a fleet of feathers

1 Jul

My installation piece framed feathers, for my upcoming solo show in just two weeks, is really coming together. Some smaller pieces still need to be completed, but I recently finished the largest piece for the collection, a fleet of feathers: a 16 x 20 canvas covered in all sorts of colorful feathers… I started with the background and created it by washing a deep grey watercolour across the entire canvas. Then, I added coarse salt onto it as it dried to get those wonderful airy, raindrop looking spots all over it. I then spent hours tirelessly painting and drawing feathers onto some rice paper I love. The backside I painted with a white acrylic, while the front side was drawn with all sorts of colored and metallic markers. When finished drawing, I cut out each feather by hand to get them all ready for the big collaging process ahead of me.I laid out all the feathers on the watercolored canvas and began experimenting with the composition – I knew I wanted it to have a bit of that scientific feeling (like when specimen are mounted on a board such as feathers, insects, butterflies, etc.) yet also was adamant that they be laid out organically enough to keep the piece from becoming rigid and static. I ended up drawing three more feathers to fill out some space, and I am quite thrilled with the composition of these 21 colourful objects. The feathers were applied to the canvas with a collage paste. Once dry and secure the entire piece was sprayed with a semi gloss to seal, protect and smooth the piece out. I am actually quite pleased with this new addition to the group! To be honest, I haven’t worked on a creation this big for quite sometime now; it always takes longer than you expect, but is that much more rewarding when it comes together in the end.I love the found frame that inspired this piece. It is one of the least tattered and slightly less kitschy than the others. I feel it does a real nice job complimenting this newly completed feather themed creation. What do you think?

8 Responses to “a fleet of feathers”

  1. Julie (O-kami) 01/07/2011 at 20:11 #

    this is amazing – and gorgeous. I can’t believe you did each feather individually and then cut them out – wow, that had to be a ton of work – the result speaks for itself – worth it!!

  2. Jeannine | SaylorMade 01/07/2011 at 21:07 #

    Really nice! It’s going to be amazing to see all the pieces together. Be sure to publish many shots of the gallery set up. :D

  3. anika 02/07/2011 at 09:59 #

    This is such an impressive piece! It’s an amazing variety of feathers you created, and you really arranged them perfectly. I would never have thought to use watercolor on canvas–looks really great!

  4. Johnny 02/07/2011 at 10:22 #

    Really like your process for creating this piece. The results are impressive!

  5. Marcus Jackson 03/07/2011 at 11:42 #

    Wow Jess this looks AWESOME! I can’t wait to see pics of all the pieces together! Make sure you take lots of pictures of the show ad the opening!!!! Wish I could be there but send my best wishes for a SELLOUT!!!!

  6. Dianne 04/07/2011 at 01:30 #

    Love it. Do you find drawing feathers strangely therapeutic? I do. I go into a trance.

  7. Crystal 04/07/2011 at 16:52 #

    This is stunning! You are so talented lady.


  1. From My Garden, Day 1 | a is for anika - 02/07/2011

    […] the little white spots which reminded me of the background of my friend Jessica Gowling’s recently completed collage; although she achieved the affect with an entirely different […]

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