Bank holidays in England are not supposed to have been the one we've just had like this, the weather was fantastic (well it has here in the Midlands) and I had a well earned and deserved rest, shame I've come back to work but at least the weather has returned to normal - cold dark and raining.
So part of that resting was also crafting, it was bliss to be able to spend so much time playing with inks and paints. I have long been ad admirer of Rothko, those huge canvases of layers upon layers of paint, visible brush strokes and the way the light falls on them to create depth and texture. We went to the Rothko exhibition at the Tate in 2008 ( a quick search on Google Rothko Tate will find you reviews and examples of his work) Some of my favourites are the brown and white ones with a line across the middle at varying heights on the canvas.
My Mum gave me a a load of A3 sized pieces of handmade paper a while back and I've wanted to do something quite large with them inspired by Rothko.
I taped a sheet onto an old craft mat with masking tape and started adding layers of paint, starting with a soft brown, then adding washes of a paler off white / oatmeal colour, the bottom is slightly darker than the top to suggest a landscape. I left that to really dry overnight as I didn't want to tear the paper, taping to the craft sheet really helped here. The next day I added some dry brush strokes of a darker brown very very lightly in the corners and worked a faint line across the middle. I was trying to build layers that were hardly visible but all together created a whole piece (does that make sense?)
Now to add more layers, I started with some text stamped randomly using expresso Adirondack, next using some willow, lemonade and hazelnut Adirondack started stamping some rectangles with some old Hero Arts background stamps I've had for years, to even out the colour I used a baby wipe to spread it around in the rectangle. Then I added some embossing with a seed head stamp with old paper distress embossing powder, it stuck to the versamark bit also some of the other bits that were a bit wet / damp, I didn't mind as I wasn't really after a neat image. Finally some old gold inka was watered down and brushed here and there and some heirloom gold perfect pearls mist sprayed.
Moment of truth taking the masking tape off, would the paper tear? No - safe and I really liked the neat edge of the paint against the ripped edge of the paper. Got the sewing machine out and went round the edge in a cream thread a few times and also over the line in the middle.
OK now for the embellishments. I've had these house stamps and the Lavinia flower stamps for ages. I stuck some old book pages to some card, stamped the images in black stazon and embossed. Cut the houses out close to the edge and the flowers into rectangle. distressed the edges and then painted using various DI's. Bit more old gold inka watered down added in and then stuck them down. They looked OK but needed "anchoring" so had a rummage around and found some old self adhesive paper ribbon, it contrast well with the slightly darker colour on the bottom.
I then stuck the whole thing onto some cartridge paper that I'd distressed the edge and added some old paper DI before sticking to an piece of mount board and putting in an old IKEA frame that I'd distressed as well (lot of distressing going on here)
To say I'm chuffed to bits with it is an understatement, I have been able to translate the idea in my head into reality and it worked. I had the confidence not to panic when it looked as though it might not work and to keep adding more to see what happened.
Seeing the whole thing in the frame and hanging in pride of place in our living room makes me feel like a real artist.
Now I've started on a second one - this time blue is the colour, and the reason for the title on this blog entry? Well we can't afford a real Rothko and anyway they are massive, but if I keep producing more artwork and it keeps getting bigger in size well then yes we might need a bigger house.