"I begin with an idea ... and then it becomes something else"
~ Picasso

Monday 13 February 2017

texture in art

I've been thinking about texture in art and textiles
and why I think it's important for texture to be an intrinsic part of my work

rusty peeling paint on a St. Ives boat

personally, I am drawn to texture I find in the harbours of Cornwall
and this is because of the layers of colour and the tactile nature of these layers

these photos of rusty peeling paint found on a boat in St. Ives harbour
help me to explain how the layers themselves tell a story or journey

built up over years, layers have worn away to reveal a past and a history

years of paint layers at Porthmeor Studios

the same applies to these photos I took at Porthmeor Studios
so many artists over the years have worked on these boards
so ... how exciting to wonder who they were and what they produced

what famous works of art were created by artists leaning on these boards ...

it's quite breath-taking to consider that many different St. Ives artists
have, over the decades, added their painterly marks and spills

yellow blob

I believe texture gives an extra dimension to a piece of work
and can add expression, feeling and mood

white circle
years of paint layers at Porthmeor Studios 

"in the visual arts, texture is the perceived surface quality of a work of art

it is an element of two-dimensional and three-dimensional designs
and is distinguished by its perceived visual and physical properties

use of texture, along with other elements of design,
can convey a variety of messages and emotions"

- a brief description of texture from wiki -

so ... whether I am painting, creating a collage or working with textiles
I almost always consider the dimension of my work as well as the colour and composition

I've recently transferred a lot of my textile work to canvas
and have been experimenting with stitching on a cotton, linen or a canvas base
where I have previously painted the background and considered the texture of the surface

in my work here ...
some of the texture was created using texture paste or other textured mediums
and I've been experimenting with using a heat gun to manipulate that texture
I do this before and after I have painted the canvas

Porthmeor surf II

on these canvases I have used both acrylics and silk paints to colour the canvas
watered down and neat ... with brushes and sponges to work the colour

so straight away there is another element to the work before I begin to stitch

and then I begin to consider where I will place my stitches
and I let the design on the canvas speak to me
the little stitches will add more texture

I usually favour lots of french knots as they are my favourite stitch
but I also like running stitches, fly stitches
found objects and other embellishments

above ... I added "jewels" for a little bit of beach sparkle
as it's a detail of a beachcombing piece ... a sand and surf study
Porthmeor surf  I

when it comes to collage ... I apply the same considerations
and love to use found objects and things from nature to enhance the work
fabrics add lovely texture to a paper based collage or canvas
and helps make the paper or card flexible but strong enough for stitch

on this collage I've used watered down acrylics and oil pastels with silk
I rubbed real pieces of lichen into the wax to add a bit of texture to it

after painting and heating to create the texture
I added some shells to this piece called "on the shore"

on the shore

I was pleased with the texture on this piece below
where I was trying to achieve the effect of surf
inspired by the surf and spray on Porthmeor beach

finished framed work ...

I actually love the part where I'm adding texture to my work
especially considering the layers and colours

here I've used hand dyed scrim with metal scrim couched down on top
the orange stitches contrast

in this one below I've used the texture paste and acrylics on top of the fabric
it's on a calico base so that I can stitch into it

so then ... it's rather hard to describe layers of print as having "texture"
since it's not usually a tactile texture unless it's in "relief"

instead I think it's because the layers do still provide a depth
so that a print can have visual texture

visual texture refers to an implied sense of texture
created through the use of various artistic elements
such as line, shading and colour

actual texture refers to real surface qualities
we can see and feel by touching an object

these are the rest of my prints from week 1
of "the surface treatment workshop" project I'm doing with my sister
we are turning the exercises into a 52 week project

you can see I've tried to add depth or "texture" wherever possible

looking forward to week 2 - using stencils

thank you for reading x


chrissie said...

I love to see your art Carolyn and how the beautiful area that you live in influences all the many ideas you have. Stunning work and ideas

Love Chrissie xx

Penny said...

Wow, fantastic work, lots of things to think about. Lovely to see such in depth photos.

Magpie's Mumblings said...

How I would love to be able to see (touch!!!) your work. I love how you are incorporating different textural objects into what you're doing with these pieces!

Carol Rigby said...

Beautiful,Beautiful colours and textures. Looking forward to seeing more.....

Angie Willis said...

Oh wow! What a fabulous post chock full of gorgeousness - so lovely to read. I applied some gesso and acrylic paint to a piece of fabric recently (not sure what it was but it's a lightweight open weave material) and I found it really hard to stitch into. Maybe the gesso was a bad idea but I was trying to get that texture into the piece.
I love french knots too - also the really loose ones like when you do a french knot badly and it leaves little loops.
I apologise for not responding to your Linkdin invitation but I gave it up a few years ago.

Julie said...

Some wonderful effects here, Carolyn and beautiful as ever. Did you find the canvas tough to stitch through when it's painted? (I see Angie did) I tried it some years back but it was too hard on my hands. I had a LinkedIn request from you too but I don't belong to it.

Unknown said...

Simply besotted with your work. N,x