Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Latest Acrylic Collages

In late April I attended "Acrylic Painting for Textile Artists", taught by Jane Davies at the Helen Day Art Center in Stowe, Vermont. I had a great time, and learned a lot from Jane and from the other participants.

This was made of some bits from a previous exercise.
I like the "brushiness" of the orange background, with a previous layer
of blue background still visible, holding the central shape together.
I think that the extreme value contrast adds to the piece.

It also shows a contrast between "busy" and "quiet" areas.

Something that Jane recommends is to set a few parameters and develop a series from them. For example, you could require yourself to make several pieces with an "open grid" using all squares and rectangles, or you could set a particular colour scheme, or you could work with three shapes, two lines and a pattern.

More brushiness. I'm beginning to understand
that paint is crucial to achieve this effect.
Cloth alone won't get me there.

Working with multiples makes each single piece less "precious" and easier to modify. This approach is less suitable to work in cloth, though, as the medium is so much more labour-intensive.

I found that generally the piece is more successful
when the shapes of each colour coalesce into a single mass,
rather than being scattered throughout.

The ten pieces shown here all measure 10" x 10", and all share a complementary colour scheme of blue and orange. Most of them use a rectilinear grid, but also include some rounded shapes for contrast.

Having one colour predominate seemed to work best.

As I explained in the previous post, some of these began as a painted background, with collaged shapes on top. Further painting and collage often ensued. Others started as a collage with paint applied as a second layer.

A piece of cotton with black and white polka dots was stiffened
with Golden's GAC 400  so that it would cut like paper and not fray. 

Some of these were begun before the workshop, others were started at the workshop, and a few were begun and finished in the days following the workshop. It was important to me to have a cohesive set of ten new pieces for our local show, and I was able to complete these just in time.

These four shapes include a good range of size.
The large orange-red shape began as painted tissue paper
and offers an interesting, wrinkly texture.

As I worked on these, I tried to use contrast of scale, hue, value, hard and soft edges, etc. Using blue and orange automatically ensures the contrast of warm and cool.

Multiple layers of paint contribute a sense of depth.

This one was much improved when blue paint was added to the central blue area,
 making a large blue shape.

I think this one would be improved with more value contrast.
I was seduced by the soft, limited range of mid-tone values in the background.

I still intend to translate some of this abstract imagery into cloth, but I am more and more persuaded that paint will also be needed to achieve the "lost edges" that I find so appealing. Meanwhile, I am having great fun exploring what paint can do.


Susan said...

Fascinating, thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Really nice work! It's easy to see all your progress, too, over the months/years! Thank you for sharing your workshop experiences so generously.