Preparing any project is time consuming and I’m continually reminded of the adage ‘measure twice, cut once’ as I scale up the design for the triptych. It’s a 500% increase to get it to the right size, so there’s definitely lots of measuring going on!
I scale up the design so that each piece is the finished size of 900 x 700 cm. These are on card and, once drawn out the image is strengthened with black marker (1)– this is so that I can see it through the vilene stiffener that I put behind larger pieces of work. The image is traced onto the vilene (2), then I cover the surface with fusible web and trace the image through onto the backing paper (3). The backing paper is carefully peeled away so that I can use it as a pattern later. Finally for this preparatory stage, I iron on the plain white fabric that will form the background to the piece – this takes a while as I want to keep the grain of the fabric as straight as possible so that when it is stretched onto a frame later it will behave nicely and not twist or pucker!
After taking a bit of break on Friday, I spent most of Saturday going through these preparations. Chuckling merrily to myself because I’d read an article online about how much healthier we’d be if we stood up more during our working day – how much more does standing up, kneeling down, crawling around the floor and stretching across a 210 mm wide design aid my health then? Being an artist is definitely not a sedentary job!
But hey, look – it was all worth it because here comes the sky!
I’ve been out for a blast of fresh air this morning – not so much blue sky but I did find some lovely images of boats and harbour walls up at Seaton Sluice to add to my research folder for these pieces..
Some of the waves out beyond the harbour will be good inspiration for the stormy sea section of the first panel too!
And you may recognise the Seaton Sluice headland in this smaller piece I’ve just completed – it’s on display in the Coast exhibiton at Gallery 45 in Felton this month