Saturday, June 20, 2020

Rococo I and II

(Above:  Rococo Diptych.  Each panel is 32" x 26", paint, pastels, and artificial gold leaf on unprimed canvas with self-guided free-motion stitching, mounted to gold painted stretcher bars using 3/4" copper roofing nails, and coated with artist grade UV filtering epoxy. Click on any image to enlarge.)

This diptych started several years ago during a public art performance called Nike's Advice. I painted 130 feet of unprimed canvas with the public, but if you click that link above and watch the short video, you will notice that much of the time found me painting alone.  It was scary!  I don't consider myself a painter.  I was having to accept Nike's Advice myself ... as in "Just Do It".  While most of the resulting artwork was rather hideous and later scrapped, some of it was saved.  The saved sections have become artwork.  Recently, I thought I'd used the last of it.  Then, I found one, large section ... hidden in a corner of my studio.  I ripped that piece into four equal parts.

(Above:  One of the four sections of the last piece of canvas painted during the public art performance.)

It was obvious that I did this last section without public assistance.  It was also apparent that I was tapping into decorative motifs from architectural details. (After all, when forced to "just do it", one will generally gravitate to what one's subconscious knows and likes!) For years, I've made a practice of drawing and then using little patterns and ornamentation when stitching the individual units in my In Box Series. It only makes sense that I'd automatically revert to architectural details, things I love and know well. 

So ... here was a large piece of canvas that I'd drawn as if a four-sectioned panel in a Rococo interior.  The asymmetrical scroll work and decorative undulations almost suggested a white-and-gold room with a ceiling painted in springtime pastels. 

 (Above:  Detail.)

The first of the ripped sections became Capital on Gold.  I really enjoyed transforming the previously painted surface.  This time, I went for more transparent washes of color in order to keep the existing designs alive and well.  I worked on two sections, hoping for a diptych.  When finally pleased with the colors and shapes, I drew a vine down the center.  Artificial gold leaf was used for the leaves. Next, both pieces were stitched with 100% black cotton thread ... free-motion ... which is a lot like drawing!  

The front and back of both pieces were stiffened with Golden's GAC 400, trimmed to size, and mounted to gold-painted stretcher bars with 3/4" copper roofing nails.  Last came the epoxy.

I use artist grade, UV filtering epoxy.  The reflective surface belies the mixed media approach.  I like that fact!  It doesn't matter whether viewers think this is a painting or an art quilt.  It's just ART!  Because of the shiny epoxy, I snap photos in my studio.  There, the track lighting is pointed directly downward.  This eliminates the glossy glare generally captured in a photograph.

If you've been following along, you already know that there was one remaining section from this last piece of canvas.  I tried to paint another capital on it, a close up view.  It looked awful.  That piece was ripped into smaller sections and is now in progress.  Stop by later to see what is happening now in my studio!

1 comment:

Jan R said...

Beautiful pieces!!!