Sunday, February 21, 2016

Gothic Arch Duo

About a year ago I ordered a bunch of items from Retro Café Art. Some I used right away, some I tucked into my art stash. Yesterday I had some time on my hands and no deadlines to meet, so I played around with a couple of the large chipboard gothic arches.

The shape seemed so lovely that I didn't quite know where to start, my inner critic didn't want me to make a mistake. But, I just decided to start anywhere, thinking I could always paint or collage over them if they ended up really ugly. I started with a collage base of favorite items: text. I used some French script, vintage newsprint, and snippets from a Chinese newspaper.

A famous American scientist stamp was recently gifted to me, so that went on top of the text. My Artistcellar stencil collection is always handy, so I pulled out some favorites: the harlequin, a little flower, garden gate, and inspirational words. I found a tiny bottle of my favorite old go-to paint, Lumiere, in a beautiful turquoise, which I used along with some chalk inks and markers. The woman on the right is part of a vintage Sunmaid raisin ad--thank you Susan Morgan Hoth for your gift of vintage magazines.

The edges were finished by running them over an Adirondack sepia ink pad, and the hinge was created with silk jewelry cord and square decorative brads. Hinges are always tricky for me--they need to be strong, they need to be able to work without being too stiff or too floppy. This hinging method was not perfect, but was satisfactory. Sometimes I use fine ball-chain link, sometimes pretty ribbon, and sometimes actual hardware hinges.

The piece is simply art therapy--no hidden meaning, no deep message, just me messing around with art supplies on a Saturday afternoon.  I had been saving the gothic arches for the right day, the right moment, the right inspiration. They seemed to want to want to be part of something important and meaningful, and maybe with the next attempt I will use some kind of cherished photo or keepsake.

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