It’s time for you to begin the experimental art portion of your life. Yes, someone needs to shake that old, dusty pencil or the same watercolor set from out of your art box. We think about our art guru, Bob Ross who’s famous words were “We don’t make mistakes, just happy little accidents” and realize that it takes us trying new mediums and techniques to expand our art realm. Is it scary? Yes. Will you make “happy little accidents”? Yes. Will you also discover amazing things along the way? YES!
A few months ago, I happened to walk into a new framing shop to get a poster for my dad framed and I noticed something quite unusual on the wall. It was an amazingly glossy piece of abstract art. The colors weren’t that great, the composition wasn’t “wow” either. But, what caught my attention was the material it was painted on. I asked the frame store owner what it was. He said simply, “plexiglass.”
Wow, could it be that easy? Wait, what kind of paint do I use? Does it wipe off? How do I start?
I started in art explorer mode and began the expedition. Home Depot for plexiglas was a “no-brainer.” Anything larger than 18×24 would require a specialty shop…nah, I’m just experimenting right now. Let’s leave the pro stuff for later.
Oils or acrylic? That was my next question. The obvious choice for me was acrylic. It’s cheap, easy to use and to be quite honest, it was the first thing that I saw in my craft room.
Hold on, if I’m painting on plexiglas and it looks glossy on the front side…that meant that I must paint on the backside. Thus, I am going to have to paint backwards! Whoa, that just blew my mind. Thinking about a tree that I was about to paint, I surmised that I will have to paint some of the branches first, none of the background till the very end and somewhere along the middle I will be creating the tree leaves. Hmm, usually I can paint a tree in a matter of minutes. This is a challenge!
So now that we’ve stepped out of the normal paint realm, I find myself being challenged. Thinking differently and problem-solving on this new project was refreshing and invigorating. Taking a unique approach with a new medium allows you to not only proceed with excitement but also to proceed with the basic art knowledge you’ve acquired over so many projects already.
Well, the project went well. I was able to dabble and just have fun with this piece. I knew if it went horribly wrong, I could just wipe it off or wash it off. No harm, no foul. Time and time again, I find myself repeating these words to my art students, “Don’t worry, what’s the worst that can happen?” Now, it’s time for you to take these words to heart on your next great experiment! Happy crafting!