I begin today with this quote because I have experienced failure this week. I was working on a text portrait of Barbie (as in Doll), and it just wasn't working out like I wanted it to, so I painted over it. The refurbished canvas is now on its way to becoming a rainy day on a sidewalk in Paris.
The problem was with the paper. When working on a text creation, the paper must be uncoated and able to absorb the gel medium so it becomes flexible. In fact, I have discovered that old, brittle book pages work best. When I ordered Barbie: A Rare Beauty, I was able to look inside, but, of course, unable to touch the pages. So, while Barbie is still on my list of portraits to paint, it will have to wait until I can get my hands on a better book (or perhaps I should say worse book, since I am looking for a lower grade of paper...) The center image below is the modern doll I had started painting. The vintage one on the right is the one I am leaning toward now, however. I find it interesting to see the two side by side...
Now, admittedly, my text striations are not exactly true to the patterns found under the skin of the human body. They are much more interpretive. Having worked with text for a while now as my medium of choice, I have come to think of the strips sort of like contour lines. Where they join together can sometimes be tricky, because, as is the case with drawn lines, the closer the lines are to each other, the more the visual tension increases.
It may seem as though I have deviated from the discussion of my text series of paintings, but it strikes me that the ransom notes were a precursor to playing with strips of text. It also reminds me to consider the effects of taking things out of context and using them in a new manner.