(Side effects of) Taking it to the Second Floor

Remember the Mixed Media Circus event that I attended in Hamburg last November? Well, some of the things that I saw and heard back then still resonate in my mind. Nathalie Kalbach and Julie Fei-Fan Balzer know their stuff and they’re not afraid to share their experiences. So, when they wrote about this new challenge they had cooked up back in November, I thought it sounded pretty cool. And… I thought I didn’t have time to play a long.

I have been going from one deadline to another these past months and I was really beginning to dread going into my studio… Because there would always be an assignment there, waiting for me. And yes, there are still more assignments to be done. But Nat and Julie had planted a persistent seed…

The idea of gold paint got stuck in my mind. And then, when I found myself near an art supply shop, I just had to go in and buy some gold acrylic. And as I was working on my assignment for the myStamp BOX and Faber-Castell Blog Hop… I found myself seeking ways to incorporate gold into the project! So once I finished that little canvas, I gave in… I dug up a blank canvas that I had been saving forever and took the Second Floor Challenge:

Now, the deal is not only to let yourself play with no expectations, but at one point you also have to ‘take it to the Second Floor’: step out of your comfort zone and experiment.

Well, with painting a whole canvas (that I’d been petting for ages) GOLD, I was already stepping out of my comfort zone… on steroids. After some trail and error, I found that slapping the paint on with a brush and then swiping it smooth with an old (credit) card was the best way to go about it. I had made sure my gold paint was opaque, but it still took more coats of than I’m willing to admit and in the end I’m still not completely happy with the coverage.

Next step was spraying Glimmer Mist through paper doilies. That went OK… until I messed things up and I had to wipe it all down again. Not all of the Glimmer Mist came off :-). That’s when I came to the point that I didn’t care anymore and I just went and glued down cut out pieces here and there. Most pieces came from my box of scraps. Even the little houses!

During the process I thought that THIS could be my ‘trust’ canvas. ‘Trust’ is my word for 2012… And for the past three months I’ve been meaning to make a canvas for it, just like I did last year. I went to the Internet to find a couple of quotes I could use. And I found ‘Trust your heart’ which is part of the E.E. Cummings poem ‘Dive for dreams’. Which then sparked all kind of ideas :-).

Back to the canvas: I struggled with the lettering. I didn’t dare write on the canvas, so I decided to use Glimmer Misted raw chipboard Thickers. I knew from experience that they would fall apart. I went ahead anyway and after they had dried, I assembled them again and I clear embossed them. This also didn’t go smoothly, but… I embraced all imperfections and went with it.

And then… I thought I could do more… but instead I decided to take it to the Second Floor AGAIN and step away. I called it finished!

The fact that I didn’t dare write on the canvas didn’t sit right with me though and besides I was still very inspired by the E.E. Cummings poem. So I got out my art journal and I wrote… on an already finished page… and I didn’t stop there… I wrote on a couple of other finished pages too!

This may seem trivial and off topic to you, but… this is huge! Because up until now I was afraid to ruin my art journal pages with my handwriting. So… there you have it: a major break through, all because I decided to take the time to do Nat and Julie’s Second Floor Challenge!

I can’t wait until their next one… I’m soooo curious to see where it will take me!

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6 thoughts on “(Side effects of) Taking it to the Second Floor

  1. I love your writing about this process! Awesome!!! YES- yes- we need to do something out of the comfort zone and sometimes it will actually have a double whammy effect- did something new, for fun AND on an assignment ;) Thank you for playing along!

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  2. The challenge worked! You certainly went our of your comfort zone! I created a scrapbook page for my 2nd Floor Challenge using all upcycled materials, and gold paint, of course…lots of fun!

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  3. We schijnen allemaal een soort ‘breakthrough’ mee te maken deze dagen… YEAY voor nieuwe ervaringen en mooie canvassen!!! Geniet van je weekend Marsha!

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