A bit of background to the little paintings.
Making the small paintings fits with my ethic of making: all my life I have made things from what was around.
This doesn’t come from laziness or from not being bothered to go and buy a new canvas, or buying new fabric – I guess it comes from the challenge of making something worthwhile, beautiful, or useful from something that isn’t any of those things any more, or would otherwise be thrown away. So you could say it was ‘repurposing’ or upcycling.
It’s a different process entirely from planning a big painting – it’s another thread of my work, but the underlying ideas/threads are the same.
Anyway, I had some scraps of canvas which were the trimmings from cutting shapes to make a 3D painted canvas work during my MA last year. After LD1 in March 2020, I couldn’t get any more of this canvas, so I wondered how I could use these leftover scraps. I had a pair of two big paintings to finish, but when these were done, I looked to my scraps.
I cut the scraps and layered the pieces on top of each other, and using some of my photos (of fabric wrapped around a dress stand), I drew the images onto the canvas and started painting. I’ve always loved the edges of things, the borders, perimeters, fraying, shredding, and because these scraps were literally scraps, some of them were already fraying nicely.
I have now used almost all the scraps, so the other day, I contacted the place from which I first got this canvas, Russell and Chapple in London. A lovely helpful man sent me some more, so now I can make more small paintings, but I have comparatively huge amounts of canvas! I wonder how this will affect the little works?
I’m definitely keeping on with these, especially bearing in mind that the big works are harder to photograph well, harder to get an idea of their size on a screen, cannot easily be seen in real life as exhibitions are only happening in a very limited way (by appointment only). Consequently, there’s less chance of selling bigger paintings, let alone seeing your compadres at a jolly private view! Artists need to pay their bills too, though, (!) so the Artist Support Pledge, which I’ve just joined, is a great idea to keep things ticking over.