The "empty" Friday filled itself up with rather less painting than hoped for (result: two footballers) and quite a lot of experimentation, exploration, and laying things out and changing them again.
At least there is a final(?) layout, and only 10 more sections to paint -
The 10" sample tries out various threads for the quilting. It's a test for shrinkage (1/8" in 10" = negligible) and also of the effect of adding a bit of green to enliven the piece -
I used the most poorly-painted snippets, including the first one painted on silk. Once the silk is quilted, its sheen is knocked back and it looks ok. It has the advantage of holding the paint solidly, unlike with the gauze, which gives rather a faint look -
Perhaps the quilting will work miracles on the gauze too? The stitching will stop at the edges of the figures - even though that leaves hundreds of thread-ends to be buried in the back. (Think of it as practice in mindfulness...)
The yellow of the heroic goalie stands out quite well with a dark background, but I don't want to mess around with underlayers and such subtleties. There's enough going on as it is -
This morning, before heading for Highgate to go on a led walk, I put in the dark areas on a couple more footballers -
On return, I tried out the "sketch" without the colours of the uniforms etc -
I like that look and am tempted to make a drastic change in the developing piece - discard what's already done, and revert to black and white. It would take a different approach and give a very different "feel" - it would be harder to distinguish the opposing teams, and that would make it less dramatic.
The quilting would outline the figures (sort of...) but to go this route would probably require doing a whole-cloth quilt - ie, facing the dangers and risks of doing All That Painting, and then All That Quilting (the lines are about 1/4" apart, and there are a lot
of thread-ends to bury!).
That's a project "for another time" - I would probably make the figures larger, and darker, and add a touch or two of red...
But first, back to reality! The paintings on gauze are rather blotchy - I'll revisit them in the clear light of morning. Perhaps they need more, better paint in some areas; perhaps they'll be ok - or, dreadful thought, perhaps the whole thing is misguided and it'll be a quick switch to Plan B after all?
As for the walk, it was short and local - and muddy - and ended in steady rain and Abney Park Cemetery, which contains the oldest non-denominational chapel in Europe -
We encountered two floral memorials, in Clissold Park and on Seven Sisters Road -
Following a section of the Capital Ring, the walk took us through Woodberry Down wetlands -
and through Finsbury Park, its boats laid up for the winter -
Walkers are colourful people! -
Did I mention the mud?