I try to find the beauty in ordinary objects, with a focus on things that are really supposed to be hidden. It turns out there is a ton of potential in common grade construction material.
One method I use involves copious amounts of sawdust. This is an interesting medium to work with and is a byproduct of my woodworking habit. I tried using the natural color of the wood but found that getting enough, cleanly separated, shavings was tough. Plus, the lack of color depth was really limiting. So I instead color the shavings using common household latex paint. I then glue the shavings to a wood canvas that I build in the shop (some of the shavings come from the building of the canvas; circle of life or what?). It can take dozens of colors of chips per painting to get the right effect that I am looking for, so the creation of the chips is a probably the longest part of the process. Once I am satisfied with the results, several super thin layers of clear coating are applied over the the entire piece. This serves to further “glue” the pieces together.
Another method I have explored involves drywall plastic. You take some drywall mud, add in glue and latex paint, and work it to the right consistency. I then take a wood canvas (often made of Oriented Strand Board, a form of plywood used in construction), tape off the shape I want, and apply a thin layer of the plaster. I remove the tape while the plastic is wet. Once the plaster is completely dry, I can paint over the top to get the desired effect. Another iteration of this idea involves just piling plaster onto a wood canvas and using the edge of a knife to pull out interesting patterns. Once dry, several layers of complementary colors are applied in order to really pop the texture.
If you are interested in purchasing any of the available originals or a signed reprint, please send me a note.