiggle on some Elmer’s Glue (I even used an off-brand because I’m cheap and it worked the same). Spread the squiggles with your finger so it covers the whole portion you’d like to crackle. Wait about 1-2 minutes for the glue to start drying. Next you take your top coat and paint over the glue. Make sure you have enough paint on your brush for one stroke, you shouldn’t go over the same spot twice. Then dry and… presto! Crackle effect.
As a disclaimer, I save everything because I always think I’m going to be able to make something with it. Sometimes I’m right, and sometimes I’m a hoarder. I’ve saved costume jewelry from when chokers were in and big medallion necklaces were worn with super flared jeans and platforms (PS still looking for something to make out of my ridiculous platforms). I adhered selected artifacts from adolescence onto the inside of some frames for mounted details balancing out the wall. Every frame is hung on the wall with a single nail an in random order. Just wherever it looked nice. It also helped having a tall man in the house to help hang. People keep asking my if I’m going to fill the frames up, but I like the geometric aesthetic of the negative space. Negative space in a positive place.
I think the finished product fills the space nicely, staking the monstrous white wall in the heart and helping me get a restful night’s sleep. What do you think?