This is what I have rolled up in my backpack to take home; two pieces instead of one.
Rob woke up with the idea of cutting the canvas. I thought of turning the paintings around. We hastily stuck the birds on.
Observation: Rob cuts and re-assembles, whereas I look at things from different angles.
We’ve added thread to the canvas and the painted blanket birds which have red netting underneath them. We are still not entirely happy with the result. It’s eleventh hour now.
Here is a painted blanket bird and some bits of yarn we will play around with these on the canvas.
Who would have thought that turning a batik bird over could make you jubilant? We really like the look and feel of the woollen Op Shop blanket on the reverse side of the birds. They look so much better than the busy birds. They can stay blu tacked up and we will see how they look in the morning.
A fresh look in the morning and we see that we are still not on track. We keep trying all sorts of things, more fabric, less fabric, adding elements, re-arranging elements then taking them away. We only have today to go and feel like throwing in the towel.
Finally we decide we have absolutely nothing to lose now. It’s been fantastic working together, we’ve learned heaps, and if we don’t like the finished piece what does it matter? It hasn’t worked so far, so we may as well just use it to experiment.
Lesson number three: when creating, let loose and give yourself permission to play!
Rob wants to paint the birds. I find some colourful knitting yarn amongst her stashes. I start sticking it on the canvas. She sews some on her painted birds. It’s getting really late. We’ll see what all this fun looks like in the light of day. Tomorrow I catch the train.
One of the things this project is teaching me is not to become too wedded to your original idea. I love the batik fabric but it is simply too busy for its backdrop. There’s no time to make new birds.
Lesson number two: integrate all the elements of the project from the outset.
We realise now that we have been working on two separate projects, making cut out birds, and doing a painting. Even the way we we set out the posts reflects this. The birds look like they are stuck on like an afterthought.
The question is do we abandon the birds and work up the painting? No I really want this to be a mixed media piece that incorporates the fabric elements that Rob works with. It is a question of rethinking.
We put it all together and stood in silence. It hasn’t worked. We feel so despondent.
How to rescue a project when you are on a tight timeline? You can’t rush creativity.
Today we finished the painting part of the project. A celebration is in order. We are heading down to the Artery Gallery and then on to Warrnambool Art Gallery while the paint dries before we start on the next stage later today.
Weather update: Still wet and cold.
Last night we finished hand sewing the birds using black stitching around them. The green bits of the Batik fabric seemed to work best in the colour scheme.
We used a woollen blanket from an Op shop as the backing fabric. This will give the birds a slightly raised look on the canvas. If we decide to glue them down rather than sew them onto the canvas, the thick backing will mean that th textures in the painted surface won’t show through the fabric.
Since time is a factor, we will probably opt for glueing. Today we intend to fine tune the canvas. Next is bringing it all together.
Here’s the initial block in. We decided we liked the textured effect of my Escarpment painting so we are off to the the art shop to buy more paints. Palette work takes heaps of paint but is a great way to go in a collaborative piece. Temperature in Warrnambool, hovering around 11 degrees, more like five degrees with the wind chill factor. Rug up Jude.