Several years ago, I made a clothing- and costume-project based on butterflies. It involved making sketches of a peacock butterfly in pencil and aquarelle and analysing its colours.
Having done that, it was time to think of how to present the ‘peacock’ without losing its shape. In my early sketches, I went overboard and used too much fabric in my imagination. They had to be pared down:
I believe this works better. Next, I turned my specimen around and experimented with the duller colours on the ‘inside’.
Afterwards, it was time to go full out and use all those brilliant peacock colours.
Personally, this is my favourite, but I never got round to sewing it. I had no idea how to transform it from picture to fabric. Not at that time. If I were to experiment with this project now, I’d probably use silk and silk-painting techniques. Unfortunately, I don’t have funds or time for such a project at present.
My last sketch did make it into a finished costume.
I made the wings of tulle, the headdress was jersey, with wire inside the satin antennas. The costume itself was made as a jumpsuit, and the wings attached to a waistcoat.
© HMH, 1984, 2018
This Gypson cast is the basis for my mask work.
I’ve had several casts, but because I moved a lot, the number got reduced to just one. I’ve worked with variations of papier-mache, from the original plaster-cast gauze over old newspaper scrappings to the finest grain, depending on what came to hand. As some materials prove less resistant, I also experiment with making the papier-mache stronger. It can be a frustrating experience, but I learn as I go.
My current project has a centre of aluminium foil. I hope it will prove stable: my plan is to decorate both sides. Ideally, I’d mount it on a stick and put it on a heavy base.
In a way, the expression on these casts reminds me of death-masks. It took several weeks of contemplating this before I had a vague idea of what I’d do. The first step was easy though.
You can’t do anything without priming the surface. Hence both sides became white.
What will happen next? I’m not sure. It will be something about contrasts: day and night or sun and moon.
© HMH, 2018
Several books fell and unhinged the former version of Water Feature. It broke its nose. Thus, it became necessary to take action. This is the result of rebuilding the nose and restoring my unfortunate painting to glory. First, I wasn’t convinced, but the newest version grows on me. Why is it that some art-works are more accident prone? This is the third time fate marred this one.
Acrylic, Wood, and wax on hardboard
This is the older version, before the broken nose.
Acrylic and Wood on hardboard
© HMH, 2018
Acrylic on cardboard (section)
© HMH, 2000
3 Aquarelles on Paper (mounted on fabric)
Acrylic on Canvas (section)
© HMH, 2000