Sunday, February 22, 2009

Saving the day

Italian Gold, 2008, 24 x24 in. mixed media on canvas

I love the cities I've visited in Italy, especially Venice. In the evening, as the light changes, the surfaces of buildings and streets take on a beautiful patina. You might think that you would notice less in this light, but I found myself paying attention to subtleties. Windows, doors and cobblestones form repetitive grids basked in light. Flowers in window boxes take on the massed shapes of floral Victorian wallpaper. It's a wonderful world. I want to create more work to go with this first piece. Windows, doors and walls play a prominent role in many of the reference photos I've collected during my time there.

But... this painting had a long gestation period. It sat around my studio for three years trying to find an end. With the layers and layers of papers, text, gel and paint, it had the same problem the paintings I'm currently attempting to save had - way too much information for one painting. It was about something totally different than what it finally became. I did not think to take a photo before I changed the work. Blogging was not part of my life then.

One of the dangers of collage for me is the enjoyment I get from physically manipulating the materials. I just keep adding and adding to the point where everything is a jumble. I made several attempts to finish this work by using transparent papers and adding glazes to simplify the composition. That helped a little, but the final solution came one day when I looked at it and realized I had to do something drastic. I mixed three very dark glazes and started brushing. In twenty minutes, three years of waiting ended.


Mary Buek said...

Margaret, I love this painting. . . the color, the texture, everything. It has patina.

Blue Sky Dreaming said...

I agree with Mary. I also like the ones you posted before. I have the same trouble with collage...too much information and spend a great deal of time glazing over.

Leslie Avon Miller said...

I love the richness of this work.
There is always de-collage; removing. I like to sand my work.

Margaret said...

Thanks all for the comments. I was very pleased with how this piece turned out. Leslie, I've sanded before- right through the canvas. Since then I do most of my work on board!

Kathleen Botsford said...

I can feel Venice...Love your work!