Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Art Reception Online

Today we're kind of continuing with the Art Reception theme...only virtual wine and chocolate don't taste as good, do they?


Well, there's nothing I can do about that. What I am going to do is talk a bit about process...you know, after the introductions and small talk. I know its a bit crowded in here, but grab a truffle and make yourself comfortable...

The thing about talking about my process is that, ultimately, it's like what you did in 5th grade. So it's not really that interesting, is it? We all remember it: wheat paste everywhere, in your ears, your hair... your best friend made that turtle with pink HAIR, it had braids made out of pink yarn, for pete's sake, and every time you looked at the thing you laughed so hard you had tears in your eyes. (At least I did. And I still cannot look at that thing -yes, she still has it! - without the same reaction.)




Of course, MY project was what I considered a masterpiece of recycling. A simple, functional piggy bank made from a plastic milk jug and toilet paper rolls for the legs. Beautiful!


But I digress....alot....


So, yes, ultimately it's the same piggy bank process: layering paper using some sort of glue. The difference is that in the intervening years, I've gone to art school, and worked as a designer, and had kids, and made alot of art... and even figured some things out. (Like, I don't use wheat paste, but I do still get glue in my ears, my hair, etc.)


So (geez, she is going on FOREVER. Is there a POINT?) I do use the lamination process. I use recycled newspapers for the majority of the 5 to 8 layers that I typically do, depending on what the end product is going to be. I use other papers as outside layers to provide a textured finish. The glue is plain white PVA glue. Before painting, I gesso all surfaces with two coats. I finish up with layers of acrylic color, and seal it with acrylic varnish for water-resistance.


The difference between my work and alot of other papier mache artists that I've seen online is that they are working with pulp and molds, and their end product tends to be figurative: people , animals, etc. I've worked with pulp, and may do so again, but for now I'm really enjoying the color and design aspect of what I'm doing. And as I'm trained as a designer, it seems to fit. So I avoid calling myself simply a papier mache artist because I don't fit into that mold. (was that a pun?)


I'm betting your ready for a refill on that wine about now...

4 comments:

cahillmulligan said...

Wine, too? I like your art parties! I like your art... it sort of parties all by itself...

Cheers--Carrie

ps--I am working pretty hard for those earrings, no? ;)

Melissa Lanitis Gregory said...

Yes, you are! And it's all very much appreciated! You've got 3 pieces of paper with your name on them in the faux-leopard-skin pillbox hat...
We'll have a toast to you on Sunday!

Kristen Schwartz said...

The image of your friend's turtle is hilarious! Any chance you can get a picture?

Melissa Lanitis Gregory said...

Makes you curious, doesn't it? I actually thought about asking...
Kind of have to, don't I?