Thursday, April 14, 2011

The first layers

While most days end with a finished piece, not every day does. Today, for example, I spent most of my time creating first layers by gluing papers onto stretched canvases. The boxy pieces are 10" x 10" and 12" x 12" squares with the papers - vintage geological survey maps, children's books text, vintage black & white maps - wrapped around the side and underneath. The top piece of gessoed canvas needs flattening but I wanted it in the photo so I took it out of the book press.  I'm not sure yet what will top these backgrounds, but wanted to have some on hand since it always takes me more time to make them than I think it will.


  1. Hi Sara! Remember me!? Madeline (Hill!) I also do collage! What do you use to glue down your first layers? Golden medium, or?? I am enoying your blog... how have you been?

  2. Wow. Kind of shell shocked to hear from you after all this time. To answer your question: I use a variety of adhesives. I think I'll write a full post about it, after shooting a photo of the array!

    My choice always depends on the surface, the paper and how agile I am on a given day. At the moment, Yes! paste is my favorite. It is amazing how flat the pieces are when using it. It can be tear thin papers but that has been less of a problem recently. Maybe it's because I finally bought a new jar and the paste is so much softer and easier to push around. One benefit of it is that it doesn't dry too fast so you can move pieces around - not much but enough to get a slight misplacement adjusted. It also can be cleaned up with water - even after it has dried - so glue spots don't show on the final piece.

    Most often, I use a combination of glues, turning to:
    - Golden or Liquitex acrylic mediums (various types, depending on the age/weight of the paper),
    - Modge Podge (have tried every type and am leaning toward the regular matte and the hard coat, with the latter as a final coat/sealant),
    - PVA (most often used by book artists, it dries very fast but sticks like nothing else - I'm out of it at the moment).

    I know there are some I am forgetting, so stay tuned for the post and please send me your e-mail address, love to find out all that you have been up to in these - um - decades!