My concept for this piece was the enjoyment and pleasure to be found in playing music. I spent a long time choosing and arranging my pieces for the collage portions. I wanted to use the image of a previous painting of mine - 'Etude'. This was a Conte drawing and I decided to make a colour copy of the image on cartridge paper so that I could use part/all of it here. The other pieces were just bits torn from newspapers, magazines and one very old piece of sheet music.
I spent a long while arranging and re-arranging different pieces on my canvas and looking at the results of each arrangement in the mirror. Once I had finalised my choices I applied the pieces with modelling compound and also added some texture to the canvas.
My 'inner vision' for colours in this piece were red-golds and dark green ..... and maybe other colours in small amounts later. I always find deciding colours and colour mixing to be one of the most difficult parts in the process, and often change my mind at a later stage! I always mix up my colour first, never on the canvas, but this tends to slow things down and is probably not always good for spontaneity.
I tried three different colours for the background and didn't like any of them .... so frustrating! finally I mixed this green-black shade which I felt looked right. At this stage I felt content to keep the colours pretty much as they were and not introduce any more new ones, but maybe later....
I decided that the images were not integrated enough and were too 'real'. So ... nothing ventured, nothing gained ... out with the palette knife and a touch of obliteration using a lighter colour! I also added lighter passages to each side and the top, linking the main mass to the edges of the canvas.
Next I applied layers of thin glazes, keeping mainly to orange/reds and blue/greens. I also went over the green background with a mixture of Cadmium Red and Red Gold, applying thick paint with pieces of kitchen roll using a dabbing motion. As a result the background acquired the look of antique leather.
I am pleased with the finished piece and feel that it came together very well.
Life can be delicious (22" x 28')
Acrylic collage on canvas
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