After creating “Antidiluvian Construction” I decided to pursue more artwork incorporating concrete as an art-creating material. In the process I had a “happy accident” that I’m now continuing to pursue “on purpose”! Today’s blog features the steps to create the piece that prompted the discovery. I’ve created many pieces using concrete for texture, most on wood and one on a canvas that I reworked. So I grabbed a large canvas I’d been wanting to play with and headed outdoor into the sunshine, toting a bucket of cement along with me. The first step was to mix up a smooth, spreadable, batch of concrete and spread it over the canvas until I was happy with the design.
Then I let the sun take over for several hours. Once it was dry I went back and scraped and worked on it to knock off some edges and add some holes, since I was wanting an old, weathered type finish to the piece.
Then I began to add washes of color, starting with yellows and blues and eventually a nice rusty color. Then more drying time.
I was wanting it to have some cracks in the concrete, again for a weathered look so I pushed around on the flexible canvas, listening to it crackle & pop. When I picked it up to take in indoors for the night I noticed a few more pieces dropping off. Cool, more weathered look! The next day I went to work with it and realized that more than just a few pieces were falling off. How bad could it be, right? I began to scrape and smooth it down, removing the loose pieces and hoping that it wasn’t ALL coming up. This is the box full of concrete scraps I ended up with after I was done.
Uh-oh! That’s a lot of scraps! I had lost a lot of what I had created BUT, what was left was AWESOME!! And something I couldn’t have created any other way.
I studied it for a day or two before deciding what the next step might be. It seems like a lot of art I’ve done lately has had outlines/details done in acrylic to accent different areas and add texture, like this one: The other technique I’ve been enjoying is to use several different washes of colors, blending them, letting them settle & dry, then re-washing them with more color, similar to this: Add that to the concrete play and it felt like all my experiments were coming together in one piece! Although in all my previous art I’d used black acrylic to outline, I wanted this to be something new & different. So I got out a bottle with a “squirt” lid and filled it with white paint and began making wavy white outlines around sections of the remaining concrete, color & texture that was left on the canvas until I had it divided up into a composition that I was happy with. That had to sit for another full day to dry and then I was ready to begin adding washes of color.
It ended up being a two-day project of painting sections, drying time, painting more sections, more drying time, re-painting & drying until it was complete.
Once the last layer of paint had dried I took the piece outdoor again and gave it a nice splattering of white paint to tie all the sections together. The other idea I had was to incorporate other building materials into the piece so two of the sections were filled with sand to add a different dimension. Here is a close-up detail of a section with sand added.
Once the sand had set and the entire piece was nice & dry it was covered with a layer of gloss medium to seal and protect it.
So there’s a very wordy, image-full post about my newest construction of art! Since completing this piece I’ve finished four others. Next week’s blog post will feature the second piece I created and a very exciting announcement to go with it!