I was recently introduced to Melanie Anderson from The Painted Bench, a lovely and charming paint shop on Ottawa Street North in Hamilton. Melanie is a qualified stockist* of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint ®, a versatile paint that is most commonly associated with refurbishing furniture . . . just type "chalk paint" or "Annie Sloan" into your Pinterest search, and you'll see a bazillion examples of beautiful chalk paint creations. The paint is probably most famous for the fact that it requires little to no priming before painting on a myriad of surfaces.
Melanie was looking for an artist to show more possibilities for chalk paint besides furniture - namely, artwork. And I was more than thrilled to oblige! Melanie set me up with every colour in Annie Sloan's chalk paint rainbow, and set me loose to play with paint and come up with ideas.
For a long time now, I have wanted to explore and create "assemblage" artwork. If you're not familiar with assemblage, basically it takes collage (which comes from the French word for "glue") to another level using three dimensional objects and heavier duty adhesion implements, like nails, staples, screws, etc. It's the perfect medium for me and all my bins of junk. When I talked to Melanie about chalk paint, I realized that it was a perfect partner for assemblage because the paint is so accommodating to so many surfaces. And of course, chalk paint is also a great medium for my other love: collage.
For the last few months, I experimented, tinkered and painted, and recently, I delivered some finished pieces to Melanie at The Painted Bench. In this post, and successive blog posts, I'll show you some of the pieces and explain what went into them. It was an invaluable creative experience for me, and I'm so grateful to Melanie for this wonderful opportunity.
Here's one of my first pieces, a collage of a silver dollar plant (lunaria). The background is handmade paper (from India) covered with chalk paint. The plant is made with embroidery thread and tissue paper. Because chalk paint can be layered and sanded back so beautifully, I immediately thought of creating a silver dollar plant because of its mottled shades and reflections. And for those Annie Sloan Chalk Paint aficionados out there, here are the colours used in this collage: Graphite, Napoleonic Blue, Florence, Antibes Green, Coco, Pure White and Old White . . . those are the colours I can remember anyway. I also used a touch of raw ombre acrylic paint in this piece.
And just for fun, here's a shot of my chalk paint wheel in my studio. Stay tuned for more art!
* Annie Sloan distributes her paint through a network of stockists, whom she chooses, because she aims to support small businesses. Read more here.
Jane Hogeterp Koopman
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