I’ve been slowly working on a new series of works for a while now – I’m looking at pushing my orchid mash-up pieces forward more, trying to coax them into something greater than the contained tangle of plants which is their current state.
I want to increase the scale of these pieces. Growing them bigger with the addition of many, many more malevolent elements. I want to feed them with clutter and random objects until they become wild and overgrown and sprawl across large scale sheets of watercolour paper…
But I find myself lacking. Lacking time and space and energy to fill these large sheets of paper with the overgrown tangle of plants I see in my head. Lacking the discipline to stay up and create, in the darkness when everyone else sleeps – Or to stay home when my friends are out having fun… I’m really not very good when it comes to missing out. And discipline would definitely be needed to push through such a large project to completion… Not be sidetracked by the bright monsters and birds who also call for attention in my head.
Instead, I’m letting it branch off to the side. Keeping it smaller and more achievable. Same same, but different. Playing with moving my paintings away from my safe and comforting paper and onto beautiful reverse linen canvas. Simple, and yet a challenge for me – Still working with the paint I love, but in a new way : Gouache is water-based, used in a similar way to watercolour. When painted onto an unprimed porous surface it sinks in and bleeds out – A nice effect if you were doing a silk painting… But not what I want.
So I’ve changed up my process : I’m layering it between heat sealed flat acrylic – Like the white base layers below images on screen printed tee-shirts. Carefully carefully, so the gouache doesn’t bleed off the edges and onto the unprimed fiber. And then there is the issue of binding the layers of gouache – You see, if it builds up, it has the tendency to flake. Another layer. Varnish. But only on the painted area. To contrast with the matteness of the natural linen. Slow. Like watching paint dry. …But I have to say, I’m loving these new steps in the process!