Artist's Prayer

Give us Your daily Inspiration
So, we can live a Creative Life.
And lead us away from self-doubt,
For to doubt our creativity
Is to doubt Your Voice within us.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Aging Your Artwork...

A friend of mine was referring to his father's antique book collection, when he said, 'you know, it takes one hundred years for a book to become a hundred-years-old one.' That's certainly true of antiques, but as artist we can turn a brand new book into an antiquated gem by utilizing various techniques. And this subject matter become an inspiration for my new step-by-step article for Creativity Portal I begun to work on yesterday.

I'm working on couple of pieces at the same time and I'm applying to them old and new techniques to the images, all the while wondering how far back I can turn the clock on them....? What I love the most about altered art is a complete freedom of exploration new ideas.... after all who can say for sure what hadn't happened to the old photograph or an artifact since its creation? I can stamp an image, a sheet of paper, or a canvas with a muddy rubber boot, spill ink or paint, or brush it with steel wool.... and these are just very first ideas that come to mind. When we hold an antique in our hands we hope to hear its small whispers and tell the story of its journey.... did someone cherished it with joy, or was it thrown around or laid hidden for years as painful memento of a lost loved one? And that's an inspiration and challenge of altered artmaking - attempting to capture and express this precious patina of times past....

Below are few shots of my 'aging journey'...... I encourage you to experiment with your own imagery or find a favorite on an online clip art portal. One word of caution, when altering~aging your artwork, keep your anti-wrinkle away....

Tearing & Kneading can't be overemphasized. I also like burning the edges with a candle lighter for a more 'credible' feel. Make sure that you work with copies NOT originals, not only you can reuse them in future projects, but once the damage is done to an original..... well, that's all I have to say about that....

After attaching the pieces of images of old Sanskrit texts with soft gel, I applied a generous coat to the surface of heavy gel gloss to build up some texture to which the upcoming layers of paint glazes with adhere well. Next I used a glaze of Golden Quinacridone Nickel Azo Gold (in my opinion the best 'aging color'....EVER

Here I applied undiluted Golden Titan Buff with a palette knife to the ridges created by heavy gel and to the edges of the images a bit, too.

I used a wet paper towel to wipe completely off paint in here and there.... hey, you never know how much sun exposure this poor writing has experienced in a lifetime...?

I have a set of three wire brushes, each with different flexibility, that I bought at Hobby Lobby. I felt a 'creative obligation' to use my brushes on this piece... the original writing date back close to 5,000 years ago.... I know it wasn't nice to the paper, but my credibility is on the line here....!

Here is a special, very gently treatment of Golden Iridescent Gold (Fine) applied with a palette knife.

I should stop this post right here, because if I'd want to include all the pictures from this piece and another one I'm working on simultaneously, you'd be in need of a serious physical therapy for your palm, after all that scrolling, and scrolling, and scrolling....

You can check out my latest article on Creativity Portal titled 'Adventures In Mixed Media Textures.'


  1. Wonderful ideas,I will try some of this, thanks for sharing.

  2. Once again you turned out another beautiful pice of art.
    Pat Davis