I’ve fallen in love with someone new. He’s sweet and he sticks around. His name is homemade wheat paste. I had forgotten the beauty of this simple substance. Back in my art school days we used wheat paste (all be it store bought) for all sorts of things.
On Monday night I set out to whip up a batch of paste and realized how simple and cheap it is to make. I’m asking myself why I just ordered $150 worth of glue for my classroom when my students could actually get a little science lesson and make a few batches themselves.
“How?”, you ask?
This new-ish discovery could not come at a more perfect time. I have been fussing about trying to get in the groove of making art again and I have found that I am just plain tired of painting flat pictures. I am a tactile girl. I have a degree in sculpture. I want to make things out of things I don’t have to buy. Things that I can re-purpose.
A few months ago my fifth grade students did a project based on various Earthworks artists like Robert Smithson . I gave each student a piece of cardboard, some brown packing paper, colored tissue paper, and some art paste. They were instructed to create a work of art with a three-dimensional pattern. My students came up with some of the most beautiful and interesting collages I had seen in a long time.
This week I’ve been playing around with the paste and paper. As I was working with the notion of creating a relief version of some of the motifs and images I’ve been using this past year, I started to recognize the circle not only as a place holder but also as a container, a holding place.
As the circle develops into three dimensions it either becomes a sphere or a cylinder. A cylinder is the basic shape of nests, barnacles, dare I say it, a birth canal. Sorry, more about containment once I’ve worked it all out in my brain.
I am so damn excited to be making something new. It’s like the days after a first kiss. Can’t sleep, can’t concentrate, must be with my new love. Creativity, you give me butterflies.