Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Latest in the Muses - Unseen Time

Unseen Time by Gillian Cooper
This is my latest work, completed just in time for the Show at the SECC earlier this month.  Although it may look rather different, it continues on my Unsung Muses theme.
The design comes from a detail of the painting of a Cycladic figurine. 
One of my sketches of a Cycladic figure

Nowadays, when we see them in museums, they are gorgeous shaped pieces of stone, but originally they were painted in such details and colours that they would seem gaudy and garish to our eyes.  These details have been worn away by time, but due to some amazing science, archaeologists have been able to work out what they looked like - the different colour pigments in the paint apparently wore the stone down at different rates, so they can identify where was painted and in what colours.
I have been musing over this image for a long time and there are a number of different pieces in progress using it.  For this one, I pieced lots of bits of hand dyed, painted and stencilled fabric.
The pieced fabric
To get it to gel together, I overpainted it with gesso mixed with some ultramarine and burnt sienna paint.  This gave a lovely surface to work on.
The fabric overpainted
The painted detail was then added in Markal paintstik.  I used a mix of the matte and iridescent colours.  Once dried, I stitched around in, free machining in matching colours, adding some more licks of detail.  
Detail of Unseen Time by Gillian Cooper
Finally, I stitched in the patches to give more interest in the background.  As it had to fit in with Turning Point's Magnification collection, I cut it to size.  I've left it raw edged as I wanted that distinct edge - if I had bound or faced the edges, it would have made them too soft.  
I still don't think I've finished with this image - perhaps I will finish the other pieces based on it which are still in progress.

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