Minimalist Modern Art

img_1899A geometric mixed media minimalist assemblage of 5 different materials and 5 different colors brought together to harmonize warm and cool colors with a modern flare . Created with great passion by hand, this small but captivating creation will draw focus to any wall.  The sleek modern pine back panel with its gloss white lacquer ties in the plexiglass, aluminum, brass and walnut accents together in this sophisticated one of a kind hand made wall decor.  Signed and dated by the artist on the back,  it surely will be a wonderful addition to any decor.  The back panel measures 9 inches by 10 inches and the entire sculpture will stand just under 2 inches from the wall.


Modified Latex Paint Stain


I had just received my Mixing Mate from Rockler woodworking and wanted to try it out.  I have an old(6 or 7 years) can of Rustoleum premium latex paint I used on my banister.  The color was Kona Brown.  It is a really is unusual as it goes on purple but dries a cool brown.  I mean cool in apparent color temperature.  Since I really have found no use for the half can of paint I have leftover, I recently have been thinking of ways I could diversify its usefulness.   I decided that I could add various colors of craft and student grade acrylic paints to create a spectrum of browns for various projects.  Also, after doing some online research of my own, I have learned that latex paints can be easily used as wood stains.  This is done by adding water until a buttermilk consistency is reached.  There are no hard and fast rules here because various pigments have vastly different tinting strengths.  Additionally,  mixing two different water based paints can have effects on viscosity and flow out.


The student paints I chose where Dick Blicks Blickrylics chrome yellow, chrome orange, and ultramarine blue.  Being student grade paints, these obviously do not have hexavalent chrome or lead pigments.  The yellow and orange are surely chrome hues.  After thoroughly stirring the latex with the mixing mate, I poured out samples into three condiment cups.  These condiment cups are perfect for small amounts of paints and mixing up custom colors.  The first cup on the far left features the addition of chrome yellow to the kona brown.  I was surprised by the results.  Instead of a bright lighter brown, I got a muted almost greenish brown. I see the yellow hue but it is still a coolish brown.  When used as a wood stain it actually creates and antique look to wood as can be seen below.

My next trial was to use the chrome orange.  My reasoning being that the red that naturally is a part of orange would in fact add some heat to the purplish brown.  I was not disappointed.  The rich color obtained was not only warm it even had a spicy look to it.  It reminds me of chili or cinnamon powder.  This is by far my favorite effect of all three mixes.  I would like to use this on a project and apply a clear topcoat to seal it,

Lastly, I mixed the ultramarine blue.  Not surprisingly it accentuated the purple hue and seemed to stabilize it.  It went on like blueberry juice.  After time to penetrate and dry the finish will gravitate more to a brown hue.  It just seems weak and would really to be to give wood a “dirty” look.  Perhaps it could be a base stain that gets a different stain applied over it for a richer finish.


Multicolored Modern Steel Wall Sculpture


Welded Steel Sculpture With Multicolored Finish

Steel, when used in sculpture, represents rigidity, strength, and durability.  Along with these attributes, steel can be easily cut, shaped, and painted with the right tools and preparation.  The abstract dimensional multi-colored welded steel sculpture above is an example of steel”s versatility.  The large flat panels where plasma cut from 16 gauge sheet with a piece of angle iron as a straight edge.  The washers were scrap washers chemically stripped of their galvanized coating.  They ,along with various lengths of remnant round bars, were welded together to form the matrix of this modern sculpture.  The washers themselves were hand painted in bright colors to become part of the artwork while still being very functional.


Polished Steel Balls AS Accent Pieces

One interesting feature I included in this work is the incorporation of two polished bare steel ball bearings as accents.  Sometimes it feels like the hard glossy enamel paint obscures the fact that this is fact metal art.  Having the metallic glint of bare steel helps to keep it all in perspective.

Acrylic Plexiglass Incorporated Into Metal Sculpture (Part I)


Transparent Colored Acrylic Adds Depth To Sculpture

Metal sculpture has many finishing options to create the desired visual effect.  Adding transparent colored acrylic plastic adds depth and can cast interesting lighting and shadow effects as seen in the post modern memphis styled metal wall art shown above.  Also, when the colored transparent acrylic covers or partially covers panted metal, the paint colors can seem to be a different shade or even a totally different color.

img_1893img_1899 Transparent Red Acrylic Over Bare Aluminum

When the transparent acrylic plastic is applied directly over bare metal, the reflective sheen on the metal and the light filtering properties of the acrylic produce its own unique effect.  The minimalist mixed media wall art shown above has red transparent acrylic glued to a bare aluminum block mounted on a wood board.

Ombre Painted Metal Art


Ombre Painted Metal Sculpture

I like regular and iridescent colors for my metal sculptures.  One of he most interesting color effects is the ombre effect.  This is where colors fade into other colors.  Many times is usually the same color just fading into different shades and tints of that color.  The sculpture photo above is an example of this type of hombre.



Multiple Color Ombre

An multiple color ombre allows an artist to created more striking results.  This is especially true when complimentary colors.  The abstract metal panel wall art featured above has red at the bottom of the metal ribbon and abruptly transitioned into red’s  compliment green.  At the top is a much bluer turquoise color.   The possibilities with ombre are limitless.

Creating Geometric Sculpture


Usually when using brazing to join steel and other metals together, I am working with rods,nails, or other small hardware.  The main theme on most of these has been mid century decor with emphasis on square cut nails.  It is only through handling of the brazing process that I am familiar with the smoothness of the weld beads.  Not have a TIG welding rig, I find brazing especially attractive as a method in construction of more conceptual metal art pieces.  Take my latest work in progress for example, I wanted to join thin 16 gauge steel squares and rectangles in a 3D space without having huge welds protruding with obnoxious weld spatter everywhere.


The metal looks dirty and rather unattractive at this stage primarily because of the smoke, heat discoloration, and burnt flux.  Once clean, the brass brazing joints will glow gold against the shiny grey steel.  This alone will be an attractive finish with a rust preventing lacquer.   But there are many other finishing possibilities either covering or leaving the brass weld beads exposed.

Here are a few more views to appreciate the volume of the composition.