Milk Can Update and another Design Problem ISO Solution

July 30, ‘13


“Art is not about thinking something up. It is the opposite — getting something down.”

 Julia Cameron 

Milk Can Update:  I didn’t go to the auction at the Community Center on Saturday night and have been curious as to the outcome of the Milk Can I painted as a donation to the Painted Milk Can-themed auction.   In an email this morning from the Director of the Community Center, I learned that my Milk Can was auctioned off for $400.00, which I think is great news!  Someone got an heirloom for a bargain price.  I saw many of the other Milk Cans when I stopped at the Community Center last week and they all were fun and wonderful.


Design Problem ISO Solution:  Last Fall I received a commission to do a Floor Cloth for a heavily traveled entry way in a Country Home.  I got to work on it right away and things were going well up to Dec 12, ’12, when I got the Notice to Vacate on my front door from the bank who’d taken over the house I lived in from my landlord.  At that point, the entry way of the Country Home had been measured and the cloth was cut to dimensions a few inches larger than the size of the entry way and a few coats of primer had been applied. 

As a priority item, it has been folded into quarters and draped over my drafting table and then semi-abandoned in a corner of my living room – for over six months.  I had other matters that took precedence.  

After I finished the Milk Can, I’d intended to start work immediately on the Floor Cloth, but then, had to sit out the urgency of  a few weeks of Heatwave.  

The weather in these parts has been almost summer-perfect for the past week or so with good sleeping weather and comfortable sunshine and heat during the day.  I vowed to myself to begin anew on the Floor Cloth. 

A new project presents a new bunch of problems in this ‘new’ apartment.  Mainly, I need to find things I need to do the work and create a space to work on the Floor Cloth.  I searched high and low for a large flower pot that contains all the Bull-Dog clips I needed to hold down the turned hem into the wet glue, for starters.  Searching for the Bull-Dog clips led to doing laundry and assorted household tasks while I looked, seeing as how I thought the clips were packed away somewhere in the basement, near the Washer and Dryer and since I’m going there anyhow, might as well do a few loads of clothes….  I never did find the pot with the clips but did find 18-20 clips I’d previously, pre-move, purloined from the pot to close freezer bags or the ends of Acrylic Paint tubes or certain pcs of mail.  So while I spent time searching and fussing around the house, it was while a few feet of Floor Cloth hem was drying.  I even used my 5# bar bells to hold down the hem while the glue dried.  In that ‘chipping-away’ manner, I finished the hem a little while ago and am preparing to go onto the next step.



The next step is to Tone the Ground which essentially means that the cloth needs another coat of Primer but this time, with a dark-neutral added to the white ceiling paint I used for the initial 2 coats of  Primer.  (I used the ceiling paint because it was close to gesso and because I have a gallon of ceiling paint on hand.)  

One problem; I haven’t decided on a design for the Floor Cloth, so don’t yet know how dark the neutral.  

So, that’s how I’m going to be spending the next few hours; doing research into designs.  

A  Herky-Jerky manner is How it Goes.  More soon…. 

A brief History of Floor Cloths 

 “The term is used for materials used in place of carpeting or to protect expensive carpets, such as oilcloth.  This use is considered somewhat antiquated today, though do-it-yourself decorators still use floorcloths as a customizable alternative to rugs. Some artists have elected to use floorcloths as a medium of expression. Most modern floorcloths are made of heavy, unstretched canvas with two or more coats of gesso. They are then painted and varnished to make them waterproof. 

Area canvas rugs, today known as floorcloth, had their start in 18th century England. Initially used by the wealthy, the designs and patterns mimicked parquet flooring, tile and marble. As these useful furnishings found their way into middle-class homes, the variety of patterns grew. When American colonists became independent from England, they also began to create their own floorcloths. Eventually the development of linoleum eliminated the interest in these rugs. However, in the past few decades, the desire to decorate homes in a more personal way has stimulated their popularity. Unique designs are made in a variety of styles and colors, using many techniques. This gives today’s floorcloths the ability to be created for any style interior.”  (Wikipedia)

“These carpets possess a decided advantage over all others, as they are more durable, and in warm weather much more comfortable, and easier to keep clean, and in hot climates the only kind that are not subject to injury from insects; in winter they may be covered with other carpeting without damage, and the room is kept warmer …” New Hampshire Gazette,  April 8, 1828


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2 Responses to Milk Can Update and another Design Problem ISO Solution

  1. I have always wanted to try painting a floorcloth. I never knew where to get the canvas,lol. Good luck with the new project!

    • I buy my canvas by the roll from an art supply house — Utrecht. I read an article online by a woman who bought a canvas drop cloth from Lowes for less than $20.00. Some years ago I made a floor cloth from a pc of denim I found in a Thrift Store. Floor Cloths are nice to have but a PIA to make.

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