Today is the second Second Floor challenge! Are you ready to take it to the second floor?
The challenge this time around is to use something from your art stash that you've never used before. Whatever that means to you or however it inspires you. The prompt is simply meant to get you started. The level of challenge you aim for is entirely internal and up to you.
Click here to see what Nat did.
The never-before-used-item I chose to work with were these acrylic stamps designed by my friend, Lisa Pace:
On the left is "Society Lady" and on the right is "Stylish and Fashionable."
Lisa sent me these stamps and while they're super gorgeous, they're just not my usual style. I don't do vintage very well and I don't feel that comfortable with fine line stamps. Not in my wheelhouse. So I knew that what I needed to do with them was find a way to make them my own. I'm currently in the grips of a Gelli Printing obsession, so out came the prints.
At first, I tried stamping directly into the paint, but as you can see from the prints...
...it didn't really work. I think the stamps are too fine-lined. So I decided to regroup and try using the silhouette of the man holding the pen and the journal.
Much more successful. Next I wanted to see if I could add in some stamping. So I stamped inside some of the silhouettes.
I didn't get great stamped impressions. and notice that the silhouettes are going the opposite way of the stamping. Ooooops.
I made some more prints, this time with the silhouette going the correct way. And then I attemped to play around with some writing, stamping, and typing. I like the concept behind it, but it just looks like crap. So I decided to regroup and I came up with this:
I'm pleased with the results. I think that this piece is a good mix of my style and Lisa's stamps. It tells a story and really uses the stamps to tell that story.
Here's what I'm taking away from this experience:
- A technique I want to use again: Cutting a silhouette based on a stamp. I imagine there are a lot of stamps that would work for this.
- As I mentioned, I like how the final product uses the stamps to tell a story. I recently watched Anne of Green Gables and I was struck by how Anne applies her imagination to absolutely everything. I want to apply my imagination to absolutely everything too! I think looking at the stamps and coming up with a story that connects them qualifies as being imaginative, don't you? At first I kept seeing them as individual stamps, but things opened up once I was able to see the connections between them.
- The base of my final artwork is a book page turned on its side. I debated for a long time whether I needed to glue it to something or make it into something, but I've decided it is done. I've decided that a book page is a fine surface for finished art.
- Words really matter. I had originally been thinking of the word "keep" instead of "collect" and "see" instead of "observe." But "collect" and "observe" are so much more in the style of the characters. I'm glad I kept pushing until I found just the right words!
- Don't fight the supply. In order to make these stamps work for me, I had to embrace what they were -- fine line detail stamps of vintage people. At first I kept trying to make them something else. I had to embrace them in order to succeed.
- I definitely get stuck-in-a-rut using the same supplies over and over again. And the same styles of supplies over and over again. I have a few stamps that I use constantly and the rest of my collection just sits unused and stored away. I am thrilled with my final project and I never would have gotten there if I hadn't been forcing myself to use those stamps!
- I'm a big believer in gesso-ing over whatever isn't working. But for this challenge I decided (twice) to stop trying to fix what wasn't working and just move on to a new sheet of paper. A good decision, and a great alternative to remember.
If you'd like to show off your response to this Second Floor challenge, leave a link!
Thanks for stopping by!