Making Art from Paint Chips: Boxes (1 of 3)

Isn’t it funny that the moment your focus changes you become more aware of something that has always been there? Many years ago a friend of mine, Michelle, told me that she collected alligators. Alligators? I mean really, how many alligator things are there? All of a sudden I saw alligators everywhere. Alligator salt and pepper shakers, alligator t-shirts, alligator mugs.

My new awareness is about paint chips. You know those nifty little sample cards that you can’t help but collect when you go to the hardware store? They’re like candy for artists. Small, perfectly proportioned, neatly contained bursts of color. I’ve always been drawn to them, but now I have an excuse! I’ve started collecting them for our new home. What color for the living room? The bedroom? The kitchen? You get the idea.

I’ve now got a sizeable collection of samples (some of which make me wonder – what was I thinking?!) and I was trying to find something to do with the samples we rule out. Right about the same time, I ran across a blog titled, How About Orange, and this great tutorial on how to turn paint chips into boxes. “Oh!” I thought, “I have to write a post about that.”

Then, as I was writing this post I had another aha moment and remembered this amazing artists’ book that my friend, Don Drake, had shown me recently where he used all white paint chips as the subject matter. And later, when I was about to post this, I remembered another great book with paint chips that another friend, Janice Bohman, recently made in the Recycled Materials class. So this single post has now became three:

  • Today, the original paint chips into boxes
  • Wednesday, Janice’s artists’ book using paint chips as flags
  • Friday, Don’s book which uses all “white” paint chips to examine our perception of color.

So, first, here is the tutorial from How About Orange on making boxes from paint swatches. And here are some photo of the boxes I made.

My paint chips were not 5×5 so I adjusted the sizes as I went along. As long as you keep your sides all the same size it’s pretty easy. I made my box tops 1/8″ longer and 1/8″ wider than the base so they would fit neatly. I went one step further and turned another paint chip into a small accordion book that fits in the boxes:

~Ginger

www.gingerburrell.com

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