Lately I’ve been using Artists’ Journals & Sketch- books by Lynne Perrella as a reference tool. I study the pieces I really like and try to imitate what the artist has done. After all, many art students hone their painting skills by copying the works of the masters; why shouldn’t I do the same kind of practice?
One of the things that caught my eye was the interesting use of shipping tags as attachments and embellishments and I wanted to experiment with them. Before spending money on new tags I decided to see if I had anything on hand that I could use first. I am above all, a recycler. I’m also cheap. I’m thrilled when I can get free art supplies by re-using old materials. I found a small assortment of price tags I had saved from purchased items. I had intended to use the words on the tags in collage but realized I could create some faux shipping tags by resurfacing them with gesso. You can see the results in this photo.
The tag with the attached string had an interesting technical drawing on one side and an ambiguous technical message on the other so I left it alone except for smearing it on an ink pad to add some “age”. It had some nice crinkles that gave some depth to the ink. After laying down several coats of gesso on the other three tags I drew lines with a pencil on one, used a black permanent marker on one, and added pink squiggles from a pink brush/pen to the other. Then I put a light coat of acrylic medium yellow over all. I mixed a little burnt sienna with the yellow for the middle one.
Of the three tags I gessoed, the only one that didn’t come out well was the one that was slick on two sides. The gesso didn’t seem to add any body to the tag, and I think it may have become even flimsier than it already was. The tags with a matte surface worked much better.