|What is this, a torture rack...? But no, it's an Art of Patience DIY upcycled picture-frame project!|
So, as I have stated in my blog numerous times by now..., for the last several years I have been participating in my very own personal art supply shopping moratorium. As explained in this older post, and this one..., some time ago I came to the conclusion that most of what I need to create meaningful and interesting art is already in my own possession -- by way of the art supplies I'd collected over the years, materials that pass through my life and hands during the course of an ordinary day, and, most importantly, my own ingenuity. A wish to turn away from our culture's rampantly excessive consumerism, and a will to avoid excessively contributing to our nation's waste stream, has lead me to get creative in finding alternatives to the purchase of certain traditional art supplies. One of these has been coming up with my own alternative painting supports, typically involving the recycling/upcycling of old picture frames and such like that I acquire second-hand, often just prior to their final destination, the local landfill. Here is a wee photo essay of one recent DIY upcycled frame project:
A few years back, at the end of a charity rummage sale for which I'd volunteered, I was invited to take this red...whatever it was..., home with me:
|A 25' x 14.5" Red...Thing.|
I think it's possibly a chalkboard-holder thingie (by which one can remove a chalkboard from a slit in the top, write a menu on it and then replace it)? In any case, with no chalkboard it was pretty much useless as it was, and clearly unwanted. I was attracted to its elegant dimensions (25" x 14.5"), plus the sumptuous little curvy shapes at the top, which called to my mind something akin to Mexican Retablo and Ex Voto. I decided the Red Thing had potential, and schlepped it home determined to turn it into something useful (or in other words, 'make something from nothing')....
I finally decided recently to give it a go, which required breaking out tools:
|Hand's On Project|
In addition to tools I grabbed some scrap wood found in our ancient garage (that had been in there since we moved in over a decade ago).....
I decided to cut the scrap wood to fit into the space where the chalkboard (?) would have fit, in order to fill in the space as well as to create a more elegant surface upon which to paint:
|Trying out sizes|
My carpentry skills leave much to be desired I'm sure, but I can at least manage the basics....:
|Fits well enough...|
Once the wood was cut to fit it was just a matter of gluing it all in securely, and applying the wood clamps:
|Handy things, wood clamps|
Success! I now have a new 'canvas' all ready to paint, making use of what was essentially useless, unwanted stuff...!
I did rather like how it looked, with the different wood colours, etc -- however I don't care for painting on naked wood, so decided it best to give it the black gesso treatment:
Now I have only to decide my subject matter (and hmm, I'm thinking perhaps another Frida tribute portrait/piece might be in order.....?)....
My usual blurb about my use of old frames:
I have recently begun painting almost exclusively on supports I create myself utilising the old, salvaged, wooden picture frames that cross my path from time to time (usually for free). I feel good about giving these unwanted homeless items a second life, not only because trees were cut down at some point to produce them, but also because by the time I get my hands on them they are usually destined for the landfill. The process of recycling these vintage frames into painting supports/canvases can be a lengthy one -- in this case cutting scrap wood to fit and gluing it all into place. The end effect is an unusual, one-of-a-kind and ready-to-hang 'canvas' which will ultimately add interest and depth to my painting, complete with a built-in frame....