Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Part Two

Carol here again.
Continuing the tale of my "Empty Spaces" piece.

I want to be completely honest here and say that this has not be an easy or free flowing piece of work.
Life interferes, my mood can change what is happening in my work and I'm not used to following a set theme when I create.
Having said all of that, I will say that my own misunderstanding of the deadline created some angst as well.
I thought that I had a month less than what I really had to complete the artwork.
It was great finishing it early but that extra month would have been nice!

I continued to build up the backgrounds with more transfers.
Using cheap foam stamps, I added a layer of text on top of this.

I used a fluid acrylic paint with mica pieces in it to give a little bit of shimmer.

I really liked the look of the larger letters but wanted them to fade into the background more.
I wanted to introduce more texture at this point so I pulled out the sketchbook that I had been working in.
Here is one of the pages that I experimented on.

I liked that so I applied an irregular layer of modeling paste (or molding paste depending on the manufacturer) with a large palette knife.
You can see that I skipped areas - just here and there to add some texture.
I did a couple of layers of it - I added paint to the paste before I applied it to one canvas, the other one I painted  over the paste afterwards.

Notice how I have left an area around the outside of the canvas blank.
This area will be on the back of the piece after it is completed. 
I think that the paint color was raw sienna. The addition of the white molding paste did act to subdue the paint color somewhat but I liked it.
I started really getting into what was going on with the canvas piece at this point and just kept going with it.

I loaded a small brush with a lighter color and let my crazy side (what? you you thought every side of me was crazy!) take over.
I spattered  small amounts of the (titan buff) paint as well as a little bit of black.

If you look closely you can see the lines from a transfer that I did
of one of my mom's journal pages.

I really liked the piece and was at the point that I feared screwing it up by doing anything else...but knew that it needed something else.
This was when I returned to the sketchbook to work out my plan.

I revisited my writings when I first began working on the theme -
"I began to think of other empty spaces.  Spaces that existed for another purpose.
Like in the garden. You dig a hole (a space that is now empty) to drop a seed into it.
Or maybe in the forest. A tree falls to the ground, rots and eventually leaves an empty space there. Yet, in that space, mushrooms begin to grow. Small plants sprout up.
The space is empty yet the death of one thing has provided a fertile space for another.

Life finds a way to fill that empty space."

With that fresh in my mind, I began looking at the canvas as the empty space that was acting as fodder for my emotions, a space holder if you will...and allowing it to symbolically be a fertile ground for the growth of something else. My negative emotions were decaying, they were becoming fertilizer to this ground.
I felt that I needed to see new growth in this space.

I had a drawing that I had done of a flower with it's roots growing down, strong and bold. I wanted to try it out but not on the canvas that I liked.
I created a mock piece in my sketchbook, scanned the drawing, printed it out and used it as a transfer on the page.
The drawing was rather detailed and I didn't want to take the time to draw it again but needed a fair representation of it. A transfer was the quickest way to do this.

You can see the second piece that I started under the sketchbook.
I had done a couple of paint washes over the surface trying out different colors.

I often, quite often actually, get into working things in my sketchbook so much that I go overboard with the details of it all...
and that is exactly what happened here. 
I was having so much fun drawing, stamping and painting that I totally allowed it to take me away from working on the actual piece of artwork!

The sketchbook was becoming the artwork.
I had to step away from it.

It was a good thing that I did this work in my sketchbook because I realized that the full drawing of the plant was too much - it was too small, too detailed for that size of canvas.
I decided to use a portion of the drawing but modify the size a bit.
Using the scan from the original drawing, I enlarged it so that about a third of it would fit on the 16 inch square canvas.

I cut the flower out to get a better idea about the size.

I liked the size as it (roughly) divided the size of the piece into thirds.

There were two other things that I had in mind for this piece:
adding machine stitching
adding a touch of red (for a tan, black and red color scheme).

So it was back to the samples for me.

Here is a practice stitching (complete with one backwards letter!).

Long story even longer, I loved the addition of the stitching so much that I stitched several of the stamped text blocks with a light colored thread. This will reward the viewer that takes a closer look at the piece.
This brings us to the last phase of the creation of this piece of artwork.

I'll give my cohorts a chance to talk before I finish up with mine.

I hope that you all are living your life as creatively as you can.
As women, who tend to give and give and give, we need the outlet that creativity can offer us.
We need to be able to give some energy over to what is fun, what is joyful to us.
And that is what creating art is to me.
It sustains me.
It lets me put all of the stress of the day on the shelf for a bit and allow my passion to take over.

Are you honoring your creativity?

1 comment:

Gloria Hansen said...

Carol, I am so enjoying the journey of your piece! It's fascinating.