Mixing it up!
Three months into a house move that has yet to actually happen, I am trying to get on with life as normal, ignoring the boxes and the overall appearance that my house has just been burgled, and throwing myself into a variety of arty stuff!
For my latest piece – just finished – I decided to have a go with multi-media. I do very little of this. I’ve played around with water pencils (Derwent’s Inktense are my favourites) and black pen but other than this I tend to stick with one medium. In fact, my last major multi-media piece was about 25 years ago and was a mix of water colour and oil pastels submitted as part of my A Level art.
I’d had an idea for a large canvas – 24″ x 24″ – inspired by one of my favourite paintings, Salvador Dali’s Metamorphosis of Narcissus, a print of which hung in our house for years and fascinated me. If you’re not familiar with the painting, here it is:
My idea was to use predominantly acrylic paint but use a variety of papers for the leaves on a tree which would curve over to the left of the painting. I love pretty papers and have a small collection, but I didn’t want to make any concrete decisions until I’d completed most of the painting, partly because I knew that my paint colour choices would influence my choice of paper and partly because I was nervous about the whole process.
The painting progressed until this point:
Then, still feeling nervous (“What if I ruin it?”) I chose around 9 different papers and cut out leaf shapes. I didn’t use a template, choosing to trim once I’d seen where exactly I’d place them.
I jiggled around a few at a time before gluing and had a sudden mad dash to the shops when I realised that my glue stick wasn’t quite up to the job. I had another minor panic when I realised that some of the paper was too thick to go over the edges of the canvas and stay stuck, so had to choose thinner papers for the wrap around bits.
I got REALLY nervous when it came to varnishing. I have varnished an acrylic painted frame before, but never a painting. I used Ronseal interior varnish – clear satin finish, and guess what? It worked! So here it is, my finished ‘Moonlight Metamorphosis’ – a liitle nod to Dali! This painting will be available in my Etsy shop shortly.
I’d love to hear about work that inspires you or your experiences with multi-media, so please leave comments below.
Other news: Two of my children’s books: Ruby and Grub, and Grub in Love, are going to be published in the USA next month! These will be my first books published in America so there’s much excitement in the Burlingham abode!