Tuesday 22 January 2008

Painting Experiments

While waiting for Sofa Workshop to deliver our new sofa, I had an hour away from working on latest book to set up a painting space in the 'conservatory' and apply some acrylics to some stitched samples. I still have ideas in my head for more pieces arising from the Strindberg piece I did last year - problems not resolved, techniques to push further. Most people are surprised how vibrant and patterned the underlying fabrics are. I made up some samples of a variety of different fabrics , not just African wax this time,( used Dream Cotton 'Select' wadding in the sandwich) and then machine and hand stitched in ripple patterns. I applied acrylics (Liquitex firm body) straight from tube with a palette knife but not to the whole piece so that a strip of the original fabric can be seen. It's a bit distracting to look at ( as you can see in the 'studio' shot below) so I've cropped the image in Photoshop and shown the 'before' stage separately.

Fabric 1: A heavy cotton canvas (pattern called 'Tipsy'!) I liked the pattern already printed on it but it was difficult to hand stitch and also to paint and the texture of the canvas showed through when painted.

Fabric 1 Before

Fabric 1 After

Fabric 2 : A vintage black/brown cotton sateen with abstract orange pattern. Easy to stitch and paint and like the result- only concern is the stretch and distortion of sateen when used on a larger scale
Fabric 2 Before

Fabric 2 After

Fabric 3 (top)and 4(bottom): An African damask shibori in orange and blue (still with starch in ) and Kaffe Fassett Roman Glass - an old favourite of mine. Both fabrics easy to stitch. The damask didn't take paint that well (probably because of the starch) and the pattern showing through was too dominant. Its also too gorgeous a fabric to hide under paint! ( which is why I was a bit mean in the size of sample)
The dots and circles of the Roman Glass were not as prominent as I thought they might be - definitely one for consideration
Fabrics 3&4 Before

Fabrics 3&4 After
Fabric 5: African wax fabric mainly of wild large pink and black leaves. These African wax prints really stitch well and are a good surface for painting on. I rather like the vibrant pink and black showing through but perhaps wouldn't want too much of it!
Fabric 5 Before

Fabric 5 After
Next step is to make up a larger trial sample using fabrics 2,4&5 to see how they work together.
What I also might try is using a different palette of acrylic colours (greens)- the shapes of the stitched ripples also suggest land forms .


jude said...

love what you are doing here. adding yet subtracting.

margaret said...

Great results - hard to choose a favourite.