Title: Let Squares Be Squares
Size: 12″ x 24″
Let Squares Be Squares was created using painter’s caulk, glass tiles, and acrylic paint on canvas.
Let Squares Be Squares is a mixed media painting that doesn’t have much of a story to be honest. Most of its story lies in the acquisition of the tiles. Oh, and I guess the, um, bout of mental illness that provided the inspiration & title.
I participated in Artomatic @ Jefferson, WV back in 2013. It was held in a building that used to be home to a tile company. They still had a storage area at the end of the building. The owners decided to have a small clearance sale to sell off discounted tiles, samples, and leftovers. I wandered in one day before one of my shifts. I wasn’t planning to buy anything because I’d never worked with tile before – and they only took cash or checks. [Seriously, this was 2013. I can accept any credit card on my phone and couldn’t even begin to tell you where my actual check book is.] It was a good thing, in hindsight, that they didn’t take credit cards. Clearly I ended up buying some of the samples….way too many samples. I figured that I work with caulk, why not grout? Right? Right??
For about 6 months, I had all the samples I bought laying in various areas around my basement. I finally got around to detaching them from their bases. I sorted them into neatly organized plastic containers and that’s kind of where they sat for the longest time. I used a few here & there but largely I was regretting my impulse tile shopping.
When the main Artomatic was announced for 2015, I decided it was time I did something with those tiles. I sat on the floor of my studio surrounded by blank canvases, canvas boards, and all the little plastic containers of these tiles determined to do something. I arranged, rearranged, and got increasing frustrated with failed attempt after failed attempt to come up a decent design.
Stick with me here, it gets a bit weird. As I sat there staring with a decent amount of contempt at a set of beautiful blue glass tiles, this voice pops into my head (have I mentioned I’m probably batshit crazy?). It just said “why can’t you just Let Squares Be Squares dumbass?” It was one of those moments where I sat there simultaneously contemplating my sanity and thinking that voice was a fucking genius! I realized I had a narrow rectangular canvas still in my storage room (ok, technically it’s the weirdly shaped bathroom attached to my studio that has more storage than any room in my house). I grabbed that and came up with the design not long after.
After finding a layout I liked, I had to carefully transfer the pattern to the floor so I could coat the canvas in caulk. Once applied and smoothed out to my liking, I carefully began transferring the tiles back to the canvas. After it tried, I carefully painted the canvas white. The caulk itself is white, but it’s kind of a dull white. I wanted vibrant, glossy white. After that dried (yay for the blow dryer in my studio!), I sealed it with a varnish.
Remember 6 paragraphs ago when I said it didn’t have much of a story. Clearly I lied. 🙂