Sunday, November 9, 2008

. . . were wildly experimental

This is a medium-sized piece of canvas that I ripped, cut, slashed and fooled around with, sort of a prototype for some ideas that were floating around in my mind. In the above picture, the top is composed of three or four woven strips. After painting the canvas, I applied a piece of sturdy netting to the canvas with my plaster-glue-gesso concoction, let it dry, painted it and then ripped off the netting.

The above picture shows why I was researching whether or not canvases must lay flat, because this one does not. I cut a slash in the canvas before I painted it and then "sewed up" the slash with very thin copper wire. The bottom of the canvas in this picture is cut, but no canvas strips were woven through it.

This picture shows a bit more of the copper wire sutures, although the wire isn't really all that visible because I filled the slash with more of my concoction. There is a small piece of canvas attached beneath the slash. . . originally I wanted the wire stitches to be loose and the backing piece to show through. . . but that didn't work out. You know, when you're wildly experimental, I guess you have to be ready to improvise.

And finally, here is a view of more or less the entire piece, upside-down from the others. Except for the area in the square netting, all white areas are actually glare from overhead lights. I guess it highlights the pleats and wrinkles in the canvas. When I had done as much as I could think of to do to this, I dumped a bunch of polyurethane on top of it and spread it all over with a scrunched up plastic bag, hoping for more texture or something interesting to happen, but it really just gave the piece a shiny smooth surface.

Okay, so it kind of looks like a horrible wound that has been repaired rather poorly. . . if I hadn't been working on this for a couple of weeks, I would have perhaps thought that subconsciously I was worried about my husband's surgery. However, since he's not having surgery because they found out that his illness was not connected to gall bladder problems, and since even if he had needed surgery, it would have been laparoscropy (I can't say it, let alone spell it right) I guess this piece really is nothing more than just screwing around and learning the effects of different kinds of torture that I can inflict upon a canvas.

I have two others, one that I have been working on for a while and another that I started yesterday. I am not done with either, although these again are not actually anything that I will ever be "done with" because I can mess with them at any time. Suffice it to say that I bought some grommets yesterday that I plan to incorporate into at least one piece.

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