Saturday, June 12, 2010

Branching out

Sorry, couldn’t resist! My husband Andy and I recently took a little trip to visit several Florida state parks, including Big and Little Talbot Islands. I shot quite a few photos looking up into tree canopies, mostly oak and pine trees. The twisting branches of live oaks are amazing, like a bonsai that just kept growing.
The shot above is the cropped photo that I used as the basis for the artwork. While I’ve worked mostly in soft fiber art mode in recent years, I wanted to try “hard” collage using acrylics for this piece.
First I sketched the image onto a 12" X 12" hardboard (an Ampersand pastel panel that was hanging around), then painted the basic shapes with black, lavender, and white. After drying, it was time to add...
...some pieces of fabric from my stash. I set up the easel to lay flat so quite a few pieces could be laid out before being stuck down. The adhesive is Clear Tar Gel gloss by Golden, but other reasonably thick gels also work. 

Hmmm... a problem became evident about midway through. I take photos along the way, which has become vital to my process. For some reason I can see things in the little display of my camera that are not apparent in the artwork right in front of me! The lavender was too similar in value to the green leaves, which made the image lack contrast. So, I painted over most of the lavender with white acrylic, though it still shows through.
More fabric pieces were added plus some tiny bits of painted papers. Though perhaps a few things here and there could be changed next time around, I like how it turned out. 

This is becoming a bit of a roll, because the wolf from a couple of weeks ago was also satisfactory. While that may not sound overly enthusiastic, if I am not happy with artwork-in-progress my reaction is along the lines of YUCK, THIS IS AWFUL!!!! Having created over the years more than a few pieces of artwork that “went ugly” and couldn’t be rescued, this is a nice change!


Diane J. Evans said...

This is certainly a piece that "went beautiful" along the way -- clever use of fabric and paint. I always love to see what you create.


Quilt Rat said...

FABULOUS!!!! I love the way this took on a life of it's won. From a simple photo to a work of art.
Excellent.....and wonderful to be able to watch the whole process unfold!

Libby Fife said...

I like the combo of fabric and paint on a board. I am curious to know though if the fabric frayed at all? I have had that problem in the past.

Pretty low tech over here-I use a red plastic see through card to check value along the way:)

Loreen Leedy said...

Thanks, guys!

These particular fabrics didn't fray much, but if there are any loose threads you can nudge them into place with the brush as you apply the gel.

Barbara Strobel Lardon said...

Love this tree. It is amazing how they grow like that.

Great solution to your problem and it is now fantastic. I would like to try that technique someday. It sounds simple enough and the results are wonderful.

Susan Miller said...

Really great I love seeing the transition from photo to fabric art.