Friday, 19 May 2017

New artworks under way

I am working on a few projects at the minute – a Mike Bernard type mixed media piece of art on MDF board and a large pastel artwork. 

The latter is unusual for me as I have sacrificed my usual smoothish pastelmat paper for a grittier gessoed illustration board. I had thought of painting on Dibond – and gesso-ing its aluminium surface but the cost was a bit prohibitive. The piece I am working on is of the Giant’s Causeway here in Northern Ireland and features the iconic basalt rocks quite prominently.

My idea is to do the sky in pastel (the easy bit) and the rest in watercolour and acrylics. It’s a rather awkward marriage but it seems to be working so far. I had to use blue masking fluid on the land area where it hits the sky as I have found in the past that stray chalk pastels are hard to remove in unwanted areas and more so on this heavily gessoed surface. That’s mostly down to my heavy finger blending manner. I rub the pastel in so hard that after 30 minutes CID would have trouble getting fingerprints from me. 

With my 9-5 graphic design work expected to be busy for the rest of the year I think this Causeway paintings is going to be a summer months/spare time project. It measures around 70cms x 46cms. My previous pastel works fitted an A3 sheet  (around 40cms x 27cms) so this significant size increase is rather scary. If it all goes to plan, I may have found a new mixed media style that surpasses my early experiences with pastelmat. It’ll be a bit looser but still quite realistic.

Which is all a far cry from my Mike Bernard excursion at SERC on a Wednesday night. It’s taken me around eleven weeks to discover 'the other side of me’ where creating art is all about fun and less about hard work! 

So far I have glued down crinkled up tissue paper, plaster of paris, dry wall lining tape and newspaper cuttings to my gessoed MDF board and will introduce wax resist next week to the proposed stone wall in the foreground and maybe a little pot pouri for bushes and weeds in areas that I want to be a bit more vague. I've also bought a Neocolour Grey crayon which might be fun to use. I’m working mainly with Liquitex Soft Body Acrylics  and Liquitex Matte Medium. After a hesitant start I have discarded my paintbrushes (thanks Anne) preferring to make my marks with an old Danske Bank cheque card, a few wooden clothes pegs and after reading a book by Jodi Ohl I'll be using a roller to create random effects on the painting too. What am I like? Will put up a picture next week of where I am at with this. Don't be expecting too much at this early days stage!

I never did get around to finishing off this mixed media piece! It just wasn't working for me so best I cut my losses now and move on. I have learned that I don't like working on hardened tissue paper though I haven't abandoned the idea completely. Just not for now in my infancy stage!