Friday, March 25, 2016

Silk Paintings - Ricefields

This was a painting project that gave me real headaches. I had finished it but then I went back and re-worked it again. Sometimes this does not make sense at all and it is better to re-start the whole project from scratch. In this case I did not....

The very moment when I saw ricefields built in terraces in southeast Asia for the first time I was hooked by the sight. They had something magical no matter how hard the life of a rice farmer is. The mist that starts to rise early in the morning when the sun is just above the horizon and the muted colours that still cover the plains – all that creates a very special mood. There is some melancholy involved that is hard to describe with words.

So the piece I wanted to create had to have muted colours, no greens or yellows (as in full daylight) but rather browns with a slight purple touch to it and only a few lighter areas that would be covered with water and thus reflecting the first light of the morning. I think I proceeded quite well but when the piece was “finished” it looked a bit dull to my taste but I had no idea how to change it. Somehow the upper part was looking as if a chemical accident had happened in that area – I did not like the milky look of the supposedly foggy area there and changed it later to more contrast. The painting was kept aside for a little while.

before the change

After I had finished another project, where I used some layers of acrylic lacquer on the finished silk painting and realized that this was the icing on the top – colours became incredibly saturated – I thought this might help the Ricefields piece also.
First I added some more colour glazes here and there to increase the purple/reddish shimmer and then applied 2 layers of glossy acrylic lacquer. I could not believe the difference it made – although you would not recognize it that much on the computer but in reality there was a significant change – specifically when the piece was lit by the right lamps.
So it really can help to go back to a piece and simply do a bit of re-work. It may not even take a lot to improve the work but it is worth while to have a second thought about it.
Here is the finished work...

40" x 21"
silk, stitched


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