ALIZON: GETTING THERE…FINALLY!


Having given artwork sizes some considerable thought I realised that if I scaled them down I would not only reduce the problem I was having creating them but also make them a more realistic size.
This would also have the advantage of making them quicker to produce and consequently more affordable.

I know for the potential buyer of art there’s always the option of buying a print, which is less expensive and can be as small (or large) as you like, but for those who want the uniqueness of an original but are aware that food on the table and paying the gas bill is perhaps slightly more of a priority, this will be welcome news.

You will also be overjoyed to learn that I have solved the collage medium problem. After some inevitable trawling around Google I found Jackson’s Acrylic Heavy Gel Matt Medium which is perfect. A strong glue that stays stuck even if water is applied (or anything else for that matter) and can also be used as a top coat to seal everything in place when finished. Fabulous.

As such, I’ve re-stuck Alizon to a 20 inches by 30 inches plywood board and started applying the collage materials.
Should be completed soon…

And if you’d like to share that would be fab…

ALIZON…MORE (OR LESS) OF HER


Not sure whether you’ll agree but I’ve had another one of those vaguely self-doubting thoughts (I don’t mean you might disagree on whether I’ve had a thought.. although it’s a fair point for contention) that questions the wisdom of creating all the art at the same, rather large, size. I think I mentioned this before but I’d planned to produce all the pieces at 4 foot by 3 foot, with perhaps the odd one at a more dramatic 5 foot by 4 foot. The intention being to give myself plenty of room for a large pencil drawing and also scope for whatever collage additions I thought appropriate.
This still seemed a perfectly sensible approach as I opened up my newly arrived pot of ‘Yes’ paste and then tore Alizon out of the paper I’d drawn her on (which was little scary but i managed to get her out in one piece) but as I began gluing her onto the board I suddenly became aware of how big the finished piece might be for a lot of people’s rooms, and also how much space there was around her. Fortunately the second problem provided a solution to the first; I’ll put her on a smaller board.
Ah, but I’ve just stuck her down…
Oh well, too late, i’ll get Alizon finished and then worry about re-thinking the size later.
At this stage I encountered a further technical issue (this whole project is proving to be a rather time consuming learning curve) as the water based paint I was applying to the drawing started sending the glue back to its original state, at which point Alizon began bubbling up off the board. Realising that this was would prevent any further work on the piece and it would effectively be wasted I cut my losses and sponged the drawing down to see if iI would completely lift it off. Fortunately I had used some fixative to protect the pencil work and equally as fortunate, and with a bit of persuasion, I succeeded.
Hurrah!
That was all very well but I was now back to the indecision of size.
Plus, I still don’t have a collage medium that works.
Drat…

And if you’d like to share that would be fab…

EMMA AND WHY SHE MAY BE TOO BIG


And here’s me thinking this project would be straightforward. Fool!
Apologies, but it’s all got a bit stressful so I’m going to have a bit of an offload…
The accompanying drawing is of Emma, and she is the first part of a series of pieces that will use comics as a theme. I haven’t abandoned Alizon but I’ve been forced into a break from her as I haven’t yet found a decent medium for collaging – I have a pot of ‘Yes’ paste on order which should do the job so hopefully she won’t be neglected for too long.

Emma is the lead character in a graphic novel called Gravestown (more information will be forthcoming but first I need to have my artistic wail of self-doubt) and I had decided (finally) that it would be really cool to do these pieces relatively large, about 4 foot by 3 foot. It hadn’t occurred to me (typical I’m afraid) that producing pencil work at what is, at least for me, much much bigger than I’d done pencil work before, would result in an increase in the time spent creating the drawing and also a corresponding increase in difficulty.

I didn’t find this with Alizon as I’m planning to use a fair bit of collage in that piece and so the portrait of her is relatively small, but with Emma, well, in short, I’m struggling a bit… I haven’t quite reached the ‘oh my God why did I ever think I could do this!’ stage but it has certainly been a somewhat humbling experience.
On the plus side, artists are supposed to suffer for their art so apparently I should be grateful. Not sure I’m ready to embrace that particular philosophy yet but if things don’t get easier as the project progresses I may have no choice…

And if you’d like to share that would be fab…

I’LL MAKE A DECISION… EVENTUALLY


Those who have the misfortune of knowing me personally will be aware of my complete inability to make a decision about anything. With the possible exception of settling on Matt Smith as my favourite Doctor (still miss him) I will mull over various options about any given subject and utterly fail to arrive at anything that resembles a definitive conclusion. I’ve always blamed this on the unfortunate happenstance of my birth date, which resulted in my being born under the Libra star sign and therefore inevitably doomed me to Indecisiveness. This disaster was compounded by it being the 23rd of the month and consequently on the cusp of the previous sign of Virgo. I may as well give up trying. Or maybe not…

Anyway, excuses aside, I’ve been struggling with what to actually create the art on. With it being mixed media and collage I need something pretty firm so I tried a piece of 18mm MDF, but I want the pieces to be a descent size (obviously I can’t make up my mind exactly what size) and as a result the boards are way too heavy. If I can barely lift the damn things they’re not going to be too practical for people wanting to hang them on a wall.
So I thought of stretched canvasses, which certainly have the advantage of sounding like proper art materials rather than something I’ve picked up at the local timber yard (which is precisely where i bought the MDF) and are also very light, and therefore easy to cart around and also hang on a wall. But they’re a bit too light. And they’re also not firm enough. I want to be able to stick down and paint anything that takes my fancy and be unheeded by a surface that’s bouncing up and down underneath my creative endeavours. That said, from what I gather as a result of extensive online research, experienced painters (assuming they were prepared to talk to me) would point out that a professionally stretched canvas would not do this and that they are the best option. And I am sure they are probably right (and I would have to bow to their superior knowledge) but it’s me who’s going to be doing the work and anyway I can’t possibly arrive at a conclusion to the dilemma that quickly, it would’t be natural.

So, after additional and equally extensive research I am now exploring the possibility of using plywood. This is apparently commonly used for the very purpose I am about to embark on so all should be fine. And i think I’ve settled on the idea of mounting a frame on the reverse so that the panel ‘floats’ away from the wall. I like that idea. I think…

And if you’d like to share that would be fab…