Sunday, 8 March 2009

Waterfall... the process

Thought I'd add a few words about how I approached this canvas. All I knew when I started was that it was to be a waterfall theme... at this point I hadn't thought about any particular words.

I began by using a roller & pale blue emulsion to cover the canvas, as I rolled I splashed a few darker blue bits in & kept rolling, varying the pressure, to create a subtle background texture. I let it dry before the next stage, but painted a few more backgrounds on various size canvasses while the paint was out!

The next bit is the fun bit (but also the point where it is very easy to get too carried away)- splashing the waterfall into place. I was trying to capture the place where the torrent of the waterfall hits the pool below- placing it to the left to allow for the lettering later. I think the phrases of 'river dancing' & 'veil of shimmering mist' were starting to form as i splashed colour on & i started to feel the idea of a hidden place behind the waterfall.

Some of the first layers of splashes were faintly rolled over with paler colour to add layers & depth (at least that was the excuse after i splashed a bit too enthusiastically!) Once dry i used a folded ruling pen to write the word 'waterfall' tumbling down the side- you can only just to say see it- & dropped some silver powder into the paint while it was wet. Again left to dry, stuck over the heater cos i was getting impatient to start- the first couple of phrases were in my mind, waiting to get out & onto canvas.

The first verse was easy, just made it up as i wrote.... it got harder as i went because as well as finding the words, they had to balance the overall layout.... a longer line here, shorter one there (but still keeping the right amount of syllables to keep the rhythm going). The trouble is, once written on the canvas I can't rub them out, I've got to make the next bit fit, then as i went down I had to round it off to suit the space that was left. It took a good few hours, much of spent sitting, staring, feeling the spirit of what was coming out. Anyone else would have written the poem first & known how much lettering was to fit in what space, lol. Managed it though, with just enough space for a final flourish of "where the river dances" done with a draughtsman's ruling pen, to anchor the whole piece.

There was certainly some divine intervention going on, some awen (inspiration) flowing to make it all work out. There was definitely an energy in the room....maybe it was those water-sprites?! All I needed was to add silver droplets down the right, to help make the lettering seem to be behind the waterfall & balance the layout. These were done by laying silver foil over raised glue from a glue-gun.... and there you have it!

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