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Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Turning Old Art Into New Art

The above piece of art was originally created 8 years ago. The contours on the piece were made by taking a discarded white sheet, dunking it in a flour/water mixture and then arranging it on the canvas to create the patterns and raised areas. Once it dried it was sprayed with a fixative to keep its shape. It measures 4 feet high by 2 feet wide.

Now here was the problem with the original piece. The contouring technique was a success and one I would use again over the years. But I did not consider the overall weight of the piece. I'd mounted it on a very heavy piece of thick plywood which made the piece nearly impossible to hang properly. So the piece was placed in storage where it remained for many years and in that time it was dented and abused and in no way appropriate for selling or displaying.

When we moved into the new studio the piece was moved and I considered just pitching it. But I hate to waste anything including my early process art.

So today I decided to take steps to do something with it. First I cleaned it thoroughly, taking off dust and debris. Then I spray painted the whole piece in a gold and copper paint. I was surprised how well it had held up despite its abuse. 

So what you see above is how the piece looks at the moment. Now it will sit for a time in the studio while I consider what to do with it next. The problem still exists of the plywood backing, but I think the piece will end up being displayed here in the outdoor art space once its complete.

The point of this is that nothing you create is valueless. There is always a way to bring the piece up to the level of your current skill level as an artist and give it new life. Its a fact that art you store will get damaged eventually. Or it may be that you feel your skill level sucked when you originally made it and your embarrassed to let anyone see it. But the fact is that it can be brought back to life while at the same time teaching you something about your abilities both past and present. 

So next time you go to weed through your old art. Stop a moment and give it a good look over and consider what you can do with it next.

Nothing is trash! 

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