February 16, 2015

Testing

The drawing for the first panel with black, brown, red and gray

Making my homemade painting board with cardboard, plastic and a stretcher

Attaching a soft piece of fleece to the stretcher

The first panel pinned to my homemade painting board

All set up and ready to begin mixing paint

Painting the first silk panel 

Hanging up to dry

After finishing the Flatlands panel late last year, I've been itching to start some new larger pieces working only with organdy. It is such a pain to work with but I remain so seduced by its properties that I have been brainstorming about the possibilities for months now.

While I was on my recent silent retreat over the New Year, I had this idea to make a layered silk painting; a kind of "painting sandwich" with multiple layers of translucent silk organdy, each one painted and embroidered, and then separated by a piece of felt. Now I'm testing this idea on a small scale to see if and how it works, and whether the reality is as appealing as what I've been picturing in my mind.
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I started by making three sketches from my source drawing of the Cavum Oris, one for each layer of organdy. Then I cut three pieces of organdy large enough to fit around an 8x10" wooden painting stretcher, "hemming" each raw edge with this tape.  Once the panels were all prepped, I now needed to create a decent painting surface. So I cut a piece of cardboard to fit over a 12x16" wooden stretcher, and wrapped a piece of plastic around it, stapling it to the back of the stretcher. Next I took a piece of fleece and stapled that all the way around the stretcher, creating a soft, absorbent surface on which I could paint. The brass needlework tacks I had picked up recently worked perfectly to pin the organdy to my painting surface.

Finally, I set up my paints and my palette, and began painting my first layer of organdy. Which, frankly, took a lot less time than all the set-up did.

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