Friday, 28 October 2011


I still have no internet! That'll change next week, and hopefully after that I can write more often. This week I've continued on the painting of Emmi, but the general direction has also undergone some changes. The poetry will now be written over the painting, rather than on a separate board, and embroidery will then be on top of that. As layering seemed to become more and more important in the work, this seemed like a logical progression. In the past I've been nervous of doing too much and overloading a piece, but now I want to push it. I have a bit more embroidery to do today, and then I'm done with this one. I'm thinking about tying additional hanging strings to the embroidery, just to add to the intensity.
Then I'll be moving on to a new portrait, this time of my boyfriend. This time I've decided to be more experimental with colour, and work with grey, yellow, and orange. The idea is to create something which may confuse the viewer, or create an unusual effect with the colour combinations. I like the idea of a dull grey background combined with the shock of the bright tones.
Below is an image of this portrait, prior to the addition of the line drawing, text, and embroidery. As I added more the face took on a tribal, mask-like appearance, which I find very interesting. This wasn't a conscious choice - just a natural formation. I'm really pleased so far. When everything is finished I'll post a picture.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Lots of experiments

Due to moving house and having no internet I've been unable to update this blog. However, I have been working away with preparatory work, and I now feel quite ready to start working on the final painting of Emmi. I've laid down some blocks of colour on the finalo canvas, and today I plan to start the portrait.
In a discussion yesterday it was suggested to me that the poetry and painting are at odds with each other - the poetry is deliberately mixed up and random, whereas the painting is intended to be clearer and direct. I'm trying to hit a balance between the work being immediately readable, and therefore not very interesting, and being complicated and challenging. I want to viewer to have to consider the work a bit, not just look at it once, understand it, and move on.
In order to create more harmony I'm thinking of adding a rough, continuous line drawing, layered on top of the portrait. In my view this will add an element of confusion, without making the image indecipherable. I hope that the loose threads will also add a degree of disarray.

The other thing I'm currently working on is a philosophical text to be shown alongside these paintings, examining the nature of distance and separation. The individual works are more concerned with particular people, whereas this will reflect on distance and long-distance relationships more generally. I began writing notes on this last week, and don't want to publish too much right now.
I'm also considering how to present this text so that it fits with the other work. This is still in the early stages, so nothing is certain yet.

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Embroidery experiments

I have continued preparatory work by experimenting with embroidery, and the idea of physically connecting the portrait to the poem. I think it's worked well. The embroidery works to add higlights to the image and provide extra definition. I like the contrast between the tight, controlled stitching and the loose, fluid strings connecting the two pieces. I think the strings, running across the subject's face, could be interpreted as a block between the viewer and the subject, however fragile it may be, which reinforces the idea of separation.
The loose strings are tangled here, which I'm not sure about. I would prefer them to simply overlap and hang freely. However, the idea just popped into my head to weave strings together
where they hang loosely. I'd need to ensure the web obscured the image, but didn't block it completely.
I also think that, considering the final piece will be on a larger scale, it might be interesting to combine cotton thread and wool as they hang between the pieces.