Friday, December 25, 2009

Butterfly Mirror


This is a mix of media on glass; acrylic, oil, epoxy resin, polystyrene, gold, pigment, glitter and gem stones.

The plan was to represent escape using the butterfly shape, dividing the picture into two approximate zones, one of high chromanance to the top left and one of greys to the lower right. The work was started with heavy body acrylic on a mirror, mainly phthalo blue, phthalo green and dioxazine violet. A butterfly mask was cut and this was sponged over to create butterfly positives and negatives. A plain section was covered, allowing the mirror to shine through. PVA glue was used to stick glitters onto the picture, often using masks to limit the area. Glue was mixed with acrylic to make a frosted glass appearance in the lower right area.

After that, oil paint was applied to accentuate details, some veins on the butterfly wings, and some sky clouds. The same pigments were used. 24kt gold leaf was applied using an acetate mask and PVA glue. Parts of the acrylic were rubbed away to reveal scar shapes in the glass behind, also helping to convey the escape motif.

Once touch dry, a border was cut for the butterfly mirror area in foam board. This was painted in acrylic and covered in dusty gold pigment before being stuck to the mirror and carefully sealed to prevent leaks. Then liquid epoxy resin was poured into the whole area of the mirror's recess and pigments danced into the plastic lake. These were painted and spread to create deep areas of colour, like explosions of violet frozen in transparent ice. Gold pigment was sprinkled into the liquid to create a gold fur like the dust of a moths wing caught in disturbed air.

When the plastic was set, the two gemstones were added; amethyst and emerald.

Despite the complex mix of media, much of this artwork was improvised. The initial idea of escape using a butterfly motif was all I began with. With so many options and media, a detailed plan would have been unwieldy, and indeed undesirable. Sometimes it is best to feel your way, create with panache and aim for beauty. As a result I've created something different from my usual style, but not unique. This is one of a small number of "resin" pictures and I plan on making more artworks like this in 2010.

5 comments :

PAMO said...

The complexity of your work is amazing. Your brain must be humming constantly- not to mention your studio. As always- I appreciate seeing and reading your process. The one word I always think of when I read your blog is "meticulous". Looking forward to seeing and hearing your creations in 2010.

lilasvb said...

it is beautifull

-Don said...

I'm glad you let this piece build itself as you followed its lead. The spontaneity adds to the overall effect of escaping. I wish I could see this in person to truly appreciate all the nuance the many levels of media offer. Great job! -Don

Mark Sheeky said...

Thank you everyone. I wish I had a studio PAMO, I've just got my bedroom! :)

PAMO said...

ReMARKable! Just goes to show- true talent finds a way to shine no matter where it toils.