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Have Objects? Will Paint!

Updated: Mar 16, 2021

Full disclosure on a guilty pleasure, I paint things, not just paintings. Whether I’m in an Antique Shop in Maine or browsing the local craft store. I could be at a flea market or garage sale, if I find that one thing, I think, “I can paint that!” I could be walking along a beach or even driving past a pile of discarded stuff along the curb. It’s probably a good thing I don’t have a barn. I’d be one of those weirdo hoarders that you binge watch on HGTV with junk everywhere (I mean found art supplies). Like Sanford and Son but with an art history acumen. I could see it now, wandering around mumbling to myself about the symbolism of an antique suitcase with no key or a piece of barnwood with a lightning bolt shaped crack.

Truth is I’m not a craftsman. I’m not looking for restoration projects to flip, I love the idea though. Sounds a little corny, but I look for the art in the discarded or mundane. Finding the value in transforming something from its obscure existence to a “Look at That!” moment.

Stores like Michaels or A.C. Moore gets it. Wooden little things you can paint. Not just for decoration or knick-knack status, but taking that chintzy little wood cut object and working it into your artistic vocabulary. But mostly decorations and knick- knacks.

As for what gets painted on them, well, that takes a little more thought. Size, shape and surface quality all play a part in redefining the object. A couple of examples I have were chosen simple based on shape.

Heart Shaped Lock & Key, 2019

By Bobby Padilla

Shaped Metal and acrylic enamel with polyurethane, 5” x 5"

A heart shaped anything has its own narrative. The fact it’s a lock with a key, how can I pass that up. This object I did actually find in an Antique shop up in Maine. With not much surface area to work with, I liked the idea of painting it in the style of a sugar skull. I’m not sure how it’ll be eventually displayed, but I do have plans to use the key for a piece of jewelry.

Heart Shaped Rock, 2019

By Bobby Padilla

Stone and acrylic, 6” x 6”

I was walking along the beach in Lakeville State Park, when I found this stone. I had a different aesthetic plan for this. Again, working with little surface area has its challenges, but using the right colors and symbols gives the object a wonderful peculiarity. Imagine the same aesthetic as Tarot cards. A strange symbolic meaning that only few people know how to read with a little mysticism and symmetry for good measure.

Restored Cabinet, 2016

By Bobby Padilla

Acrylic and latex 5’ x 30” x 32”

If any of you ever been our studio for the brief time it was open before we went completely mobile, may remember this piece of furniture. It was in the main class area and housed all the paint and brushes, and It still does.

Tiny Coffin (unfinished), 2019

By Bobby Padilla

Acrylic on wood 5” x 3”

In anticipation of Halloween, and to a lesser degree, Dia de Los Muertos, craft stores have any number of kitchy macabre paintable stuff. I could not pass up coffins. Again, the treatment of pattern and symbols give the object of a Tarot card feel. I haven’t finished the interior of the coffin. To me, I feel like it’s a different series of decisions, what is inside is completely different from what is outside. Then there’s the purpose of the coffin when I’m done, hmmm.

Painting objects are part of Roc Paint Sip’s business plan. We’ve done bottles, wine glasses, cookies (culinary gels), vinyl records, and pumpkins just to name some. I would love to do a class where individuals bring small found object of there choosing, and we just paint whatever we want. Just sharing ideas and eating cheese and having some wine. It’ll happen eventually, is that party going to be your party?

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