I use discarded domestic cloths as the basis of my work. Here, I am just showing you the way I process them into being part of a painting.
This particular cloth is a former wash stand cover. Before bathrooms became standard people used wash stands in the bedroom with a large bowl and jug of water ready to use for washing themselves. It belonged to a friend of mine, it had been in use in his parent's day. A tear has been carefully mending and on this repair there is a drop of blood which came from a shaving nick. I decided to keep the stain as it represents the DNA of the past owner.
The cloth is laid and secured with clips over a plastic tablecloth and I have started pinning it to the board ready for painting with gesso..
The cloth has now had gesso applied and has been glued onto a stretched cotton canvas. Before completely gluing the cloth I painted a dark maroon stripe under where the openwork pattern was to lie, and continued the colour down the middle of the cloth followed by gluing the ends of the cloth onto the canvas. A little complicated but it gave me the effect of partially obscuring the cloth. I then painted opaque pale blue areas to disguise the oval shape.
You might not believe this but it takes a long time deciding on colours and shapes. Keeping a balance of colours, tones, shapes and composition requires much looking at the canvas after each new step. Very little is pre-planned. I am aiming to achieve a feeling of depth in this painting,and rely on use of colour to do this.
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