Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Number nine is not number nine yet might be the first finished

This is the first piece that I think might be finished. It is the first one where I am happy with both the balance and number of elements. To begin, I laminated a bunch of dead notebook pages onto one part of the canvas. A few days later I began the plastering layer. Rather than wait for that to dry, I immediately painted into and over it but was unhapy with the results. When I added more, it got worse. I then mixed some drawing ink and PVA and splatted that around and about. It got worse again.

At this point I was on the verge of giving up on this one and letting it dry completey, before painting over the whole thing and starting again. Instead, I got out the palette knife and mashed everything together, except for the stringy black PVA strands. These I picked off and dumped over the notebook pages.

Oddly, this last-ditch, f**ck-it approach pulled everything together. So I added in the blank Instax photo, a few more orange splashes to balance things out and left it to dry. The next day I knew that it needed a large number 9 in the corner (I added two) and then a few more odds and ends.

The two most sucessful features for me where the last two added. The penultimate was the ink drawing, based on a light-trail photo I took last year. I've been trying to work drawings into my paintings since canvas A but this is the first time I feel it has really worked.

The final element, and the one I'm most excited by today, is that orange-ish strip in the centre. It is a long slot cut through the canvas, cross-stitched and backed with a mis-printed photo. The photo is stuck on the back in a D-shape, giving depth.

I've had this idea of cutting into the canvas in my head for many months, yet this is the first time I've put it into practice. It has worked exactly as I had hoped it would. This is great because I've got quite a few more variations on this idea I want to explore. So watch this space.


  1. Perhaps it's my skewed politics, but on first glance I thought that the top "green" half was actually a world map (Russia/Asia/Middle East) with a blood-like British Empire red splashed over it haphazardly. The lines in the blue were shipping lanes.

  2. Ah, the blood-like British Empire. If only I had intended that, I'd have been very happy. Instead I'm wondering if you've been drinking funny tea tonight.