It’s 2/10/2020, and I just got an idea. Amazing one. It’s like a new form of art. I’m going to create something new, but I don’t know what is going to happen. It is a painting but in layers. Layers of resin in between. I don’t know how many or how thick it will be. But it will have something like a 3D effect. And then I want to put LEDs to the sides and a frame on it.
I don’t think I ever saw something like this. I only saw the resin part. But the idea of lights had been in my head for a long time. Maybe it had to be both, but I don’t know how this idea came to me. When it came, it felt brilliant. Now I’m not so sure, but I’ll do my best. We’ll see how it’ll turn out. I am not even sure whether I want to make it abstract or not.
I have already bought resin, new acrylic colors, power banks, and LEDs, and now I am just waiting for a board and some pieces of wood to make a mold.
I also had to make some decisions. I had to buy new high-quality acrylic paint because oil wouldn’t dry fast enough. I have done some research and even the fast-drying oils need at least three months before completely dry. So, I chose acrylic. Otherwise, it would take me years to create something. Also, I had to decide on the dimensions of the artwork. To buy the LED strip of the right length and materials to make the mold. I decided to use a power bank as a supply that will be mounted on the back of the artwork. It took a lot of thinking and research to make it right and prevent as many problems as possible.
Making of the mold
I made the mold from some old wooden materials I found around the house. For example, I used a shelf from an old closet or an unused frame for canvas stretching. I screwed it together and then used spray cans to seal the wood and make it somewhat waterproof.
I found an older piece of a wooden board with something already painted on it and used it as a base of the artwork. I used several layers of gesso to prime it. But I still don’t know what to paint. I feel there is more pressure on me to make it good. It takes more money and work to make something like that.
Background of the artwork
I am thinking of making it abstract. I’m going to make an orange and pink golden hour background. That’s a nice start. Something like Freedom but more yellow and orange.
I am not used to acrylics that are so good! So bright and deep colors. They are almost as good to work with as oils are. That was quite a surprise.
It’s 2/18/2020, and I’m going to pour the first layer of resin. I have never done this before. I should calculate how much of it I’m going to need. Okay, I’m going to need much more than I expected. Good thing I ordered 5 more kilos. Here I mixed about 1 kg for the first layer. As you can see, I accidentally dropped a funnel into it. The funnel is there to get rid of most of the bubbles.
The mold is busted. The resin already flows through two corners everywhere. I’ll have to repair it or build a new one next time. Maybe when I paint over it, it will be fine. One kilogram of resin is gone.
It seems dry, but there is dust and some artifacts on the surface of the resin. Well, it’s not dry everywhere. I’ll get it out of the mold and try to sand it off.
I made a hole in it and found a wet layer of resin underneath. So, I took off every bit I could, and I’ll leave it to cure. Hope it will.
The first layer went terribly wrong. I must have not mixed it properly, so it was wet in some places even a week later. Now, I have made some progress. I scraped off the uncured resin and poured over it with a new one, which was mixed very carefully this time.
I’m not sure exactly where I made the mistake, but this layer of resin dried within 24 hours, and it looked much better than before. So, I was able to paint another layer on it.
The acrylic paint dried really quickly, so I can pour the next layer soon.
Another layer of resin has dried. It is starting to get that 3D effect. It started as a shit show, but now it looks much better, and I am starting to get a hang of it. Now I can put the mold back on and seal it properly this time with glue and a glue gun.
Making progress. Getting better. It has 4 layers now.
The background is finished. All I am going to do next is the foreground, and that will be the last layer of paint.
There is the foreground.
The resin is dry. I am about to get it out of the mold, and I hope I don’t break it.
Getting it out was harder than I anticipated, but in the end, I succeeded. I also managed to cut my fingers in the process because the resin was sharp on the edges. Needs some sanding.
I’ve been waiting so long to do this. It is almost all done at this stage. It only needs a frame to hide the LEDs and power supply.
I glued the LED strip to the aluminum frame; I glued the frame to the artwork with duct tape to keep it in the right place. Then I poured resin over it, and for greater strength I also used fiberglass. It is already holding together like crazy. Nobody will take the LEDs out of it anymore, and I have no idea for how long the LEDs will work. Therefore, I do not guarantee anything with this artwork. It’s just a piece of art, and it won’t last forever.
I did an experiment to see how long the artwork will glow. I don’t know how this is possible, but it lasted several times longer than I predicted from my calculations.
I poured the last layer of resin over it. In addition, I mixed some anti-bubble agent into the resin, which partly worked, but when I looked at it after it dried, I thought I would get a heart attack. The whole picture was blurred. I guess the additive made the resin opaque in some way.
I decided to sign this artwork up for the Exhibition of Fine Arts in the House of Culture in Ústí nad Orlicí. That’s to make me finish it at any cost. Ever since I started having problems with it, I didn’t feel like doing anything about it, and instead, I worked on other paintings and on my websites.
After a day of sanding, I finally sanded the whole bad layer, and it can be seen through again. So, I can pour the last layer again.
It looks much better after this last layer, but I’m still not happy with it. That’s why I thought I’d grind, polish and polish it again. After a few hours I have it polished, and now I’m satisfied.
This work needs one more thing. It needs a frame to cover the LED frame and a battery. So, I was looking for someone in town who would be able to do something like that for me within six days, but in vain. The carpenter told me that he would not have time until the winter, which I do not have time because of the exhibition, where I have to deliver it in 6 days.
It was clear that I would have to do it myself. So, the next morning I became a carpenter myself, went for some materials, sprouted a saw, and after a few hours of measuring and cutting I had a pretty good-looking frame.
So, all that remains is to take some photos of the work, put it up on my website, and to the exhibition.
The first exhibition where this work is exhibited.