Friday, May 13, 2016

Drawn to Magnets (And Really Bad Puns)

Magnet Madness

My mobile magnetic studio (above, left and below): my brightest mineral pigments, arranged on a metal display rack. 

This represents a ton of work: each little container is a distinct color of rock paint, which I grind by hand and process with a few different techniques I've developed over the past 16 years I've been doing this. 

At right (1st photo) is a magnet board with mediums and tools. I attached a folding stand from a picture frame on the back so it stands upright. 

In the bottom half of the 1st photo is a handheld magnetic "easel palette" I developed. 

In photo #3 you can see some of my specialty tools:
  • re-purposed makeup brushes
  • plastic packaging from disposable contact lenses for mixing trays
  • a brush holder I made using a binder clip glued to a little rubber thingy (I think it once held drill bits)
  • a recycled plastic pen barrel and a cool piece of shaped steel wire with one round burr tip and a flat tip
  • silicone eye shadow applicators that I extended with a bamboo skewer
  • My favorite tool: a plastic collar stay glued to a popsicle stick.
All these tools have been magnetized. My medium requires a lot of invention to adapt to various challenges - sometimes I feel like the MacGuyver of painting! 

Regular paintbrushes are of limited use because the grains of mineral sand destroy them very quickly. 

I also need to work on a horizontal surface that I can move around as needed. The EarthPainting process is gravity-assisted.
The magnets help me keep track of everything and mitigate my legendary clumsiness - I'd be very upset if I spilled any of this handmade rock paint, and I don't have to waste time looking for misplaced tools. 

The best part is that my studio is fully mobile: I can just pick it up and take it anywhere without having to pack it up!

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