Sunday, June 28, 2009

Collaged Poster with Encyclopedia Dots

I have been making a poster for the art raffle fundraiser for the Gafney Library. My task was to create a design that would accommodate the names of the 38 artists who are donating work for the event. I'd planned to take photos to document every step, but as I got closer to finishing I couldn't break the momentum to stop and take pictures. I was under a little deadline pressure as well.

Working on a piece of 24x30 inch canvas board, I arranged 16 large circles (using a dvd as a template) to begin the design. I envisioned the names as radiating out from the center of the circles. There needed to be space for 38 names. I printed them out in Photoshop along with the text for the bottom of the poster. At first some names were displayed on the diagonal but I finally settled on a design where all the names were at right angles:

I had recently rescued a set of encyclopedias with the covers missing from the paper dumpster at the town dump. I was attracted to the lovely colors (lots of yummy yellow) of the endpapers and thought that recycled books would be appropriate for a library related event. I had seven front pages like this:

And also seven back pages like this:

I traced my dots to include my favorite parts and was able to get two dots (each yielding four quarters) from each page. The part that took the most time was deciding on the arrangement of the quarters. When I finally got a satisfactory arrangement, I photographed the piece and looked at it on the computer screen from across the room to check the light and dark areas. The hardest part was deciding which quarter to place in the central position. Here's an early arrangement:

All of the words and the encyclopedia pages were coated on both sides with acrylic medium and trimmed:

Then they were put in place on the canvas board which had previously received two coats of medium. I ironed the surface in one step to adhere the elements to the canvas board, using a large sheet of silicone paper to protect the surface from being marked by (and sticking to) the iron.

Then I used blue painter's tape to mask the outside edges of the main design and layed down some .5mm white cotton cord to delineate the boundry of the white space behind the names, taping down the ends of the cord on the painter's tape. I locked the cords into place by covering the square area of the design with a sheet of very thin Japanese white tissue. I applied acrylic medium with a small brush over the entire surface, being particularly careful of the area around the string. This made the top layer virtually disappear and allowed the colors underneath to show through. Then I trimmed the ends of the cord even with the thin tissue and removed the painter's tape.

My last design task was to make a decision about the small dots at the intersection of the names. After playing around with different versions in photoshop, I decided to use two contrasting colors in order to have alternating colors at the four corners to create some movement:

I selected dark blue and pink from my stash of colored endpapers (to comply with the recycled book theme). Dots were punched using an arch punch from coated paper, set in place, and adhered with an iron.

As a final step I applied two more coats of acrylic medium to the entire poster, allowing it to dry thoroughly between coats. The design reminds me of those Yo-Yo quilts where you gather circles of fabric and attach them at the edges.

2 comments:

self taught artist said...

anita, this is fantastic! good job..very cool to see how you did it too. hope it is a great success and this poster pulls in the people!

Mikel O'Brien said...

Nice that you showed your process, Anita! I love knowing what was behind the "finished product," which is awesome!