Monday, 20 October 2008

Treading Water

" Source of the Thames" Michael Andrews

Before my art class last week I was looking through catalogues from past art exhibitions I'd been to including Michael Andrews at the Tate in 2001 (I'd been particularly struck at the time by his huge Australian canvases). By coincidence(or serendipity) ,when I was discussing potential local painting locations with Joy, she mentioned Michael Andrews paintings of the Thames (above). I love the quality of abstraction, design and colour but grounded in traditional landscape painting - what I'm aiming for in my own artwork. A wonderful re-discovery.

" Me and Melanie Swimming" Michael Andrews

I haven't posted for a couple of weeks because I've been struggling for a while in both work and creative arenas to keep afloat. I've been seeking advice to help me cope and correct for an overly negative view of life but until I get that support it's proving difficult to focus. The house has never looked so clean - normally household chores get put off for more interesting things like sewing and painting but it's good to do something where I don't need to think too much, I've even caught up with the ironing!

What I've got pinned up on my notice board at the moment, waiting for inspiration to strike, are several studies of waves based on photos and sketches in Greece. This mixed media sketch is in watercolour, acrylic ink ,'inktense' pencils and 'neocolour' crayons, trying to capture the different colours and the movement of the water.


I printed out a photo on fabric and quilted with different machine stitches with this splashy 60's print cotton as the backing.
I painted over this backing with acrylic paint. There are still glimpses of the pink showing through which I like but overall the effect is too realistic and photographic - this textile sample shows some skill but no soul!
What I'm after is the excitement of this detail from the initial mixed media sketch - how to maintain that on a larger scale?

7 comments:

MaryCD said...

Margaret......

I read our site and always enjoy your quilts, your insights and your spirit. I'm sorry you are going through a difficult time; I will keep the good thought and prayer for you.

Mary in San Diego

MaryCD said...

Margaret....

I have always enjoyed your quilts and your beautiful posts about your special part of the world. Sometimes we work with a heavy heart; my thoughts and prayers are with you

Mary in San Diego

Shelley at Mermaids Purse said...

I love these water effects - they are working really well! I have been tagged on my blog to reveal 7 random facts about myself and the idea is to pass this on to 6 other people to do the same. Would you like to be tagged? No offence taken if you would rather not!

magsramsay said...

Thanks for the comments on my water pieces. I'd rather not be tagged but thanks for the thought. Mags

Julie said...

Sorry to hear you are struggling at the moment Mags. I hope you soon get the support you need. On a positive note, when you feel a bit better you won't have to worry about the housework! Well done for that.

margaret said...

How to maintain the excitement of the original sketch - not easy, and harder in the textile medium -- can you wet the painted side and flick some paint at it to "wake it up"?

Congrats on getting through all that housework! Sometimes the creative side needs a bit of a rest, especially when there's a day job...

Shelley at Mermaids Purse said...

No problem Mags - thanks for replying!