Shrink Film Art

Shrink Film Art

I have an ongoing obsession with discarded people and unvalued objects. This makes plastic, especially cheap, disposable variety, almost irresistible. Shrink film comes in sheets, about the size of a standard printing page. It is clear and can be drawn on with permanent markers and other materials. It can then be placed in a conventional oven and cooked for a few minutes. As it shrinks, it becomes thicker and inflexible. Colours intensify. It looks wonderful against windows and bright white glowing monitors. I have noticed a tendency in myself to save my shrink film sessions for my most personal subjects – children, friends, and the Pazyryk, a symbol of lost, disputed, Armenian identity.

Table of Contents

Awful Lime Green Shrink Film

I ordered shrink film. It was supposed to be white. It is not white. It is this… lime green. BUT it IS tonal paper, when you think about it. So I used green to shade and red for contrast and I honestly like a couple of these portraits. Now I’m thinking that I’ll get some pink paper and some white paint, or maybe a light blue.

Click for larger images

Thomas Hart Benton - American Sky

This piece will be the background for an excerpt for a Langston Hughes poem in my February Zine – Breathless. I used a photograph of the Missouri mountains and a painting by Thomas Hart Benton to give the piece the appropriate American feel.

Click for Larger than Life view. 

Gardiner Museum - Jean Baptiste Guilliaud manufacture, Broach and Earring Sets

These pieces are inspired by a single piece in the Gardiner Museum collection, in Toronto: Rectangular charger manufactured by Guillibaud. Jean-Baptiste Guillibaud Manufacture. 18th Century. I took elements of the original and created the earrings. The broach contains much of the composition and detailing of the original.

Click for Larger than Life view. These pieces are quite small. The Broach is 2.7 inches across. The earrings are between 1 and 2 inches.

The Gardiner (Variety)

This is my first attempt at the pieces inspired by the Gardiner Museum’s ceramics. I have included the most successful of the pieces.

These piece are smaller in real life.

Picasso - Les Demoiselles d'Avignon

5 earrings in this set. I had trouble finding the right colours, so my version of Pablo Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon are further into the yellow/red zone and further from the subtle colours of the origian. In this slideshow, you’ll find the 5 finished earrings, an earlier sketch, and some pre-shunk progress pieces on the pan.

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After Matisse

Quick sketches and earrings based on Henri Matisse’s Portrait of Lydia Delectorskaya. Too much smudging from tracing my pencil sketches. I can get around that by putting a piece of plastic between the sketch and the shrink film. I do really like colour blocking for the earrings.

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Even More Hieronymus Bosch

Creepy! Crawly! Hieronymus had it all figured out. My family was a little dubious about three-snake headed lizard guy. Somehow shelled-vase-lizard guy is cute though? Maybe it’s his tiny whiskers.

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Sketchy People Jewelry

A Zoom Portrait session during Covid… drawn, cut and baked on January 7th, 2021. Only a few of these are jewelry sized.

Click on images for isolated view. These images are small. The pieces are a little larger in real life.

Hieronymus Bosch

Can you believe Hieronymus Bosch died in 1516? His creatures are so fantastical. I LOVE them. I really want to develop a series of insane earrings for truly bizarre people. I would wear these any day of the week. They are ridiculous. It’s fun working with a medieval colour scheme too. 

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Mona Lisa Lesson

In all honesty, I like the unshrunk version much better. The shrink film has issues with warping and not all inks shrink the same. Opaque pens and paints do not shrink, making those lines much, much bigger proportionately on the 50% version. And the transparency can be beautiful. I like the shrink film for earrings and other small objects but I think I will get some thick plastic for larger pieces.

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The Fox and the Hare

These are drawn after photographs. There is definitely a limit to the amount of detail that can go into these.

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I tried out a few ideas for earrings – gemstones and Pride rainbows

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Anahit in the New Year

Here is Anahit, Goddess of Fertility and the Harvest. I like these portraits because they are double sided. They share lots of information but some details can be changed. The line work sits on top of the ink and can only be seen from one side. 

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Shrink film, ink, gel pen marker.

January 1st 2021

Anahit of Four Faces

Here you can see how light affects this portrait. The gel pen detail on dark backgrounds disappear with backlighting. I will continue to work with this effect. I think it has some potential but I have to work out how to protect the inks from fading if I am going to build sunlight or led light into my work.

Click on images for large view.

Shrink film, ink, gel pen marker.

January 1st 2021

More Elves

Aww! My mom put these up on the tree by the window. (They get lost in the Christmas tree). My little guys!

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Pazyryk Rug - Variations

This is a series I first began as gifts for my Aunts. The Pazyryk is the world’s oldest known rug, dating from the 5th century BC. Armenian scholars believe it may be an Armenian piece, depicting Armenian warriors. The template has become a piece upon which I am exploring my Armenian Canadian identity.

Click on images for large view.

Collective Portrait Ornaments

My drawing group meets every Thursday. These were made over two sessions in December 2020. I dig ’em.

Little Elf Ornaments

Grumpy and Sleepy. These elves were gifts for the boys this Christmas.

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