Thursday, 18 September 2008

Developing a Mixed Media Piece

A week ago, I spent the day at the National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham. It was the Knitting and Stitching Show and, having missed it altogether last year, I had booked this plus two days at Alexandra Palace next month. The NEC version is a smaller, more intimate affair while Ally Pally has more to see and do but is more of a scrum.

I also booked to attend some workshops there. Sadly, the person leading the first one I'd booked had broken her leg and wasn't there, but I rebooked on another with Claire Martin. She's a good tutor who runs an enjoyable session, so I took a second one with her as well. This was on mixed media work, and the pictures below are of the piece I began.

As you can see, I started collaging and patching different fabrics and papers, using glue and stitch to grow the piece, and layering up various items as I went. I have worked with paper before but this felt very different from my usual way of working, in an enjoyable way. It was interesting to make marks with stitches in a very carefree manner and to juxtapose the different textures available among the materials provided.

I worked a bit bigger than I might have done. The next stage was to apply gesso to integrate the surface elements, but I decided to do this at home once I had completed the stitching.

The gesso makes a considerable difference so that the individual elements are relatively subdued, and I am now thinking what to add next. It's one thing to follow a prescribed process and another to choose one's own direction. I'm contemplating moonshadow mist and either gilding with leaf or judicious and careful rubbing with treasure gold to emphasize areas of texture, but other possibilities, like Quink and bleach or reactive iron paint and rusting medium are also worth thinking about.

Unfortunately this day trip was very tiring and I've still not fully recovered from this excursion. However, there's no harm in taking time to think before progressing the work, and the day was so worth it.



Isn't the gesso wonderful? It gives it all such an interesting texture and unifies it into a piece. Sorry you're a bit washed up after your trip - an exhausting time. Hope you feel zingy again soon!

Angelcat said...

I hope you feel a bit better soon, I think your mixed media piece is wonderful. I'll look forward to seeing where you take it next!

arlee said...

I love the colours and textures now and how unified everything becomes.