Day 16 – But Not Forgotten

But Not Forgotten harks back to my more traditional style of painting in acrylic and varnish on upholstery textile.

My main aim with this painting was to incorporate the rose motif on the fabric (top right and bottom left) into the flowing pattern of the hair. When matching an image with a piece of fabric, one of the most essential things to get right is the positioning of key features (eyes, nose, mouth, hair) so they fit amongst the pattern and aren’t obscured. At the same time it’s vital to me that any pattern on the fabric remains visible. Wherever possible I try to make the pattern and painted image blend together until it become impossible to tell where one ends and the other begins.


Day 14 – Chroma 3

Following on from yesterday’s post about my experience with experiments, Chroma 3 shows some tiles that are slightly unusual. The glaze cracked in a crystalline pattern as I poured the resin; initially I felt this was not a good thing, but I revisited the tiles the following day and fell in love with them. There’s something lovely and organic about the green one, like moss or lichen creeping over a stone, and the fragmented structure of the white/transparent tile reminds me of ice crystals or snow.

I guess this shows something important that I’ve learnt: don’t react too quickly if your art hasn’t gone to plan and if the thing you end up making is not the thing you set out to make. Sometimes the most aesthetically beautiful results can arise by pure accident but you need to make sure you give enough time for the redeeming features to reveal themselves.


Day 13 – Chroma 2

These pigments spread across the tile richly, like an oil slick on water. They looked black and unexciting to the eye until they were allowed to spread.

I love this surprise element of making art. I often set something up and leave it reacting overnight. Entering my studio the next day is an eagerly anticipated experience; sometimes a moment of joy when I find the thing I’ve created to be a wondrous thing of beauty; sometimes of moment of puzzlement when I see I’ve made something interesting but am not quite sure what to do with it; and sometimes disappointment when the art I’ve left to form has failed.

I’ve encountered so many kinds of failure when making this experimental work. The glaze may slump off without setting, the colour may be too strong and obscure the image underneath, and I’m losing track of the times the resin has overflowed and glued the artwork to the table or floor. I have small mounds of escaped resin everywhere in my studio! But it’s all a learning curve and wouldn’t be as exciting if there were never any failures. So I learn from my experiences, pick myself up and move on….


Day 11 – Black to Suffuse

This painting is one of my favourites. Peer closely and you can really see the way the fractured layer of glaze is suspended within the transparent resin. The movement of the various coloured pigments through the glaze is also clearly visible, with the tide marks of colour mimicking the floral pattern on the textile beneath. For this reason I think this glaze is one of the most interesting and successful.

I’m happy to say that there’s been a good amount of positive press coverage in the Chroma Utopia show. A nice full page article in the Western Mail last week; hope it’ll lead on to bigger and better things!