Archive for March, 2008

Spot the difference – penultimate stage of El Trato a Ciegas / Bargain Without Knowing

Handless Maiden 6

To all intents and purposes, this version doesn’t look very different from the last one despite the hours of painting that have gone on in between. However, if you look closely you will see that, in fact, quite a lot has changed, albeit subtly!

Today, it felt like the piece finally started to feel like a whole instead of a lot of disparate parts and when that happens I know I’m on the home run. However, there is still lots to do but exactly what that will be will be a mystery even to me until the last moment…

Barring unforeseen circumstances, I should be posting the final version sometime next Tuesday so check back then.


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El trato a ciegas/The bargain without knowing: 4

Handless Maiden 1 lots of firstsThe pressure is on as I have promised myself I’ll finish this first painting by the end of March…only a few days left and I have a heavy week on with other (money-generating) work…Still, I’m a deadline girl if I’m anything so I believe I can do it!

Things have moved on a bit since the last post but there is still a long way to go. I’m deliberately not messing about with the faces or details as I’m determined to get the balance of the overall composition right first. This is a first for me but it is proving quite exhilarating…

I’ve enjoyed messing about with my new moulding paste which I used to create the relief on the tree and yesterday I stuck on some ’embroidery anglaise’ on the wedding dress which is another first as I’ve never incorporated material before…

There’ll probably be quite a few surprises yet so check back in a day or so for the next update!

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The Retro-Blog: Looking back at the development of a successful creative project in 2006 and the lessons learned along the way.

09/02/06 to 16/02/06

Tree on wood & plaster 1Immediately before producing the first in the series of tree collages, there is really no indication of what is about to happen and yet suddenly something does. It is tempting to think that the collage comes out of nowhere but instead it is the result of the mysterious creative magic that happens when I am able to get out of my own way:

I experiment with different ideas, I paint trees on plaster, I cut up printed photos into triptychs,

I got out all my tree prints and spread them out on the floor and had a good muse. then I trimmed the small ones and stuck them in my sketchbook and gave each one a name, some of them two. Then I tried a ‘‘ concept’ charcoal exploring my response to the trees and very quickly I began to feel that I didn’t want a plain white background so I looked in a magazine and found an off-white texture and stuck that in my sketchbook and inked some branches in over that…

and again,

I prepared one sheet in my sketchbook with plaster and three little wooden panels with a different texture on each one. I thought I would try some tree shapes over the textures… Read the rest of this entry »

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El trato a ciegas/The bargain without knowing: 3

DM1 st4
I hadn’t realised how much I’d done since I last posted so I thought I’d better take a photo quickly. The camera is playing up so its lucky I managed to photograph anything at all.

As you can see I have printed out, trimmed and stuck down most of the collage elements. There are a few I have decided to incorporate as I go along as I have decided to change their position from my original layout. I’ve started painting around and into the collage elements to merge them into the background but obviously there is a long way to go.

Shortly after I took this photo, the red hands turned into lapping flames and I painted out the faces of the characters as I want to paint my own ‘style’ of faces. I won’t start work on the faces just yet though as I am trying very hard to do what I never normally manage – to concentrate on broad areas of tone and colour rather than getting caught up with details. Still, working with a limited colour palette is really helping me not to get into my usual funk over colour mixing.

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El Trato a ciegas/The Bargain without knowing: 2

DM1 layoutHaving printed out various collage elements for the first stage of La Doncella Manca (the Handless Maiden) and subsequently decided that they are the wrong size or I want them mirrored or whatever, I decided I could save a lot of time, ink and paper by getting a rough idea of the layout of the collage first using a page layout program.

I’ve never done this before but I think I’ll be doing it more in the future. It helps me very much to get to grips with the change of scale necessary for working on pieces so much bigger than I am used to as in this case where the boards are approx 90 x 60cm. It also helps in getting the sizes of the pieces relative to each other. Plus it puts my graphic design skills to good use!

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El Trato a Ciegas / The Bargain Without Knowing:1

DM1 Texture

My handless maiden project is at last under way. I have used my new technique of squeezing PVA from a plastic bottle onto the board as texture – shown right.

El debút du film
Then, inspired by Miquel Barceló’s Le debút du film (shown left) I have painted the board with a wash of purple-black: lighter in the middle where the maiden is giving off her innocent light and redder at the left where the devil is entering from. I’ll apply darker tones as I start to add in the collage.

DM1 Ground
I now have most of the collage elements I think I am going to use printed out at the right sizes but inevitably I will add more – and probably take some away – as I go along.

I have already rejected some from my original Collage elements DM1collection, asking myself the question ‘What can I get rid of?’ at this early stage in order not to make the piece too complicated.

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