Yes, you can go ahead and watch the video, I know you want to. But before I write about the Boga Board, let me just say that yes, this post marks my farewell to the weekly 15 Minutes a Day art check-in.
Not because it’s failed, and certainly not because I’m stopping my 15 Minutes a Day daily art practice. Heavens, no!
Quite the contrary!
I’m saying farewell to the weekly blog check-in because my 15 Minutes a Day practice has gone so phenomenally well that, after two and a half months of it, I now have an almost daily check-in, in the form of my not-quite Daily ArtFix newsletter.
You can see what I’ve been up to in my daily sessions in the Creative Sandbox by subscribing to the newsletter. And since the whole point of the weekly check-in was accountability, and a (not-quite) daily newsletter provides waaaaaay more accountability than a weekly blog post, the weekly check-in just seemed rather superfluous.
So sign up if you want to get a 10-second dash of inspiration in your email box (almost) every day.
And now Wednesdays (or, when it gets late enough, as it has tonight, early on Thursdays) can be used for other stuff. Such as…
Video of my new Boga Board!
What, you may wonder, is a Boga Board? It’s a handy invention by watercolor artist Gayle Weisfield, to stretch watercolor paper.
“Stretch paper?” you ask? “Why in the world would someone want to do that?”
Well here’s the thing. Paper is a lot like a sponge – get it wet, and it expands. When it dries, it shrinks back down, but unless the paper is dried under tension, it will buckle like crazy, and end up looking like a rippled potato chip writ large.
If you want your paper to buckle, this can be cool. The paint pools in the valleys and can make interesting effects. But most artists who work with watercolor don’t want valleys. They want flat paper, so they can control where the paint goes.
The solution? Stretching.
Here’s what you do:
Step 1: You get the paper wet. Like, really wet. Soaking. This is called “relaxing” the paper.
Step 2: Dry the paper under tension or weight.
This involves either securing the edges of the paper to a strong, flat surface, with tape, or staples, or some sort of clamping mechanism, or putting the paper between sheets of blotter paper with a heavy, flat weight on top (I’ve used a piece of 1/4″ sheet glass stacked with books).
Most artists use the edge-securing option, because once the paper is dry, you can paint on it some more without worrying about it buckling again.
There are a plethora of stretcher board solutions on the market, but the problem with a lot of them is that they’re either a pain in the you-know-what to use, or they just don’t work very well.
I’ve been using a GatorBoard with paper tape for my recent Creative Sandbox daily paintings, but it doesn’t always reliably secure the paper edges. The last sheet I painted gave me fits, so after an extensive viewing of several YouTube videos of stretcher board solutions, I bit the bullet and ordered the one that looked the most promising: the Boga Board.
The letter carrier knocked on my door today with a Boga Board-sized package, and inspired by Michelle Nickolaisen of Wicked Whimsy, I decided to videotape myself opening the package and trying out the Boga. You get to see me being a bit goofy, and rather incompetently trying out the Boga Board for the first time.