When starting a new body of work I like to take time to research the subject invloved by reading related information in books and online, taking reference photographs as appropriate, and by collecting various miscellaneous resources and materials for inspiration.
No matter what the subject is I usually like to experiment with colour, pattern and texture within my paintings. As I work almost exclusively with acrylic paint one challenge I relish is to experiment with this one medium to see how it can be applied and manipulated, and what different visual illusions and effects can be created.
As part of this process I have begun to look through the fabrics that I have stashed away as part of my ‘miscellaneous inspirational materials’ and noted that it has started to become somewhat depleted. These are all fabrics that have been purchased from charity shops or scrounged off friends/rescued from being thrown out. Some favourites in the current stash include:
I have scheduled trips around local charity shops during January to see what can be added to my collection. One rule is that it has to be cheap - much more than £2 an item and I'm not interested. The more of a bargain something is the better. I like the idea of being inspired enough by an artefact to spend hours looking at, and creating something based on, it; particularly knowing that somebody else has seen little value in it and discarded it.. I am, of course, a natural horder of ‘stuff’ which is probably why I like keeping collections of materials for reference.
The pattern of one of the above fabric samples was partly referenced in this painting ‘Bark’:
Acrylic on canvas
This was an experimental piece based on a tree at a local tourist attraction which had been blown over in the wind. This piece was a subjective departure for me at the time and more of a transitional piece than anything else. However, I do like the juxtaposition of the organic forms of the bark with the reference to the shapes of the pattern of the fabric, and the bold blocks of bright colour.
As I will be mainly looking at man-made objects in my new body of work it might be interesting to develop this idea of interspersing organic forms with the manufactured and controlled. It is certainly something that I will experimenting with in my preliminary sketches.
Work on my latest painting is underway, although progress has been somewhat laboured today by cold-like symptoms. which may or may not be ‘man-flu’!