Friday, January 15, 2010

Working Small

I have been enjoying working small and working in this mixed media style. I have been painting on canvas pieces for some time and of course have also been painting fabric to use in my work. This past year I did a lot of collages, and one series, In the Wooods, was all fiber and stitched but did not have a batting and was shown under a mat. I really liked the way it looked and have been trying to figure out just how I could get more painterly (and painting more) along with using the elements of design like I have used in my Color Block series. So I have begun this new work.

Two postings ago I introduced you to two of the pieces. One of them was done as a part of a series of collages but then I went a little further with it. But I wasn't completely happy with it so I reworked it today and like it better.

7 x 5 " mounted on stretched canvas

This is another piece that was part of the above collage series which is morphing into whatever it is.

7 x 5" mounted on stretched canvas

But I have really grown to love the small, clean compositions with just little bits of thread work. I am enjoying these greatly.

6 x 6" mounted on stretched canvas
includes painted paper, painted fabric, stitching  SOLD

4 x 4" on stretched canvas
includes painted paper, painted fabric, stitching

4 x 4" on stretched canvas
included painted fabric, dyed fabric and stitching

7 x 5" mounted on stretched canvas
includes painted fabric, dyed fabric

The paper I have been using in these is from a big collection of paper that I created for an article for Cloth, Paper, Scissors a year ago, using pages from old magazines and working multiple glaszes and textures in to them.

The 7 x 5" pieces have multiple glazes on the canvas with various different surface design techniques before they are incorportated in to the collage.

I love the process. I love painting paper and creating texture on it and doing the same thing with fabric. I am also really enjoying the freedom of doing the background canvas pieces for the very new pieces as it really takes me back to my painting days but also lets me include more fabrics via the collage process. I am also enjoying just painted larger pieces of canvas with various glazes and then cutting them up, screening on them, stamping, what ever and then cutting them up to use as elements in the collages.

By working small, I am able to try lots of different ideas out without committing a huge amount of time or materials. I can work quickly, rework easily and just have fun. At the same time I am thinking about how this could be interpreted in a larger size. So far, 6 x 6 is the largest stretched canvas size that I have but the 8 x 8 and 10 x 10 are calling to me.

Jeanne Williamson has been working in a similar manner and she shared her process of mounting her work on to the stretched canvas. I really like the way it looks. Of course, our work is so very different but check out what she is doing.

I have mounted finished small quilts on to stretched canvas that is unprimed, or have been primed and painted a coordinating color. The presentation of small work is a challenge. Of course, in the painting community, something such as a 4 x 6 plein aire painting would have a huge gold frame around it! Ihave been framing some work but that is usually work the is behind a cut out mat board.

So I will see how all this goes!


Gerrie said...

These are magical.

Rayna said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Terry said...

I love the quiet quality of these pieces. Gentle, tranquil. I am so tired of colors that scream and embellishments that knock your socks off. Lovely. Lovley.

Rayna said...

Too many typos and I didn't want to look like an illiterate. I said this is some of the best work I have seen recently. They are little gems.

Vivian said...

These are wonderful pieces. Thank you for sharing your process.

Vivika said...

Interesting, Liz. I wonder if you could sew your collaged pieces directly onto pre-stretched canvas like those you find at Michael's. I think I am going to try it. I work small very frequently and my nature pieces are always framed. Would be fun to see if I could stretch (my word for the year) myself and use some new ideas...

Nikki Jackson said...

I love the small, elegantly sparse, square pieces Liz.
Such a gorgeous balance of subtle neutrals in the negative space, and then those strong simple shapes, with more intense value or the pop of color, all pulled together by the use of line. Sigh. So satisfying.
Mind you, looking at them on a computer screen removes all sense of scale, and I can imagine these HUGE and still totally successful.
Have you considered using these as studies and scaling up?

Michele said...

these are really sweet. I love the detailing in the smaller pieces like this. It intensifies the subject matter. Unlike, Nikki, I can't imagine them large. Tho the larger pieces you do are fabulous it's the little guys that always seem to peak my interest. I'd like to see your Root pieces small like this....what do you say? Keep up the work Liz. It's so inspiring.

Anonymous said...

These are so wonderful. Small is better. Are any for sale? There is one that really speaks to me.

Lorinda said...

On your blog you said, "Jeanne Williamson has been working in a similar manner and she shared her process of mounting her work on to the stretched canvas." You didn't elaborate or even hint at how you are getting the stitched elements on the canvas -- I am intrigued and interested in some new ideas for mounting onto stretched canvases?

Any insight you can share?

Thanks a million, I love what you are doing - the simplicity is sublime! I'm not looking to duplicate or knock you off, but work very differently as you've stated you do from Jeanne's work.