Part 5 – second wave locks and keys sketches

I discovered quite a lot about shapes and surfaces yesterday so that was a good start. Later I began to think about what lockdown meant in practical terms and how an image of a lock might illustrate or represent this. Ideas included only being able to see the outside world through the keyhole itself – a measure of restricted movement; having one’s whole world within the lock, the key – a syringe filled with vaccine – as the way out; those kinds of things.

I stapled some coloured sugar paper sheets to make a sketchbook and try out colours. Here’s the view to the outside world.

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Here, the lock as a boating lock (left), and an open lock with a coronavirus-topped syringe as the key.

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And here some of the colours – gold, phthalo blue, cad yellow – with the pointed end of the syringe as the tip of a rocket because science is the way out of this mad bad world.

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Meanwhile, still with the idea of prints, I primed two sheets of A2 cartridge with black gesso mixed with rubbing alcohol. I wanted to see what that would do and also the inclusion of a virus destroyer seemed apposite. It didn’t do much really. The tape on the left is called something like planner’s tape or plumber’s tape but I don’t actually know why. A painter friend uses it to make tiny windows in distant buildings by lightly painting over it then removing it and leaving the pigment that got into the little square gaps. I like it for texture so here I’ve cut it into pieces to make the rough shape of the lock. It seems not to be designed to stick very firmly so I covered it with PVA glue to keep it in place.

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Then I painted over it with undiluted metallic gold, craft quality, and used a paint roller to transfer image across onto the second sheet. This accentuates the textured appearance and they both remind me of bandages or the wrapping around mummies. Tomorrow I’ll begin working the other colours into these pieces.

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1st July and I’ve brought some of the colours over into these two paintings. I want to let them dry now and then do some reducing and scrubbing to get back to the layers and textures beneath. I’m also toying with the idea of painting the background an outrageous pink colour although I have no rationale I can articulate.

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Pink locks. The print seems more interesting in terms of textures and movement but may not once I’ve done some removal work on the source. I want to darken the key hole a little but also move onto the syringe/key because that may give me different ideas. The theme that seems to be emerging is the block of the lock; what it hides, what it contains, and what it will take to release it. I’m thinking about bringing my key lockdown paintings into this in some way, along with representations of the services that have kept me going during this time. There will need to be cats because, although I am technically the service, they have been the company – always an ear to scratch and a purr to feel humming through my body, the fun – kitten antics are something else, the challenge – what if they’re ill, how do I access a vet?, and the routine – breakfast time, tea time, get them indoors time, bed time, and forever that’s-not-yours-it’s hers time when they nick each other’s food.

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Sketches. I’ve screen-clipped parts of the Amazon logo, the veg delivery site, Ocado, and photos of cats but also started on some sketches to get a feel of the shapes and how to simplify them. I particularly need to ensure I’m not sued by Amazon even though being represented here is a compliment.

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Such a lot of texture on these I was compelled to bring it out with oil crayon – orange on the source, pale blue on the print.

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I think it’s time to move on from these and see what the other items lead to.

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