Thursday, 10 July 2008

A brush with Barbara

Edge of Town (second stage)

No Club for me today. Dr Pam stayed here on Monday night and through Tuesday afternoon, on her way back from Edinburgh. We had a good time catching up and talking into the small hours, while I introduced her to the wonders of The Imagined Village and Lhasa's The Living Road.

Enjoyable though it was, Dr Pam's visit meant that I felt I'd fallen behind in work on Edge of Town, so I decided to stay at home and work today. But first, I had to go to the Post Office and collect my lovely new book on Barbara Rae. In addition to a wealth of plates, the book has an illuminating interview with her, and I was reminded of how her career has been more or less based on work made with collage and paint

In the past, I've dabbled a little with collage in my pictures, using it to give some texture. Here are a couple:

The Presence (Oil on board)

Old lady (Oil on board)

I've always liked the result, so I thought I might employ the technique again in the construction of Edge of Town. I dug out some tissue paper and pasted it onto parts of the canvas, using Liquin and Spectragel. There's always a danger that oil can make the tissue rot, but I figure these two mediums should be safe and so far I've noticed no untoward effects on other pictures.

After that, it was only a matter of waiting a short time for the collage to set and I was able to paint over the tissue. I think I've reached the stage where I feel the picture will never work, but experience tells me that once I'm able to start scumbling and glazing over the existing colour, things should work out fine. The sky is reflecting unduly in the photograph, by the way, but I think I'll try darkening it more, anyway.

Incidentally, if you're interested in Barbara Rae's work, I think it's still possible to hear a radio interview with her here. And, of course, there's a link to her website in the sidebar.


Doctor Pam said...

It was a good visit. Thank you again for expanding my musical horizons and allowing me to get up close and personal with some of your paintings. I'm enjoying Edge of Town, the two examples you've posted so far. I like the shapes and the colours. Hope it comes out right for you in the end, and sorry for inadvertently delaying your progress. Perhaps next time I should do so on purpose! Bwahahahaha....

harrybell said...

Sometimes a distraction from painting concerns is a welcome relief. Anyway, you're always welcome.