Introduction to Art Journal Selections

I. Parts from an old project that I have revisited more than once

Actually, the two pages above have parts in them from at least four old projects, but the parts I want to talk about right now are the paint sample card pieces from a hardware store that I punched holes in for different effects. I worked at Central Hardware a long time ago (1989) and I took home a couple of boxes of out of date paint color samples when they were being discarded.

In the spring of 1990, I was getting ready to graduate from St. Louis Community College with an A.A. degree. I was excited and creatively on fire. I was pushing myself in my classes and doing lots of projects outside of class too because so many ideas were coming to me. I was making tile mosaics in ceramics class at that time and I started bringing my love of tiles from just clay into paper pieces too. I made a large drawing then cut it into sections and made separate but related collages so that they would look interesting if reassembled.

Brainwaves collage
Brainwaves collage made from scrap chipboard, found papers, paint sample cards, paint, colored pencils, marker, digitally enhanced.

Several years later I scanned these cards and made a computer graphic out of them. Here is a bigger image - Brainwaves (click the color changing brain at the bottom of the page to see it on a web page that I made in 1999).

Here are a some other projects (besides my art journals) that use some of these paint sample cards.

Pulled Into the Future

This collage was in an Art St. Louis show in 2007. I made the textures on it with one of the rubber stamps I designed for my collection.

Making a background for a shadow box

Paint samples with archival dye ink
In 2014 was fooling around in my studio seeing what I could repurpose to make a box to display my bracelets. I used a fruit crate, some scrap wood, parts I salvaged from an old chair my Mom and Dad used to keep on their porch, and scrap mat board. In this photo I'm gluing to a painted background pieces that I cut from paint sample chips and overprinted with a technique called "fossil stone monoprinting". That is where you put rubber stamping ink between two pieces of acetate and press them together to make neat bubbly textures, then print onto pieces of paper.

Mosaic prototype
In 2012 I had used a similar technique to make a paper mosaic that was intended to both be it's own work of art, and also to serve as a prototype so that I could make ceramic tiles to order for a tray that I made for the bottom level of a 20 gallon wrought iron aquarium stand.

This computer-enhanced collage, called "Juicy", evolved from playing around with paint sample cards, wrapping paper and more during the 2021-22 Christmas season when I was having a bad time for many reasons and was trying to cheer myself up with color. It worked from time to time, I got through it, and started a lot of ideas that are still being developed when I work on art. "Juicy" was in the virtual Art St. Louis show "Nourish" in 2022.

Bookmarks in a rainbow of paint sample colors
I made a lot of mixed media collages on more of the paint sample cards during the Christmas seasons of 2020-21 and 2021-22 for my annual conceptual art project 12 Days of Tom's Beard. Family members have already asked if we are doing it again this upcoming 2022-23 Christmas season. We have decided yes, as long as we have fun we will probably keep doing it! I get a lot of ideas from it also, there have been spin-off art projects already and I am expecting there will be more to come! Fortunately or unfortunately, I can't do a project without getting ideas for many more spin-offs. This photo shows the paint sample cards where they are the day I'm writing this in 2022, on an endcap at Schnarr's Hardware in Webster Groves where the store owner generously allows me to sell some art and craft supplies on one endcap and one nearby rotating rack. I'm going to be taking these paint sample cards, which I made into bookmarks, down soon when I change out the display.

Things to be grateful for: