A recent painting assignment really gave my brain a stretch when we were required to use a non-traditional art material. This is non-traditional in the sense of “things not commonly found in an art store”. Though, some craft items, like yarn, string, wire, etc. are acceptable as non-traditional.
Still, I had a hard time getting around the idea of non-traditional materials used in a painting looking more like a 3rd grade craft project than fine art. I’ve seen, or rather, I’ve made, too many terrible art projects by attempting to use anything that’s not an art material (Fruit Loops and glue will haunt me forever).
But, I accepted the challenge, and after much thinking (about a week and a half worth, which is rather slow for me), I decided to use string. I actually wanted to use staples, but I couldn’t think of any good ideas, so string it was.
Mainly, I wanted to make a time machine out of string on a ground (paper). Just because. Time machines are rather useful.
Thus, being an avid Doctor Who fan and thinking of time as a “wibbly wobbly timey wimey stuff”, a tangled mess of string was the obvious choice. But my time machine later morphed into a more concrete form of a string brain that controls paths to selected memories.
The paths were made by gluing the string to the paper, and/or stitching through it. Each represent a journey to a memory, past and future (it is a time machine, after all). I painted over some of the paths to show that sometimes there are muddy sort of spots on the journeys to memories. The memories are represented by headline like sentences cut from a newspaper.
We also had another free painting that we were suppose to do that didn’t have to include a non-traditional material, but I decided, what the heck, string didn’t look half bad.
I decided to take a bit of a different approach to this next one, but with a similar style.
Because the picture prevents legibility, the bricks on the top are paper with the phrase “I know!” in 5 pt. font repeated over and over again.
Basically, I painted an anatomical heart (with my second love, acrylics), then I stitched on a string drill, to imitate one of those child’s imagination line drawings. All this in order to drill through the seemingly endless brick wall/ceiling of “I know!”s. I painted the heart upside down to imitate a machine with the arteries to act as exhaust pipes, propelling the heart drill upward through the bricks.
I’d like to work with string more in the future, despite the fact that glue and me do not get along. But I’m currently fresh out of ideas. That’s fine, though, next week is Spring Break! Be back in a couple weeks~