Friday, August 12, 2016

The Awkward Artist

Back in May when I did the UNH Artists Dumpster Dive, I was asked (along with all the other participants) to consider donating a piece of art to the auction that benefits PLAN. I was interested, but I wasn't sure if anything I might create would actually be auction-worthy.

I love to create art, but it's never been about money or recognition or even showing anybody. If people come over to my house, then they see the funky wind-chimes and abstract paintings around, but I never really take them anywhere to be displayed. Since this piece was made using a little canvas that was actually found in a UNH dumpster, I thought it was only appropriate that I donate it to the event.

The canvas already had the green background. The color reminded me of one of my favorite books, The Giving Tree. I've copied this design a couple of time before- on a stool for my son's nursery and on a chair for the library- so I knew I could do it again. I did the basic shapes in gesso, to cover up the background colors and to create the base for the paint I'd add. After the gesso dried, I used ink  and watercolors to make the illustrations.

The other piece I contributed is one that I did using a wooden canvas that my husband brought home from school. One of the retiring teachers had cleaned her room out, including old projects from students. One day I was bored and wanted to paint, so I used tempera and acrylic, and just kind of splattered on the colors I liked. It started to make some cool designs just by letting the paint run down in different directions, and I had experimented with salt and watercolors before, so I wanted to see what would happen if I added salt to these paints. It muted the colors a little, and added kind of a crystallic finish. Since I painted outside, I left it outside to dry for a couple of days. It baked in the sun and probably had a little rain fall on it too, but the outdoor elements allowed the paint to separate and peel a little, which only added more texture. I really liked the way it looked, so I went over it with a coat of glossy sealant. I used a metallic gold paint on the sides to cover the wood so it looked a little  more polished.

I was really nervous since I don't even usually show my art to anyone, and I didn't think anyone was going to be impressed by it, let alone pay for it. I posted the minimum bids at $5 and $10 respectively and I was relieved when each one got a bid.

I had no idea that they might go higher!  The second piece, which I just titled "Abstract" sold for $25! And "The Giving Tree" sold for $39!

I donated the proceeds from the sale to the PLAN organization. I'm already thinking about another piece I could do using one of the other little canvases from the Dumpster Dive.

I guess now I'm not just a person who stops on the side of the road and awkwardly loads it into her car, I'm an Awkward Artist!

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