Well hello Resin!

During an art fair back in 2014, I saw some art that was made using resin…apologies but I can’t remember the name of the artist. The artist had used resin to create beautiful multi-layered collages. They were small pieces about letter size envelope. Since then, I’ve been itching to incorporate resin in my own work. I always hesitated due to fumes… its already bad enough working with oil paints and varnishes—at the end of varnishing a finished piece, I usually suffer from stinging eyes and dizziness, despite working in a well ventilated space and wearing a mask. So when I was looking into different types of Resins, I found a company back home in Canada, who claimed to be non-toxic, free of VOCs, fumes and solvents, I was super happy! They are called ArtResin ( https://www.artresin.com/ )  When I got an email from the product owner, Rebecca Zak, inviting me to try out their product a few months ago, I was super double happy! Did the Universe hear my plea?? Too bad it took me forever to get working on a piece using it. Sorry for the delay Rebecca :/ Anyway, I tested it out first on some necklaces I was making for my shop and it was easy peasy painless! You have 2 components – Resin + Hardener. You mix these components in a 1:1 ratio, pour and wait a day for it to dry. Because the surface of my necklaces were super small, it dried rock hard overnight.

Here is my test batch. I got rid of the air bubbles by blowing through a straw.

So to start with, I needed the following:

An idea
Surface to work on

This idea

in here:

wooden shadow box I picked up from Target

measuring cup
mixing bowl (I used the my ramen dinner bowl)
Nitrile gloves (from the lumber store)
Large plastic mixing knife
Acrylic paint

Resin+Hardener, Measuring Cup, Mixing Bowl, Gloves, Mixing Knife, Sparkles

After sealing the box with transparent matte medium and letting it dry, I painted the first background layer: Pano___1.jpgIn hindsight, I should have used white gesso for the inside of the box…meh. I repeated this until I was happy with the overall tone and colour of the background.

Of course, I can’t forget about the sides!

While that was drying, I worked on making the different collage components on paper. First the paper moon and then the birds and branch.

Luckily, I had some glow-in-the-dark paint kicking around!
Initial line drawing

Pano___2.jpgWhen the background colour was dry, I was ready to mix a batch of resin for the first layer. Using a ratio of 1:1, mix resin and hardener in a mixing bowl and mix mix mix for several minutes and then… pour… IMG_5132.jpgI covered the shadow box with a sheet of plastic to keep pesky dust and bits from sticking to the wet and sticky layer of resin.

IMG_5136.jpgAh crap! I forgot to stick the paper moon on there…ah well, there is always tomorrow!

IMG_5160.jpgSo the next day, fuelled with strong Kona coffee and full of motivation, I checked the state of the resin and it was hard to touch. You know you got the mixture right, if its rock hard the next day when you check 🙂 I painted the first layer of resin, I wanted to have swirling masses of dark cloud and sparkly stars in the background– but I didn’t want the sparkles to be too “in-your-face” if you know what I mean… So once I had that, I just repeated the previous step with the resin…did this a couple of layers at a time and added the birds and tree branch during different stages, as I wanted to play around with shadows. In the end, I was happy with the resin…not so happy with my piece…but this is definitely not the last time ArtResin will be used in my studio. I absolutely love it and highly recommend it to artists who want to start using resin or are already seasoned resin artists.

final.jpgI just wish that moon would glow more in the dark… And as you can see, there are a few air bubbles around the bird – This was my fault for moving the box around too much while it was still wet. But there is a bit of charm to the bubbles, so I don’t really mind.
Anyhoo, if you are interested in learning more about resin art, visit ArtResin on their homepage and subscribe to their YouTube Channel where you can learn more about resin art and how to use it! Thanks to Rebecca and ArtResin for sponsoring me a starter kit for this experiment!

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