I am currently working on a series of paintings about fabric, clothing and it’s meaning. Some of my strongest recollections and experiences include vivid memories of these, such as colour, form, fabric texture, decoration, and how certain items felt when worn.
Details of my mother’s and grandmother’s clothes and accessories, my own clothes as a child and teenager, (some made or knitted by them) are deeply imprinted on me.
I see my work, in part, as an act of preservation and memory; a way of preserving the fabrics and garments that I paint and investigating associated experiences.
In this series of paintings, I began by using formal techniques and rendering, but by the time of the Black Wedding Dress painting, I could see more interesting developments and ways of rendering an object and the backgrounds.
I use digital manipulation (iPhoto, Photoshop and Preview) of photos of my experimental pattern cutting constructions, (influenced by the work of Tomoko Nakamichi), and other significant garments that I make or possess, to generate the initial images that are the start of a painting. I also use my own photographs as reference for other themes – transparency, and semi abstracts incorporating buildings/architecture and interiors. I draw from these images freehand onto the canvas, and then use brushes of all types, pieces of sponge, my fingers, kitchen roll, etc., to paint. I work in oil on canvas, (for depth and vibrancy of colour, and for dramatic lighting effects), marker pen on smooth paper (Bristol Board, for transparency and a lighter feel), and oil pastel with white spirit on heavyweight watercolour paper (for textural effects, combined with the use of white spirit for blending and smoothing.)
For the marker pen paintings, I use the blender pen to texture or merge colours, and use the main marker pen as a paintbrush.