Things have moved on a little in the environment under examination and now there are panels ready to receive glass. There should also have been a roof but due to a measurement error, this could not be fitted and at times like this, it’s worth recalling that this happened to NASA when the Jet Propulsion arm failed to convert Lockheed’s feet and inches into metrics and the probe, instead of orbiting, crashed into the planet. As a result, my plan, dependent on “the brand new, glossy, shiny, modern panels and roof of the conservatory” which is still a building site and very nearly flooded after a downpour, has changed.
What I have instead of a ‘shiny glossy’ new building though, is a very linear image of converging perspectives in quite starkly contrasting tones. I am planning to play this up and to straighten the inward-leaning edges created by the camera.
I’ve chosen portrait orientation for this and squeezed the image even more to exaggerate the lines. I had very much enjoyed using glue and OHP film as surfaces to paint and to print from so this work is building on that technique. The cartridge is primed with white primer as before but not gloss varnish because I wanted to draw out the lines in charcoal then fold that into a light print on the left side of the sheet. In the image above, I have glued two A3 sheets of film onto the paper, letting the glue pull the charcoal into itself, and applied glue onto the top surface to receive the paint. My cat is acting as an anchor to the human scale and domestic purpose of the build and has the only rounded edges in the image.
I’m feeling the pressure to fiddle now and a similar pressure towards restraint – like a tidal river on the cusp between the moon’s gravity and the pressing weight of the inland water. I’m quite pleased with both of these images at the moment, one painted the other very sparsely printed, and I want to keep the roughness of the removal and transfer. Intriguingly, while painted cat seems curious, printed cat’s expression has an altogether more jaded over-the-shoulder cynicism about it!
18th January. To improve paint transfer, I gave the surface on the right a coat of gloss varnish, then added more paint. I’d notice at this point that my central windows were way too small and lengthened them.
My plan now is to let it settle then either bump up the pigment or use an acrylic pen to apply straight lines, whether or not the paint is inside or outside them. In fact a vague rather than a precise map feels consistent with the grunge of the painted area. The print may also benefit from some light lines, which I might run across the central fold to unify the two. I’m aiming for an architectural look, something that hints at the draughtsperson’s drawings that underpin the construction of new buildings.
I use a metre rule with spirit levels incorporated for long vertical and horizontal lines. At the moment, these are largely confined to the painted image.
Outside, I heard, ‘She’s painting the conservatory!’ and they all came to look at it through the window. I’m proper chuffed to say it passed muster with its builders; they asked questions, I showed them how the print was made, one man who used to restore furniture and obviously has ‘an eye’ talked about his little girl being a fledgling artist. It’s not the first time someone here to do a job has turned out to have other talents – my builders make upcycled Steampunkery.
21st January and after a monumental day in American and world history when kindness returned to the White House, the final iteration of this pair of paintings includes remnants of dystopia with text drawn from commentary on Fritz Lang’s 1927 film, Metropolis, and Galvanise by the Chemical Brothers from their 2005 album, Push the Button. Cheery stuff.
I chose to write the text in line with various perspectives and I’ve used a small amount of red to continue the theme, along with the lines themselves and the contrasting sources for the text. Hand writing the text proved really difficult under current circumstances, with nowhere to lie the support flat or even tilt it to a more accessible angle. That said, my handwriting is not good and hasn’t been for many years so it was always going to be a challenge. I might have got it better aligned with the perspective lines though!
1st February. The roof and window glass is due to be fitted tomorrow but in the meantime a downpour made a pond of the floor so that the cats had to paddle to reach the cat flap!
I have one more pair in mind and although I’d like this to reflect the conservatory in its restored role as a working studio, that may still be too far away for my timetable. There should be more work on it next week, some of it possibly on the interior, so this will be the final image.
Hotz, R.L. 1999. Mars probe lost due to simple math error. LA Times. [online] Available at Mars Probe Lost Due to Simple Math Error – Los Angeles Times (latimes.com). Accessed 17th January 2021.
Metropolis. A 1927 film by Fritz Lang. Text drawn from Wikipedia commentary in the absence of a reliable script source. Metropolis (1927 film) – Wikipedia
Galvanise. Track from the 2005 album ‘Push the Button’ by The Chemical Brothers.
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