Not much time in the studio this week. When I was there, I contemplated how to better divide my time. I think I’m going to set aside acrylics for a while.
Acrylic collage is a messy business. My chair holds the gallon of polymer medium; I scoop it from there into a shallow plastic container that claims a corner of the drafting table. The rest of that surface is loaded with papers. The large surface I’m working on rests on a paint can, and leans against the printing press. That leaves me about eighteen inches of space to move around in.
I cannot wear gloves. I keep them on hand. You know, the thin latex – or sometimes latex-free – surgeon-type gloves. I buy them in boxes of one hundred, in the “one size fits all” size…which means large. They are handy when I’m printmaking. On, for inking and wiping the plate, then quickly off, before I touch paper, felt blankets or press. When working in collage, though, I can’t wear the gloves. I lose the feel of the papers, and a sense of how much adhesive I need. I lose dexterity. Soon, from continually dipping my hands into the polymer medium, the tips of the baggy glove fingers have stuck together in an unmanageable blob. Not workable. So, my studio clothes are covered with hardened polymer, where I have wiped the excess. Still, when I’m finished for the day, it takes an hour to clean the muck from my hands.
I am vested in this large collage, which is a companion piece to another of the same size. I am anxious to see where the idea will lead. Still, my studio is small, my options are limited, and I am tired of the mess! I am giving myself until the end of this month to wrap it up. Then, the large panels are going to be stowed away, the drafting table cleared, the press made accessible once again, and I am moving on to other things!