More New Work

Just a quick update on recent work. For a while now I’ve been wanting to add interesting background elements to my still life works. I had gotten into the habit of separating my objects from all context by showing them on a bare, white ground. This was significant, so I knew if I went back to backgrounds, I had to offer something different.

I’ve become obsessed with textiles and patterns lately, especially those in Indian rugs. I found they are a vehicle for introducing large blocks of abstract color in combination with realism. In this painting, I also left the wood panel bare as part of a more interesting ground.

"I am Coming Home," Acrylic on Wood Panel, 12 x 12 in. by Heather McCaw
“I am Coming Home,” Acrylic on Wood Panel, 12 x 12 in. by Heather McCaw

I am also experimenting a lot with collage, because it is a shortcut to introducing those blocks and shapes into the background, in this case an image of trees taken from a 1960s cigarette ad. The trees in front of it are painted by hand, as are the dancing bears, which I stole from the 19th century painter William Holbrooke Beard.

"Look Far," Mixed Media on Panel, 8 x 8 in. by Heather McCaw
“Look Far,” Mixed media on panel, 8 x 8 in. by Heather McCaw

Ultimately, I came to the conclusion that, in the race to the holidays  – during which I will be making gifts and decorations and shopping and generally getting very little time to myself – I will continue to work little collage pieces when I get snippets of time. I hope they will be a way to work out some compositional and color-related inquiries I have, in addition to inspiring longer, bigger works (for which I am already collecting ideas.) Here are a few recent experiments:

Untitled, Mixed Media Collage, 4.25 x 6 in. by Heather McCaw
Untitled, Mixed Media Collage, 4.25 x 6 in. by Heather McCaw
"Tribal Deer," Mixed Media with Watercolor and embroidery, Approx. 5 x 7 in. by Heather McCaw
“Tribal Deer,” Mixed media with watercolor and embroidery, Approx. 5 x 7 in. by Heather McCaw
"Unfinished Mandala," Mixed Media on Book Page,  5.75 x 7.38 inches by Heather McCaw
“Unfinished Mandala,” Mixed Media on Book Page, 5.75 x 7.38 inches by Heather McCaw

Until next time!

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10 thoughts on “More New Work

  1. I like your idea of working out you new backgrounds in smaller collages while doing all of the holiday things. That way your ideas aren’t lost in the holiday hustle. TFS!

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