A few months ago I watched a fascinating documentary on TV about Impressionism. I have always the loved the way in which Impressionists have depicted light. All those little dabs and pools of colour, combining to make a magical representation of light and movement. The documentary got me thinking again about this and then, shortly afterwards, our challenge theme of Illumination was revealed.
Many years ago I played around with a technique that I saw Yvonne Porcella using, burning the edges of silk to seal it and create little irregularly edged fragments. It seemed like a good way to make "paint dabs". First I used pigment inks to colour white silk and then I sat over a candle, being gassed with malodorous smoke for hours, burning all the cloth I had just coloured! Originally my idea was to build up layers of silk like the layers of paint and that it would become a rich field of colour.But it soon became clear that as I added more and more pieces it was just becoming a big mess of fabric with no cohesion and no clear purpose. The more planning I did, the more fabric I removed.
And eventually I ended up with this. I am surprised by how sparse it is.
And a little disarmed. I now think it looks too sparse and needs something more. I'm not sure what. The few sequins and beads added some life and I even toyed with the idea of glitter paint, which I have used successfully before (takes a very light hand and lots of self-control!). As has happened on other ocassions, I now regret not starting earlier and leaving myself time for more than one attempt.(By the way, it's IS square - not as wonky as it looks! Why does that happen in photos??)
This has been the hardest challenge for me so far and I really don't feel that I even came close to meeting it. I can't wait to see the Masterpieces everyone else will have created. My comments won't be here until next week. I am literally leaving right now to teach for a few days.
13 hours ago