Project Palimpsest/Butterick: Part I

This project is called Palimpsest/Butterick because it uses the technique of covering over an existing artwork with gesso, and then adding other elements over it, in this case pieces of vintage Butterick tissue paper sewing patterns.

I started this project with a view towards Abandoning the artwork in a public place for people to find and take home. But I like the 2 pieces I’m working on right now and might keep them…☺.

The 2 canvasses I used had identical images of one of my early teacup photos adhered to them. I’d printed the image onto tissue paper, then adhered them to the canvas using acrylic gel medium. But I hadn’t been satisfied with the images themselves, for some reason.

To prepare the canvasses, I simply applied gesso over the images to hide them behind a layer of white; I didn’t mind at all if any or some of the colours seeped through. As you may already know, I love randomness.

image This picture shows how I’ve gessoed over one canvas, with the other awaiting the same treatment.

image Next, I took 2 pieces of a vintage Butterick sewing pattern, which is printed on tissue paper, and used an acrylic medium to stick them over the 2 canvasses. As you can see on the canvas on the right, the teacup’s colours are showing through.

image In this next step, I brushed on some more gesso.

image Then I took some acrylic paint and applied them randomly over areas of the canvasses. I let the Butterick pattern guide me as to where the paints should go. At this point, I have no idea what I’m doing. LOL.

image Next, I dusted off some alphabet and number stamps, and stamped some letters and numbers randomly onto the canvasses. I also used some circular floral stamps to add more detail and interest to the overall composition.

image Close up of one canvas.

image Close up of the other canvas

I really liked how these were looking already. But I decided to add a few more details.

image To add the coloured dots, I did the lazy thing and applied the red and blue paint tubes directly to the canvasses, gently squeezing the tube so a minute daub of paint came out. These dots will lend some texture to the composition. I also diluted some yellow paint with watered down gesso, and applied a wash to parts of the canvasses.

Now to wait for the paint to dry before I add anymore elements. I will keep you updated in tomorrow’s post.

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