Artful Luggage

Not a long post today, just wanted to share a project I was working on tonight…

When I was in college, every year I would participate in a service project called “Love Luggage”. The basic idea was that you painted hard shelled suitcases for foster children. Most of them had nothing to put their belongings in when they traveled from family to family. The suitcases were not only functional, but something beautiful that belonged just to them. It was always tons of fun coming up with whimsical designs for my suitcase each time I made one. It was then I sort of fell in love with idea of painting hard shelled suitcases. Last year I found one at Goodwill and decided I wanted to create my own artful luggage. It’s apropos actually, because it’s the same suitcase I have been using to drag my art supplies back and forth from my house to Mike’s. Now it will be as pretty on the outside as the contents it carries on the inside 🙂
Here’s a look at my process of painting one side from start to finish…

This is what it looked like when I started this afternoon… I had painted it this way almost a year ago and then got stuck with what I wanted to do next. This is basically just a bunch of acrylic paints mixed together with gesso…

With all the painting and art journaling I do, I end up with a lot of scrap papers that I never throw away because all mixed media artists are hoarders haha. So I started gluing down the random bits of paper from my stash. It looks very hodgepodge-ish and disjointed, don’t worry I will bring it all together!

Next the whole thing got a layer of black paint, which I scrubbed back in places with a baby wipe so you could see the paint and papers underneath.

Next, I covered that with images out of this awesome book I picked up at a library book sale. I think the book is actually a history of the theater, but as you can see it’s chock full of all these super cool old looking photos. You can’t see it very well from this angle, but some of the original colors are still poking out through the background.

Then the photos get a wash of blue paint, and some stamping with gold acrylic. Getting closer!

Finally the quote is painted on which states “Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson. Again, you can’t really see it because my phone camera is sort of crappy but the small letters are highlighted in gold, and the big letters are outlined in charcoal.


And then this is what happened when I set it upright… I had painted it upside down! FACEPALM! Oh well, shit happens sometimes!

So that’s just one side. Someday I need to finish the other big side and the edges. I think I want to do some cool finishing on the inside to make it a truly artsy suitcase like with cubbies for paint and brushes etc., but I am not sure when or how I am going to do that.

I will keep you posted, hope you enjoyed 😀

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