Outdated cassette tapes develop into into artwork items in Meg Frank’s “Highway Travel”

Summer time has arrived, and I’m yearning a just right highway shuttle — home windows down, solar shining around the horizon, and just right track à l. a. Nicole Kidman in Sensible Magic. This yearning is the theory in the back of my fresh piece “Highway Travel”: 4 cassette tapes with 8 miniature oil panorama art work depicting the adventure throughout The us from the west coast to the east. All of my highway shuttle adventures have playlists, and once I have a look at each and every of the tape art work, I will be able to listen the songs that stored me corporate on the ones lengthy drives. After all, it additionally works in opposite; listening to a undeniable music can take me proper again to the I-80, making a song alongside to part of the phrases as I scout the skyline. That sense of transportation into reminiscence and nostalgia is what I’m seeking to evoke with those tapes.

COVID has resulted in numerous cycles of canceled plans, so I’ve taken a number of highway journeys to stay my wandering mind sane. Many of the reference pictures I used for the art work have been pictures I took on a cross-country pressure in the summertime of 2021. I’ve began portray different out-of-date items of generation, like outdated mobile phones and laptops; they really feel like fairly extra really extensive Polaroid photos or different tokens of reminiscence I elevate with me. I experience bringing the telephones with me to inspect and experience in different contexts just like the subway or within the park. With the correct preparation, nearly any floor may also be painted, from shells and rocks to glass soda bottles or pickle jars. Discovering items to color can simply turn out to be a part of a holiday, and portray the ones items whilst you get house is a good way to keep in mind the joys instances.

I first stumbled upon the theory of portray on a cassette tape due to a professor’s fee to convey peculiar “canvases” to magnificence. A factor I already needed to consider for portray magnificence used to be transporting any art work I created at school again to my condo whilst rainy. Transferring round so much as a child had additionally left me with an appreciation for portable tactics to offer artwork. Discovering an object that got here with its personal case used to be actually enjoyable — even higher that it’s a see-through case.

Once I first began portray cassette tapes, I used to be additionally experimenting with CD circumstances. I ultimately made up our minds that I love tapes and their circumstances higher than CD circumstances on account of the separation between artwork and body (or case), however I stored coming again to the primary CD case I painted. It used to be an oil portray of a cloudy sky within a CD case, which I titled “SoundCloud.” I sought after it to do extra than simply display the sky; I sought after it to be immersive. It’s laborious to do this with the sort of small object, and I noticed the best way round this used to be so as to add track.

Four painted cassette tapes depicting Kansas, Colorado, New York, and Nevada (clockwise)

Alternatives from Meg Frank’s “Highway Travel” sequence of art work on cassette tapes depicting the next locales (in clockwise order): Kansas; Lake Pueblo, Colorado; View from the Whitestone Bridge in Queens, New York; The Hoover Dam, Nevada facet
Picture courtesy of Meg Frank

Tune has all the time been a big a part of my artwork observe — I all the time have the radio on in my studio, and lots of of my items have playlists I’ve created to hear whilst I paintings on them. One of the crucial tapes I’ve painted have recordings of the playlists I listened to whilst I labored on them, however a lot of them also are heavily produced tapes with track from icons like Corridor & Oates, U2, James Taylor, Tina Turner, and different bands I grew up being attentive to within the automobile. I’ve been in a position to supply numerous the prerecorded tapes via neighbors in my native Purchase Not anything workforce, and I’m overjoyed so as to paintings with recycled fabrics.

To color an object like this at house, you’ll want a number of paint brushes (#1 spherical, #3 spherical, #5 spherical, #6 flat), gesso or Mod Podge, acrylic paint, some cardboard or paper plates to combine paint on, and a number of other cups of water for rinsing. First, follow a number of skinny layers of gesso or Mod Podge on your object with the flat brush to high it. This may increasingly lend a hand your paint stick with the article and stay it from flaking. This step may also be achieved any time ahead of portray, so if you’re doing this craft with youngsters, priming the items the night time ahead of can keep away from uninteresting dry instances. Earlier than I paint, I do a snappy comic strip at the object with a pencil or pen to lend a hand me keep away from warped art work. I exploit oil paint, however I don’t counsel it for informal crafting; it’s very messy and calls for the usage of poisonous solvents. Acrylic paint is far inexpensive, more uncomplicated to make use of, and more uncomplicated to scrub up. It dries temporarily and may also be wiped clean up with cleaning soap and water.

I really like to color on canvas, however there’s something particularly enjoyable about developing artwork that any person else can dangle in their very own two fingers, or even now and again pay attention to. As a result of those tapes, any person else can know what it seems like in my mind once I see those particular perspectives. Any person else can know what my reminiscences sound like.