Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Explorations with Jane Davies, Lesson 5


A few weeks ago I posted about the "City in Ruins" series I began as Lesson 4 of my on-line class with Jane Davies. For Lesson 5, I continued working on the first six pieces, and began another four. The approach was the same: four layers of collage, sanded, and then the application of paint, pattern and line. I chose to limit myself to a neutral palette, to use a wide variety of media, and to create quiet spaces that contrasted with busy areas.


The first step I took was to sand down more of each piece, especially the dark background, which I had created with Carbon Black. Jane Davies suggested I aim for a richer, more nuanced dark, so I was guided by her tutorial on laying down multiple coats of transparent colour. I settled on the complementary colours of ultramarine blue, quinachridone gold, and sepia.


Another suggestion was that I introduce some colour, and I chose to include some areas of quin gold.


I also made an effort to soften the margin between the building shapes and the background. I did this by applying a smudge of sepia or quin gold between the edge of the buildings and the background.


I did include a few pieces of red paper in the collage base for the latest four (5.7 - 5.10) but it didn't fit in well, and I persisted with the quin gold throughout.


Since I took these photos, I've made a few small adjustments, adding a touch more pattern here, a scrap of collage paper there, changing the value of a small area so that it is lighter or darker.


For example, in 5.7 above, I found the dark blotches on the lower right and upper left distracting, so I have moderated those bits with paint.


Can you see the clock face on the lower edge of 5.8? I partially concealed that with some Titan Buff paint. And the suggestion of red near the centre has been modified too. I find that looking at photos of the work can be helpful in suggesting small changes that might be needed to make a stronger composition.


I don't consider these works to be totally complete, and will no doubt return to them with fresh eyes at a later date.


Having spent so much time on this series in these last few weeks, I am somewhat weary of them and would like to put them aside for a while.


Margaret said...

I'm not surprised! I find that often my series work consists of no more than 3 pieces. After 1/2's a challenge -- especially if I've worked on them without a break to do something different. I find these pieces hope you'll get back to them later -- or (even better) that they will be a spring-board to something else...not the same...but with what you've learned as you've travelled this road.

Heather Dubreuil said...

Thanks for that sympathetic and wise comment, Margaret. Perhaps a little distance is what's needed at this point.