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Art for the Bathroom or Kitchen? It’s Possible.

by Suzanne Hellums

Most seasoned artists will tell you that they would never put their fine art in a bathroom, kitchen, or other humid environment. I would be inclined to agree, especially if we were discussing the placement of an ink, watercolor, pastel, charcoal, or other “delicate” media painting. This past year, however, I decided to do an experiment with my resin and polymer paintings. Guess what room they were placed for the experiment? The bathroom! And I do mean the part of the bathroom with the shower, with all of its humidity – causing havoc.
In fact, one pair of multi-layered resin artwork went right into my teenager’s shower/toilet room, as part of my experiment. I knew ahead of time that not only water, but God-knows what all, would be flung around that shower room! It was part of the test to see how my polymers and resin paintings would hold up.
I’m pleased to report that the multiple-layered resin pieces have held up fabulously. There have been times that I have had to clean these resin paintings with a little more than a damp cloth. The resin paintings were deliberately hung without a back dust cover, to help equalize the environment around the pictures during showers. In addition, bumpers were placed at each corner, on the back of the frames, to allow for proper air flow. I knew that if any of my resin or polymer paintings were going to survive the brutality of a teenager’s bathroom’s shower room, it would be these! They were prepared in additional ways to survive bathroom abuse! I think I have even had to clean what looked like possible “soap scum flings” by using a little 70% isopropyl alcohol on a damp cloth. The pair of paintings still look great! This includes close inspection of the stretched canvas, wooden frame!
After 9 months, the bathroom-prepared resin paintings still look brand new! See for yourself!

Not bad, right? I’m excited to keep the good news going!
The second part of the experiment involved a polymer painting in another bathroom shower room. As before, no dust cover was used on the back of the painting and bumpers were placed at each corner, on the back of the canvas. This particular bathroom gets a whole different set of abuse; mainly because it is the office bathroom. It gets a lot of “flung water” from the sink. I have cleaned the polymer painting, very rarely, with a damp cloth (and less often, to keep from disturbing the gold flakes). Here are the results:

Keep in mind, these paintings are treated with layers of sealant appropriate for the bathroom or kitchen setting. (I don’t recommend putting just any fine art piece in a bathroom or kitchen).
I’m pleased that these paintings are suitable for bathrooms and kitchens! It appears they will be permanent fixtures of these rooms!
It goes to show you, if you do want a painting to serve a function and purpose in your house – it can happen! I can make it happen by using resin, epoxy, moldable plastic, and polymers. Contact me at ayhosuzanne@gmail.com; if you would like me to paint a bathroom or kitchen-friendly, polymer or resin painting.

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Unconventional Canvases (Substrates)

In this set, the substrate for the paintings are broken and up-cycled laptop screens. They were both taped around the edges and prepped with spray on gesso/primer! The first one, I tried using dimethicone as a paint additive and resin sand for the beach break in the corner. I wound up going back over a good portion of the painting, because it was too odd for me. I’m not sure if I wound up with what I was going for, but you can at least see my first attempt at these unconventional canvases:

The second attempt worked out wonderfully, because this time, I used my paints on a test canvas first; instead of just “going at it” with the paints. I’m much happier with this next one and the overall effect of the silver “frame” worked out great with these colors. I am tempted to continue to work on this concept, on a larger canvas. See what you think:

For me, this one is a keeper! I’m enjoying it as it sits in my living room right now!

I have a couple of paintings that need some finishing touches (as always), but I am already planning my next piece! I’ve enjoyed sharing my process with you and I hope you are enjoying the final product! Not every piece is a “wall worthy”, as you can see. We all grow from our mistakes and use them to help us work toward being a better version of ourselves!