Inspiration Has Struck!
I stripped an old painting from its stretcher ages ago and stored it on the wall for lack of anything else to do with it..
Favourite Indian silk skirt was no longer viable as a garment – the fabric was so thin it was unkind to take it out in public. So that had been stripped out and also hung on the other wall.
Ohhh, I wonder if……, what would happen when……. So, shut up and did it. Not really such an impossible mix – the painting was of Wharfedale which had a long history of cotton and silk manufacturing, even though most of the mills are demolished now, marrying the two feels right.
There are no second chances stitching on a painted canvas – those holes are permanent, get too many and they act as perforations and the whole thing comes apart ( quite fun finding the point when then that happens). It also has the handling characteristics of adolescent cardboard. You bend it by thumping and never fold it completely. I feel I may now have biceps.
It is one way of clearing the whole table ( cup of coffee, open box of 500 business cards, any passing small furry animals…..)
Process. Short version.
Layering sheer and fine fabrics, stitching down, and then cutting away and shredding.
Process. Long version.
The sky has non woven fibrous dark layer, stitched in horizontal bands to hold it and the areas of colour in the painting were sewn around. I am still working out how much to pull away, but I like the irregular mottled pattern that is emerging.
The patterned silk covered most of the middle ground with rather large blowsy red roses. Its background matches the light on the hills so somehow the roses work? Infallible logic! The dark sky layer extended down across this. The stitching followed the rose pattern then areas were ripped or cut away, either the dark or both. Some areas were just thinned out, tweezering individual threads away to leave suggestions of colour and shapes .
The secondary patch of pattern is bright orange paisley ( ouch, but why not?) The colour contrast was a bit much so out with the 2 tone organza as overlays. And the hideous ones – crimson/green, purple/ orange…. This time stitching followed the paint shapes and colour shifts. Snip, snip, rip, and…. didn’t like it. Lost the coherent structure, the story was compromised. Back to the drawing and reinstate the idea of linear perspective with the tapering lines. This is randomly couched knitting ribbon with a wriggly approach to life,and of course, could use no pins. Quite a good game playing chase the yarn across the piece of work just spent far too many hours on, but the end result is fluid enough without looking staged. Now I quite like it.
“Oh, how traditionally English…”
umm… Asian fabric with patterns of a probably Chinese flower and Indian symbols placed over a brutal post Industrial landscape….. ummm romantic view of Englishness.
Like the colour shifts due to light and viewing angle. Some of the stitching is fairly crude where I was fighting with physically get the thing through the machine. The canvas has creased – normally this is ‘damage’ and devalues – I see it as a record of its history and as such far more relevant to the subject matter than happy perfection.
Exhibition is still on – until the 15th March. I am there next Sunday doing a demo and trying to talk sense. (should be worth watching – but you must promise not to point and laugh)