Friday 6 April 2012

Progress on Peacock Feather

Progress on Peacock Feather today. When Rodney gave me his critique this afternoon he pointed out her eyes were a little crossed! That can be corrected tomorrow. Also will finish doing the skin tones and shadowing on the shoulders and arm. Then the work will need to dry for at least 4, maybe 7 days? before I can tackle the really challenging task of embroidering the peacock feather she holds over her face, see the original photo in yesterdays blog below if you don't know what I refer to in regard to the feather. The 2 blue slashes on her right jaw relate to the shadow cast by the peacock feather. It will be more practical to finish painting that shadowing once the embroidery is completed.

I did some applique and machine embroidering to create the dress textile. It is just crudely tacked on over the torso at the moment. It has to be left until the paintwork is dry so I can do some more machine embroidery into it. 

I think I will leave the hair pink, though in the photo the model is blonde. 

Thursday 5 April 2012

Peacock feather

This is the beginning of a new work today. The original photo it is being taken from is stuck to the left side of the canvas. Above them is a small swatch of an embellished textile I plan to replicate to use for the models garment.

My friend Sally asked me if I was interested in doing a picture based on one of her photos. Sally is an incredibly talented photographer and took Rodney and I wedding photos. She is having an exhibition at the end of this month and asked Rodney to pose for her with some of his paintings. During the photo session I was admiring some of the other pictures she'd taken and Sally was intrigued to ask me to interpret one of her images in my particular way...and the beginnings of this challenge is what I've gotten onto the canvas today.

Initially the figure was blocked in with acrylic paint then I decided to complete the face, shoulders and arm with oil paint. It allows for so much more control and subtlety. At first I thought I might do a really loose, abstract interpretation....then I changed my mind and decided to do a much more realistic and tight extrapolation. If only to show that I can be clever and technically skilled if I choose to be....hahaha! That desire to be really loose and free was a reaction to having gotten into a place of frustration with all the fussing around to get the details of the previous work tidied up and looking right. I make art because it makes my world FUN!!!=bigger, brighter and more interesting....if it starts turning into a boxed in discipline of rules, regulations and conventions then -waaahhAAAHHHHH I want to get out! quick smart!!!!

One problem with using oil paint is that it will be up to week before the paint has cured enough so that I can handle the canvas without the potential for smearing and ruining the surface before it can be put under the machine for the textile embellishment. But I this shouldn't be a problem as I have 2 other images I was planning to start working on as soon as possible. I'll start working on them and get back to this one when its ready. Sallys exhibition deadline is April 22 so I will need to not let this one get lost up the garden path.

I am really looking forward to doing that peacock feather!

stuck and bored....

I've been stuck my blog post of January 26th, "The bird is flying", I talked about how sometimes you start an artwork that is somehow unsatisfactory - it can't be resolved, becomes frustratingly stuck or simply fails! I have perhaps 3-4 artworks floating about in my studio in this category. Sometimes after a few weeks, months or even years I go back to them and fiddle a bit more. There is one of these I think can eventually be "resolved" in time for my August exhibition at Muswellbrook Gallery. I rarely throw anything out or completely trash it. From uncompleted works I'll often cannabalise parts I like by cutting them up and inserting the fragments into later works. A month ago I cut up a canvas that had been finished 12 years ago! Parts of it will go into another one of the artworks I'm struggling to finish.

I have gotten into this place of irresolution with The Golden Pierrot. Here is a picture of it at the moment. It probably looks close to finished to most people and it does only require some finessing to the background. But I'm so bored and frustrated with it....

Golden Pierrot, as at April 5
I'm pretty sure I will return to it and do the 6-10 hours needed to complete it but at the moment its been abandoned while I've started another work - pictures of that this afternoon or tomorrow.

I think some of my problems with this one are - I don't usually do "realistic" backgrounds and are getting quite bored with getting this one right and I don't like how grey and monochromatic the background has became. I feel like I've started constructing a complicated story when in truth I have little interest in being a contrived narrative maker. My modus operandi is just to arrange a bit of stuff on a 2 dimensional surface and let other people make of it what they will. I'm tempted to do something wild and rebellious to bust myself out of that place and lash on lots of bright colour and abstract sploshes of pattern!!! may happen yet! The arch shape is a technique called bas relief, I built it using textured air drying paperclay.