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Saturday, December 7, 2019

Why It's Important to Save Old Wood

I'm sort of kidding about this, but sort of not. I have several boxes in the shop filled with pieces of wood that I've salvaged from things like old planter boxes and even the duck house that I demolished a couple of years ago to make room for a new one.

But my prize is a piece of wood that a friend gave me about 5 or 6 years ago. He said it was from an old building. It was wide - nearly 12" which you know is wide if you've tried to buy wood lately - and nice and flat. But the best part was the old off-white paint that was peeling here and there.

Delightfully, I was able to use it to make a frame for this collage. I think it's the perfect fit for the deer. It has a "farmhouse Christmas" look. Oh, and even more delightfully, I still have some of the wood left for another project!

For all intents and purposes, my days of buying frames are over! Of course that's nice because frames are expensive. But, more than that, I just don't like finishing a piece just the way I want it and then searching available moldings that sprung from someone else's imagination that will work for my piece. It's usually "sort of" work than "really" work - at least in my mind. I'd rather just have no frame, or a "painted frame" as part of the piece itself, like last week's post.

This works for me because I work mainly in acrylic which doesn't require glass to protect it. But even watercolor can do without glass as long as I spray it with fixative, adhere it to a wood panel, and varnish it. The only medium that wouldn't work - at least that I can think of - is pastel.

A few words about this collage. I did it as one of three examples for a class that I was planning but never taught. I wanted to develop a way for people who didn't have (or didn't think they had) drawing skills but still wanted a realistic image as a collage element.

The deer is a copyright free image that I found on the internet. I used a photo editor to remove the color and lighten the exposure, then applied colored pencil over it - kind of like a coloring book! Then I sprayed the paper with fixative and was able to proceed with the collage, adding other elements, washes of color, and decorative details. It was really fun. I should do a video on it (note to self!)

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