Thursday, August 5, 2010

Wallpaper


I was walking past a cubicle at work a couple days ago when I noticed something cool. Someone in the office was using my White Tiger painting (above) as wallpaper on their desktop. My first thought, Capitalist wretch that I am, was to wonder if I could make money selling White Tiger Desktop Wallpaper. If people are spending billions on ringtones and virtual land in Farmville, why not make a buck apiece for wallpaper. But, a quick search shows that there's hundreds of thousands of free wallpaper designs out there already, so... the idea had a short shelf life in my brain.

Meanwhile, I have been thinking about real wallpaper lately. Ever since "art" was liberated from painting in oils on stretched canvas, artists have been exploring alternative surfaces to paint or stain with colors, images, designs. If you're someone who likes to try new things, here's a suggestion for you. Check out what's available in wallpaper.

Many paint supply stores have wallpaper sample books from which interior decorators and homeowners can get ideas for the dining room, bathroom, kitchen, etc. What many people don't realize is that once a month these stores will discard their sample books when they get new ones. These sample books have all kinds of wallpaper styles. Textured papers, fabrics, pressed papers, paper made of grass, paper with patterns from Scots plaids to Colonial.... It can be fun experimenting with the different papers to see how they absorb or repel inks, pigments, paints. The face (above right, click to enlarge) is the result of one such experiment.

The close up at left shows what happens when you put a splash of red paint on a very textured piece of wallpaper, then take a six inch wide putty knife and scrape across the surface. It makes an interesting effect. Actually, smearing paint across almost any surface with a six inch wide blade makes for interesting effects.

The painting titled Bleah! at my Many Faces of Ennyman art blog was painted on paper cut from one of the wallpaper sample books above.

Nothing earth-shaking to report today. Just a few thoughts about wallpaper. And it's so easy to download. Right click, and when the menu opens hit Send to Background. You have a new wallpaper for your desktop. Help yourself to my White Tiger and see what you think. Don't like it... In ten seconds you can replace with scenes from Italy. It's easy.

It would be nice if everything were that easy. Maybe.

In the meantime... have very colorful day.

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