SOMETHING OUT OF NOTHING with Shelby

"Art is making something out of nothing and selling it." - Frank Zappa

I always smile when I read this Zappa quote. When I was in Art School, as much as our instructors encouraged following our creative voice, they equally stressed the importance of sales. After all, a starving artist in a garret sounds romantic, but creativity has a difficult time thriving when you’re faced with a lack of income.

I have been working on a series of Prayer Flags using the Artistcellar Tibet Series for inspiration. They will be on exhibit at WITF-TV, our local PBS channel in Harrisburg, PA. This is my second set. The first sold at an exhibition last year. Although the new set is in the spirit of the old, I found my colour choices and positions of the stencils were evolving. As you use your Artistcellar stencils you too will discover how they inspire your work. When masking a stencil here or there, you can change the feel of your design, always creating something fresh and new.

Recently a friend gifted me with a beautifully wrapped wind chime. The deep purple tissue paper she used has a wonderful sheen and light texture. I knew it would find its way into my art. While working on the flags, I found it hard to just wash all the luscious paint off my stencils. Instead, in celebration of Earth Day, I used my purple tissue as a blotter. What better way to “Reuse & Recycle”?

When I was finished stenciling my flag, I transferred the paint to the paper. The tissue took the acrylics well and soon I had two gorgeous paint covered sheets. But this is just the beginning. The paper will be a central part of a project I will write about in the coming weeks.

Have you ever tried using up your paint on paper this way? Not only “saving” your acrylic it’s a great way to extend the life of your stencil…to have positive and negative images at your fingertips.

I suppose Frank Zappa was right. As artists we can make something from nothing.  And here’s hoping you have future sales to boot!

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Lisa Cousineau
Lisa Cousineau

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