Let Squares Be Squares

Let Squares Be Squares (whiterosesart.com)

Let Squares Be Squares (Sold)

Year: 2015
Size: 12″ x 24″

Let Squares Be Squares was created using painter’s caulk, glass tiles, and acrylic paint on canvas.


The Story

Let Squares Be Squares 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. ¬†ūüôā


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