Thursday, June 11, 2020

Capital on Blue and Capital on Gold

(Above:  Capital on Blue and Capital on Gold.  Each piece is 32" x 26".  Paint, ink, and pastels on canvas with self-guided, free-motion machine stitching, mounted to white-painted stretcher bars using galvanized roofing nails, and coated with artist grade, UV filtering epoxy.  $900 each.  Click on any image to enlarge.)

I had leftover acrylic paint from a recent commission and decided to put it to use.  There was more blue paint than yellow, so I dedicated the blue to the larger background area.  At the time, I had no intention of making two pieces and I had no idea just how far my paint would go either.

 (Above:  Capital on Blue, in progress.)

I just swirled paint, slung droplets, and sponged "blobs" around the central motif until I liked what I saw.  Then, I put another piece of canvas under the painting and started stitching.

 (Above:  Capital on Blue, in progress.  This is the reverse side which shows the stitching.)

I truly enjoy self-guided, free-motion stitching.  It really is like drawing with thread.  The image comes alive with the addition of this thin, black line.  While I stitched, I was thinking about the fact that I had just run out of the canvas I've been using.  There had once been so much of it that I thought I'd never run out!  I was also thinking about how much paint I still had left, especially gold and yellow paint. 

(Above:  One of the last pieces of canvas painted during my Artista Vista 2016 public performance art projects.)

Even before finishing Capital on Blue, I was ready to start another piece which would be lighter, brighter, and use more gold and yellow paint.  I went to the corner in my studio where the bolt of canvas had been ... hoping for a second bolt ... but finding (crumpled up and hiding in the very back of the corner) a large section of the canvas that had been painted during my Artista Vista 2016 public performance project.  I ripped the large section into four smaller pieces.  The image above shows one of those four.

Although my public performance was all about painting WITH the public, there were plenty of times when no one was around.  That's when I just doodled.  It was obvious that this last section was done only by me ... doodles.  It was also obvious that I would need to work on the canvas to turn it into the desired yellow and gold background.  For two days, applied layers of transparent yellow and more opaque gold over the surface, allowing the washes to dry between coats but still following the suggestion of ornamental details originally drawn.

 (Above:  Capital on Gold.  Stitch and ready to be stiffened with GAC 400).

Finally, I painted the column with its composite capital in mostly light blue, acid yellow, and silver.  Because I ran out of the canvas, I simply put some dark green fabric behind it.  Yes, I found this bolt of dark green where the other bolt of canvas had been.  I won't be using it for long.  There's not much left already.  I stitched this piece while thinking about how the gold and swirls seemed to have me channeling Gustav Klimt.

(Above:  Hammering 3/4" galvanized roofing nails through the fabric and into the white-painted stretcher bars.)

When both pieces were stitched and stiffened, I mounted them to white-painted stretcher bars using 3/4" galvanized roofing nails.  Finally, each one went into the garage ... one day after the other ... and artist-grade, UV filtering epoxy was poured over the surface.

 (Above:  The two finished pieces in front of my Wall of Keys.)

I'm really pleased how they turned out.  They were each photographed in my studio.  The track lighting is aimed straight downward.  By blocking out any other light, the reflections from the epoxy are reduced.

(Above:  The two finished pieces, showing the sides and the reflections.)

Ideal lighting is necessary but it does have a significant disadvantage.  It eliminates the unusual surface which is the reason for using the epoxy in the first place.  In the photo above, I've shown the sides of these pieces but also the reflective nature of the epoxy.  The black-and-white floor is perfectly seen ... as if a continuation right onto the artwork!

 (Above:  Capital on Blue, detail.)

The rest of the images are simply detail shots.  Please enjoy them ... and note that I added touches of artificial gold leafing to the yellow piece ... just to enhance the feel of richness that only gold can add!

  (Above:  Capital on Blue, detail.)

  (Above:  Capital on Gold, detail.)

   (Above:  Capital on Gold, detail.)
  (Above:  Capital on Gold, detail.)

1 comment:

Els said...

Love the stitching on those paintings Susan ! (they are quite big ... must not have been easy to move them under the machine !)