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Autumn painting

Felt as though I’d had a fight with this painting.  I have been very into mixed media for a while and was feeling quite experimental.  I’d been mulling over Autumn colours for some time, looking at the leaves fall on my daily dog walks, and had been looking at other artist’s depictions on the theme of Eve in the Garden of Eden, or rather, figures of women in a landscape setting.  The painters who came to mind were Chagall, Giorgione, Cranach, Courbet and Manet.  And for approach, John  Piper is a current top inspiration.

I started with a light pencil sketch, with a figure sketched in, in a recumbent position amid woods and fallen leaves. I started with watercolour sketching, then began to add wax crayons and candle wax for resists with inks applied with paintbrushes and bamboo pens.  The trouble is I get so into it, and work very fast, with little review time.  By the time I reviewed it, I felt I’d lost some parts of it.  So, I taped the bits I liked best up…..

taped autumn

Then, because I really wanted to have fun with Quink and bleach, I painted black Quink all over the exposed patches of painting, and beore letting it fully dry, began to apply thin bleach.

inked autumn

This is what I mean about having a fight with it.  I nearly lost the whole thing several times, and impulsively added some sticky red printing ink on the right hand side with a roller because I felt the effect was too dark and ill defined.

This really didn’t work and I ended up cutting off the right side of the image.measured autumn

So, in summary, I had great fun creating this image but I think the results are mixed.  I get carried away with techniques and experimentation to the exclusion of control, so whether a painting works is a bit like roulette.  Then because some of the effects created by the bleach had caused some blurring of the colours and lines, I reinstated lines and picked out detail using Indian ink applied with a bamboo pen. Once I cut off the right side, disappointed though I was to lose the square format, I did like some of the effects and the embedding of the quirky figure of Eve works for me.

However, by inking in quite a lot of lines and details across the painting, though this enhanced aspects of it, I think it causes the image to appear flatter and removes some of the depth that had been there.

final autumn

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