Contrast and layers.
Ah, another learning curve as I manouver through the next possible direction. So I have started reworking a few pieces that I felt needed something more. What seems to be starring me in the face is the fact that I have lots of really clear edges. What if I just added another layer with stencils and allowed the layer to cover aras of the main subject and the background and retained an semi-transparency? So I tried this firstly with ‘The Queen of Hearts” and then the owl painting. For the owl I needed to create a stencil as I did not have one that I felt would work. I used a piece of plain laminated sheet and cut out the leaves and circles. This was stenciled onto the artwork using gesso and a make up wedge sponge. Breaking the edge lines helps to unify the different aspects of the piece and gives a sense of the owl in a real environment. We do not see things as fully defined in reality but place the pieces together to form a whole within our field of vision. I feel that the art work is now capturing more of the essence of the image I originally desired. Of course this impacts other pieces but each step in the process is a building block and I do love the fact that art is an area where you simply never stop learning no matter where you are in the evolution of your career. The question remains, which pieces do I feel are enough and which pieces are not quite at the point of release.
And of course, the addition of extra white adds to the contrast which can really lift a piece from average to something special. So I will keep questioning, pushing and changing each piece.
Each piece is a question seeking an answer. I keep coming back to ‘The Queen of Hearts’. The contrast is lacking and the eyes are not what I want. Drastic measures and drips of Golden high flow acrylic’ , anthraquinone blue and redoing the face have taken her closer to my imagined sense of complete. I like the contrast this new layer has bought. Each layer takes me deeper and adds more questions. There are no answers really but a continual learning that leads me to the next possibility.
As I make shifts in this piece, (version 3) I realise that the changes are softening her, even as they build the contrast. I have changed the head tilt so it is a gentler lean to the left and reshaped the neck, changing the right sleeve. The face is totally different but seems to fit better. It is scary and fun and the same time when I make drastic changes to a piece I have lived with for awhile. That is the joy of living with an art work as it tells you what it needs. The only time I know a work is complete forever, is when it leaves my studio and finds its home. Next I went drastic and added drips of anthraquinone blue building layers, developing glimpses of earlier layers and developing a lot stronger contrast.
I do believe she is finished…yes I know that is the third time I have thought that. Who knows what will happen next. Until she finds a new home, she will always be open to change. A good place to be for all of us as we move forward on our journey.