This week, the prospect of writing a Wednesday Wow had me stumped. I haven’t bought any new products or adopted a highway or memorized an important squirrel haiku, so what did I have to contribute? In a flash, I remembered that my friend Lori had been talking about a distressing technique that involved altering Paper A – i.e. a plain piece of paper – by painting Paper B – namely, a textured piece of paper – and then pressing Paper B to Paper A as if they were two teenagers in the back seat of a car. Maybe the teenager bit wasn’t mentioned. I was technically not part of the conversation at the time, so I can’t be sure.
In hopes of cribbing a “wow” moment from someone else’s discussion, I sat down at my work table with a canvas panel – i.e. my Paper A – and immediately realized that I had no textured paper to serve as Paper B. Undaunted, I grabbed a piece of low-grit sand paper and painted that with some of Mr. Holtz’s Distress Paint. I brayered the sand paper over the canvas, and here’s what happened.
Then I decided – for no particular reason – to put a cheap stencil in that same area with the same blue paint.
Then I remembered that I had read about a distressing technique involving Vaseline. Slimy! I coated my blue zone with Vaseline and painted over everything with another of Mr. Holtz’s Distress Paints.
Somewhere in this process, I realized that I was doing something I haven’t done in a very, very long time: I was experimenting, with no serious artistic goal in mind, and absolutely zero stakes. Did it look good? Okay. Did it look crappy? Okay. I wasn’t worried about wrecking anything, getting anywhere, making any progress. I was just trying things out. And it felt good!
For anyone who likes or needs closure, here’s is the background I ended up with:
But even if I hadn’t produced a usable background, I would have considered the time well spent. Sometimes we don’t need to find a new product or memorize squirrel haiku. Sometimes, we just need to play with the stuff we have, no matter what that is.