Take one blank canvas ....


Having worked on the colour family for what I hope will be my new series I need to start creating a palette of fabrics. Where to start? I started by clearing a design wall and moving everything off my 3.5m long print table. I don't do sketchbooks so this is my equivalent of that blank first page. Scary.

Time for a cup of coffee and a think. I want to experiment with building layers. Marks or text being the first layer. Colour (from the new colourway) being the second layer. Then marks or text being etched back into the colour using a discharge process. Thus revealing some of the original marks or text. Sounds simple but there are so many ways of achieving this. Being a list person I went through all my cupboards and pulled out all the different materials that could be used to mark cloth and wrote a long list of all the different ways they could be used - for example using acrylic, acrylic mixed with water, acrylic mixed with fabric medium, acrylic mixed with matt medium ... you get the picture. I cut decent sized pieces of cotton, pinned them to the bench and started.

Having not touched some of the materials in years I guess that I shouldn't have been surprised by how much stuff had dried out and how many containers I could only get into by cutting off the lid! My big long list got a lot shorter!

I am not bothered about the types of marks or even the colour of the marks as I'm pretty sure that most of what I produce over the next few weeks will end up in the bin. I am really looking at how different materials interact. After a pleasant couple of hours I have my first set of 8 different starting layers. Some will need fixing which I will do tomorrow then they will need soda soaking and drying ready for the second layer. It wasn't so scary after all.