Part 5 – locks

I think I have a coherent set of ideas now about this final project, although I still have some detail to sort out. Based on the pair of locks I printed one from the other, and the packing paper I used as support for the key, I’m thinking of a series incorporating these elements along with some video compilations of earlier lockdown work. I must admit to enjoying the process of making sound clips then slowing and stretching them under stills of various pieces of work completed under lockdown conditions. I’m still learning how to merge still shots and manage transitions from one to another but there are YouTube videos to help, all I have to do is remember the jargon from one context to the other!

Made in Filmora9 by Wondershare, the stills are taken using iPhone8S, audio is via Magix Music Maker, converted from WAV to MP3 in Online Audio Converter (free to use) and edited in the Filmora9 software.

Crumpled packaging paper primed with transparent gesso and streaked with pumice medium.

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Blue/black/green wash layer to the lock shape, then copper acrylic thick then washed then rubbed with a flannel, finally background of unmixed Naples yellow and titanium white for contrast. I want to pursue this for texture and a sense of worn, corroded metal.

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I started thinking about painting semi-abstracted versions of some of my previous work for this module into the enclosed space of the lock structure. This is the first layer of a version of an ‘inside looking out’ image. When it’s dry, I’ll use conte or pastel to draw in the rough shapes of the tree, bunting, and pathway.

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I have a new idea but I’ll finish this ‘sketch’ first. My thoughts now are to use the packaging from the key delivery services that have provided food and goods throughout this period; a plastic bag from Ocado, a box from Riverford, and any amount of paper and cardboard from Amazon; to maybe make the lock shape on these and to paint within that a collection of items that were delivered. That is essentially three still life paintings that would include tinned and packaged food (still no flour), fresh fruit and vegetables, and an assortment of paints, masks, fuses, fabric dye, new dishes for the cats, cat litter, and books.

I may have changed my mind. I’ve used washes made from lamp black/ultramarine blue (which comes out a lot like Payne’s grey), naples yellow/ultramarine blue, alizarin crimson, titanium white, and combined these with the contours from the crumpled paper to make ghosts of the ‘inside looking out’ painting from earlier in the module. I’ve used black conte to pull out some of the lines. This is a useful medium because much of it becomes wash when you add water but the more emphatic lines tend to remain.

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This detail shows the roof tops of the houses opposite, and the pathway from the footpath to my door.

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This one shows the base of the tree on the right, the foliage there, and the railway sleepers that make up the ‘fence. I really like the combination of layered paper, thick and dilute paint, and the way the pumice medium picks up pigment and holds it in dots in unexpected places. The folds too harbour colours and mixes so that the painting is almost 3D in places. I think it might benefit from a gloss layer selectively applied to draw subtle attention.

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Part of my satisfaction with this is that each stage has a built-in randomness to it so I don’t know in advance what the surface of the support is going to bring to the eventual image. In style it feels as though it’s rooted in impressionism but that it’s moved along the way into something more adventurous that allows for quasi-random events to shape the outcome. I’ve been doing a MoMA course on post-war abstract painting so perhaps there’s a touch in this of Pollock’s tendency to incorporate debris of various kinds in his paintings.

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Varnish added, image cropped with background removed (somewhat imperfectly – learning curve) in Paintshop Pro. I know what I’m doing for this now; this is probably the first in the series of 3-5 for the assignment.

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