Friday 24 February 2012

And now for something completely different...

OK! - "completely different" I'll admit is a slight exaggeration. I'm excited because the new work started 2 days ago is developing somewhat outside of the aesthetic that has been predominant in the last few months. It is still within my paradigm of "female form with textile/mixed media surface embellishment" but has moved away significantly from strong use of colour and decorative stitching....thats how its coming together at this point anyway!

Here are some pictures showing the first day, firstly my sketch of the head and shoulders to the left being transferred onto a small piece of prepared canvas. Because I want texture a strong element I then did a streaky layer of texture gel and let that dry before working over it the next day with more texture medium and paint (it looks opaque white before drying)

The reason I have used the small piece of canvas, approx 25x40cm, is that the intention is to cut out the figure and adhere it to a backing about 6mm thick which then gets pasted onto a hard surface. The backing behind this separately created figure will be MDF board which forms the top of the framed work. I used this method with the work "Tribute to Frida" which I showed on a blog about a month ago.

The purpose of this is so that I can easily manipulate the figure to stitch into by machine or hand. However I need the background to be firm, rather than the flexibility of canvas, to be able to create and attach some very heavy elements to, such as paper clay and fabrics stiffened with mediums such as gesso or Paverpol. With the Frida work I used a gritty background texture medium with thick gesso because I wanted to simulate the look of the plastered garden wall that she was standing in front of when the photo was taken. Obviously I couldn't have stitched into, or rolled and folded the canvas in the way I need to when machine embroidering if the background had been prepared like that in advance of putting the figure into it. I was very pleased with the way the final composition worked out; the way the figure was separate from and slightly distended from the background, so I knew I would eventually use this method again.

Dusky, painting at end day 2

This is where the painting was finished as of yesterday afternoon. Some open weave cotton has been pleated and stitched along with a piece of very open lace work that will likely form the surface.

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