Sometimes thinking out of the box means painting a box! (sorry for that.) But really, painting small wooden boxes (like cigar boxes) can be a fun departure from the everyday canvas or panel. In fact, painting on a box is basically the same as painting on the latter, only the end result is something that you can put stuff in!
I originally fell in love with the idea when I saw these painted boxes Wayne Thiebaud did as gifts for his wife:
I just knew I had to do some for myself. Being cheap, I opted for the cigar box option. All I needed was my painting materials and some painters tape to cleanly section off the area for the image:
I don’t know what I’m gonna put in here yet, but I feel like it should be something dirty. Like vibrators.
Moleskine notebooks are the quintessential chic and artsy notebook. At least, that’s what the marketing goons have convinced me over the years. But I did manage to get my hands on some, and I have to admit, I like them. The pages are a nice, smooth texture, and resist bleeding really well (so messy pen sketches are achievable!) And I have to admit, it does make me feel more polished writing in one as opposed to some spiral-bound monstrosity. Oh, how positively gauche.
However, the plain black cover, although nice, could sometimes use some jazzing up. Being an artist always well-supplied in acrylic paint, there was no question as to how to resolve this little issue:
I also painted a special one for my recent solo show’s guestbook.
I like to think that adding this personal touch to a plain notebook made those who were kind enough to write messages feel that they were writing in something just a little more special. Sometimes I forget that my painting skills can expand beyond the typical canvas or board. But that’s what all artists do: we have the ability to use our own unique vision to add that extra touch of beauty to our lives, whether that be through our work, homes, or a humble little notebook.
Being a college student often means having a tight wallet. For me, this means that I do a lot of window shopping and daydreaming if I’m out and about. Partly because I want to gather ideas on things I can make myself (although, I have to admit, I rarely ever actually do.) However! Recently I did craft a little something. Well, rather made a “modification.” I was browsing anthropologie, and came across these bags (ipad cases? Envelope clutches?):
Being resourceful, and self aware enough to realize “hey! I can paint things too!” I thought “I ain’t buying no damn $300 bag! I’ll make one myself!” Unfortunately, I didn’t have any thick canvas/muslin of my own to make the envelope clutch-base to paint on. And so the project went unfulfilled, but stewed in my mind for a few weeks. Then, as I was looking through my closet for things to purge, I found an old Liz Claiborne bag that I’d never used and likely got for $5.00 at Marshalls. It was then that I realized “woah! I could, like, paint on this!” It’s a cheap purse so it’s made out of plastic anyway (perfect for acrylic.) Here is the fruit of my labor:
I’m pretty proud of it. What’s also great is that whenever I get sick of this image, I can always paint another scene over it. All I used were the acrylic paints that I use for my artwork. I also put a thin layer of soft gel gloss over the top to protect it a bit. That’s it! No sewing, measuring, or (for me) buying any new supplies. Just go out to Goodwill, find a cheap bag (shouldn’t be hard), preferably made out of vinyl or some kind of plastic-like material (I wouldn’t use leather), and channel your inner art-eest!