Cardboard right angles always appear on the list of materials I ask my students to bring to art class. These contribute to the creative process by functioning as composition and crop tools.

I like them longer rather than shorter because long ones offer greater flexibility. One of my students found it awkward to schlepp extended versions to and fro.  Her creative solution was to use thinner cardboard and to fold the angles up into a compact format for transit. 

On some days, artists achieve nothing or very little. They feel blocked, in a rut, obvious solutions to visual problems don't seem to work.  

Angles provide hope. 

Rather than immediately chucking efforts into the garbage can or painting over an entire work with gesso, parts can be, and often should be, salvaged, either physically or mentally.  Sometimes little bits are more beautiful than big bits.

I created this particular background with acrylic pastes and stains on a wooden board.  My initial plan was to apply acrylic skins over top but I couldn't immediately resolve the image so I put the work aside for awhile to incubate (I am still at that step in the process).

Eons ago, one of my design professors had us throw coloured paints haphazardly on paper. With a visor, we had to discover wondrous abstract compositions that mysteriously appeared in the opening.

Angles work in much the same way but have the advantage of a variable window.  The format of cropped areas keeps changing to reveal alternative possibilities and colour schemes for future works.

Here are some examples of what I found just playing with angles on my background.  

I'm not an abstract painter but this definitely excites me.

Crop 1

Crop 2

 Crop 3 

These should keep me busy for awhile.