There are many old picture frames, which in their day would have been expensive, but which, over time succumbed to scratch marks and dents. The trouble is that you can’t really restore most of them, and you can’t just paint over them, as they have a shiny varnish which the paint won’t stick to.
I purchased a rotary power tool with sanding bits especially to get into all the difficult areas where my rheumatoid hands don’t want to go. My idea was basically to give these frames a whole bunch of dents while sanding the varnish off, and to then make a DIY crackle effect to give the frames an “antique chic” look.
The undercoat of this frame was black, which, once dry, I painted PVA glue onto, and straight away applied white acrylic which I had previously mixed with some cornstarch to give it a slightly coarse texture. I took a few snapshots with my phone to give you all a glimpse at how it turned out:
Well, as you can see, I have been continuing on with the series of works devoted to the centred circle motif. For these three pieces I went with a lighter tone of blue for the background, and a subtler texture, by way of using finer sea salt with the watercolour.
The circles, cut from paper primed with sand texture, and poured onto with various acrylic colours, you will notice are slightly smaller than the black circle onto which they are glued. This is for practical reasons, and I think it gives the added effect that one is peering into a portal. The segments cut out of the circles I see as suggestions of euclidean space in three dimensions, and as relevant in two dimensions as quantities, judgments, or phases in a cycle which contains its own novel feeling, atmosphere, or mood.
We use the term “sync” a lot these days, and maybe the third piece could be seen being “out of sync”. Two dimensions, or entities co-existing, but not resonating, perhaps.
For the series of abstracts I am currently working on, I have chosen one symbol: the circle. Why the circle? Well, there is no particular preference for any geometric shape, it’s just that I had to chose one, and then allow the series of works to evolve around the use of this shape.
It is a very inclusive symbol, and seems appropriate for bringing together my technical and stylistic approaches to reference philosophical and psychological themes.
I am a big fan of Joseph Campbell’s writings where he cites the circle as being the best symbol to describe the hero’s journey, which I like to think of as a healing journey.
The hands-on mixing of colours, building up of textures, and making intuitive decisions is what I think of as the existential aspect of my artistic practice, whereas, the introduction of measurement and proportion incorporates the metaphysical and rational Platonic aspect. I want the works to be expressive, as well as decorative, chaotic, yet ordered, small in size, while expansive in their effect.
After painting the shape of the circle, I then cut a circle out of pieces of paper which had first been coated with a base colour mixed with sand texture gel, and had had some acrylic pouring and blotching done to them.
I then sliced out a section from this textured circle to reveal the colour underneath add further interest.
These sections could be thought of as phases in the mythic journey, or just as phases in time. The thing I don’t like about analogue clocks and watches is that they can trick us into thinking that we just repeat the same cycle over and over, like clockwork, but don’t account for the unique weather, mood, or challenges of any particular cycle, or phase within that cycle.