|At the Edge of the Earth|
11" x 30"
Collage on paper
Once this piece was completed I discovered that the stitched line, while straight, wasn't plumb with the top and bottom. Big oops. The only solution at this point was to trim the sides slightly to bring everything into alignment. I've done this before and I'll probably make the same mistake again but now that I'm aware of why I keep doing it I'll take steps to avoid the issue.
"How?", you ask.
- I'll use my T-square more often and make little pencil marks here and there as I work to assure things line up instead of eyeballing it.
- Since I work flat I'll frequently pin the collage to the design wall or put it on the easel to check that things are straight.
- I'll avoid working with absolute parallels... loosen up.
- I'll use more slightly off-kilter edges... on purpose.
|At the Edge of the Earth, detail|
I wanted texture at the bottom and chose to use some paint spattered paper towels. I didn't like the results but was committed so I troweled a couple of layers of gel medium over that section, letting each layer dry between coats. Then I worked into the space with several different earthy sandy colors plus white until I had the visual texture I needed. That process is easier using a scraper and a sponge rather than a brush.
Next came the sky area. I flooded the space with cobalt blue acrylic, thinned with Golden glazing liquid, and squished plastic wrap on top and left that to dry for several hours. This technique always results in something wonderful but unpredictable.
I needed contrast and a repetition of black line, hence the stitching. The piece was so thick by this time that I had to use an awl to punch holes for my needle.
And still the piece needed more. Aha... text. I composed a paragraph about standing at the edge of the ocean and practiced writing it on tissue with various pens and auditioning the look of it on the painting without committing pen to painting. but I didn't like the look. So, I headed to the computer and generated the text and printed it out on a thin, cream-colored washi paper and glued that down. While it was wet I flooded more matte medium over the washi to help it sink into the work. The paper isn't perfectly hidden but is fairly un-noticeable unless you're looking closely.