So after setting up the subscribe option on this website, almost as an experiment, I have been surprised by the number of subscribers that I already have! This makes me question what the subscribers want to hear about (please feel free to share your thoughts below) and hence what to write about.
So I have decided to make this a bit more of a personal art blog, sharing information about how I create my paintings and also any experiments that I carry out into new techniques, and hope that I talk about things that interest, and even open up a dialogue with other artists.
So this post is mostly about a new painting that I have been working on and how I am trying to work on a slight deviation in style. I feel that I am being influenced somewhat by current trends in more ‘commercial’ art and I’m not sure if this is a good thing! I’m a big fan of shabby chic and I felt like I wanted to bring in this kind of influence into my artwork.
Texture is great to use for a shabby chic effect as you can make paintings look distressed using the texture pretty easily and in fact the techniques in painting are very similar to those used in painting shabby chic furniture.
So in my new painting I used the usual mix of stucco and PVA to create the base. I am back in Dubai where stucco is readily available very cheaply so I got hold of a big pot of it. I need to take some back to the UK with me so I need to ditch some luggage!
I had been given a few old canvases by a friend of mine. She had had a clear out of her studio and ditched some of her old paintings. Texturing over the old painting (which had already been gessoed over was a great way of covering it up and resuing the canvas. When I textured up the canvas and divided it into squeares, I went a bit further than normal and created some other marks within the squares using the end of a paint brush. I also decided to sign my name in the texture.
As usual with this texture, I wiped over it with the spatula when it was still wet to get extra roughness to it (you can leave it quite smooth, particularly if you put it on thinly) and left it to dry overnight. I left a few of the squares without any markings in as I was planning on doing some decoupage on them.
I had printed off some old adverts from scanned sheet music and I had been scouring through newspapers to pick out some suitable words and phrases.
I did all the painting first – first layer a wash over the whole canvas, then layers of pastel colours with a dark grey wash to get into the cracks and crevices and then drybrushing with a sponge some white paint on top.
I then painted all the lines and some of the marks with a thick gold paint.
Once I had the painting looking like I wanted it to, I started on the decoupage. I actually used PVA for this as I did not have any decoupage medium to hand. This works quite well and seals it too if you apply it on top of the paper as well. However, it does give a bit of a sheen to it so be prepared for that and don’t use it where you don’t want the gloss type finish.
After I had put on the newspaper words and the printed paper I went over some of the edges with some white paint to blend it in a bit more.
The end result was this:
Now I have to tell you that I am not totally happy about the end result of the painting (as I very rarely ever am!) but I can’t put my finger on exactly what is missing or what needs to be done. Also I have to take my paintings to my exhibition tent in 2 days so I don’t really have time to change it much! An artist friend of mine said she really liked it so I’ll see what kind of feedback I get!
Feeling this frequent dissatisfaction with the end result of my paintings reminded my of something I had recently read that had been shared on facebook (as it seems like most words of wisdom are!) so I thought I would share that here too in case anyone is interested: