top of page

12 Months/12 Experiments: January, Negative Space Border

The first week in January each year I write down tangible goals for my art business. Most of the items are based around marketing, exhibitions, residencies, grants, and internal business updates. However in order to expand myself creatively, this year I challenged myself to try different techniques, surfaces, mediums, sizes, and subjects in my works throughout the year, even if I didn't plan to sell any of them! In order to actually hold myself accountable for following through creatively, I assigned myself to attempt something new to me each month of 2021.

Originally I wanted to try 12 different painting techniques in 12 different paintings over the course of 12 months, but then I reconsidered as I didn't want to box myself into just painting techniques: I wanted to include experimenting with different surfaces, subjects, and compositions that I hadn't tried yet. Cue: 12 months/12 Experiments.

If you follow my instagram @kerstinglaessart you probably have already seen this painting as a work in progress on my stories.


This technique is most commonly used in watercolor and other paper-based mediums.

With this work, I taped off a 3" border all around the edge of the canvas using artists tape. I layered on a light pink wash for my toned ground. Once the ground was dry to the touch, I painted my landscape, and immediately after I signing my work, pulled off the tape. You can watch the time lapse of me painting this work on tiktok.

Just a reminder, that the painting and the paint on the tape will still be extremely wet, so watch where you put your fingers (yes, this means I got thumbprints and marks on the white border from the tape peel, but luckily water and hand sanitizer helped make them disappear). You can watch me peel off the tape on tiktok. After I peeled the tape I realized I had made the wash too wet and it seeped under the tape barrier so I was unable to have a crisp white border like I had originally envisioned (mistake #2).

In order to remedy the lack of crispness, I taped off 1"of white canvas just outside of the actual painting, allowing me room to paint a border. I had silver paint on hand, so I thought it might be interesting to make the painting look like it was double framed (the silver edge plus the floater frame it would live in). I had to wait for the original painting to be dry to the touch before attempting the silver border, so it took twice as long to create this work (though really it was just all extra drying-time). I like how the silver border turned out. It does kind of create an illusion of depth like a thick mat would which was what I was hoping for. For the corners I made angled points to make it look like the joint of a frame. I made sure that the silver paint was really level along the sides and strokes were all in the same direction.

{Just the coastal-scape}

Note: The coastline in this painting is of the Rancho Palos Verdes Peninsula in Southern California. My mother spent the first 30 years of her life in LA County before becoming a military spouse, and eventually retiring to Florida (aka the Cheaper Version of California). My grandparents' house was within walking distance of the Palos Verdes cliffs overlooking Catalina Island so it was normal for us to hit the nature trails daily whenever we visited them. If you want to see some photos of the cliffs, check out my 2011 photography portfolio.




Commenting has been turned off.
bottom of page