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Second Floor Challenge #5: Found Object


Today is the fifth Second Floor challenge!  Are you ready to take it to the second floor?  What does that mean?  It means trying something vastly out of your comfort zone.  Doing something that might not work.  Experimenting with a crazy idea.  It's all about pushing yourself.  If it works, awesome.  If it doesn't work, awesome!

The challenge this time around is to create something that incorporates or is inspired by a found object.  

What is a found object?

From Wikipedia:

"A found object, in an artistic sense, indicates the use of an object which has not been designed for an artistic purpose, but which exists for another purpose already. Found objects may exist either as utilitarian, manufactured items, or things which occur in nature. In both cases the objects are discovered by the artist or musician to be capable of being employed in an artistic way, and are designated as "found" to distinguish them from purposely created items used in the art forms."

Click here to see what Nat did.

As for me, I decided to experiment with using newspaper as a foundation.  I coated both sides with gesso and the newspaper turned into a lovely surface.  It stitched well and ripped nicely and had a nice hand as well.  

To continue the found object theme I played with using toilet paper tubes and shapes cut from deli paper and all sorts of stuff like that to make some prints inspired by this video.  Here are two of them:

I didn't really know what to do with the prints.  So I decided to add more paint.  Again, continuing the found object theme I used a doily to do some stenciling and added a few layers of paint and ink:

I thought about simply gluing this pretty piece of paper into my art journal and calling it done.  But then I remembered that I needed to take this project to the Second Floor.

I sat and stared and stared and stared and stared some more at the papers I had created.  What to do with them?

And then the answer came from the recesses of my brain.  Recently I visited an art gallery and saw a lovely painting featuring a brightly colored silhouette of a person against a stark white background.  When I stared at these papers, that image called to me.

This is what I ended up with:

What I Learned:

  • I think of found objects as pennies, washers you find in the street, feathers from the park, doll heads -- dimensional objects that assemblage artists use.  But actually there is a ton of paper ephemera that fits into that category.  So as it turns out, I already use found objects all the time.  
  • Only time will tell what will happen with the newspaper, but I'm enjoying its flexibility as a surface to work on.  The fabric-like feel of the paper once it's coated with gesso has my brain whirling with ideas and possibilities.
  • I was reminded that one way to deal with a larger piece you don't like is to cut it up.  The piece of paper that the silhouette is cut from was super fugly to my eyes.  But I see the beauty of it in the silhouette!
  • I have had a bunch of rubbing plates from Cedar Canyon squirreled away in my stash for a while now.  I dragged them out for this project and breathed new life into them by stamping with them!  It's a good reminder to me to look past the intended use of a supply and experiment with how else it can be used. 
  • I love, love, love the way the stenciled doily edges turned out.  I've used spray with doilies, but never acrylic and a cosmetic sponge and I love the look.  Definitely going to do that again!
  • Another thing I've never done, and will definitely repeat, is working on a piece of paper and then attaching it to the canvas.  It took away a lot of the fear of "ruining" a canvas and allowed me the freedom to experiment on several surfaces and choose the best one.  That said, it would probably be better to attach it to a more taut surface, like a wood panel, in the future.  
  • I also love I was able to add stitching to a canvas!  I did the stitching before it was adhered to the canvas, but nobody has to know that!  I suppose if I stretched my own canvases I could get this effect too...hmmmm...something to think about.

I thought this was going to be a really difficult challenge, but once I stopped worrying about what the final product was going to be and just started messing around, it came together quickly enough.

Here's the linky list for this challenge:

Thanks for stopping by!