First Quarter Challenge – Inspired by Jackson Pollock

When I first announced the 1st quarter challenge, I knew which Jackson Pollock painting would be my inspiration – The Deep. I don’t particularly like his multi-colored paintings as I find it difficult to put all those different colors together and come up with a coherent design. So I was drawn to the neutral colors and nearly monotone color scheme in The Deep.

I had originally planned on doing the felted piece in multiple layers, felting each layer separately and then putting the piece together after felting. But when I got out my supplies and saw the cut up pieces of white prefelt, I changed my mind.

Materials for Jackson Pollock Challenge PieceI had a black prefelt scarf length piece that I folded so there were four layers of background prefelt. I then had bunches of scraps where I had cut up a white prefelt scarf for a sample for when I was writing my book. Of course, I saved them as I knew at some point, I would use them. I also had some crimped nylon fiber that Zed had sent me ages ago but I had never tried. I thought it would be perfect to put along the center black section and add some bright white. I also used a bit of white banana fiber as well.

Layout with Pre-FeltNext I laid out all the prefelt pieces. I hoped that all the different sizes of white prefelt over the black would end up looking like brush strokes. Some areas had more prefelt pieces than others to give the mottled grey appearance on the edges of the original painting. I added just a little bit of yellow-orange prefelt in torn pieces.

Addition of Merino Fiber in Lay OutI added the banana fiber and the crimped nylon along the edges of the center black section. In hindsight, I should have added more nylon. I also added some merino fiber around the edges as I was afraid that the outside would not be white enough with just the prefelt.

Completed PieceHere is the finished piece. You can click on the photo to see it enlarged. I liked the results and the process was really speedy since I started with prefelt.

Center SectionHere’s a closer view of the center section. I’m not sure I got the depth that the painting has but I do like the results. I also see that the original has much more blue and green tones around the edges, but I wasn’t trying to do an exact rendition.

Banana Fiber and Crimped NylonThis photo shows the banana fiber running from top left to top center. You can see some of the crimped nylon just right of the center of the photo.

I hope that you’ll try the challenge even if you aren’t really inspired by Jackson Pollock. Perhaps you could just take a small portion of one of his paintings and enlarge it and use that as an inspiration. Or look for one of his less well-known paintings or something from his earlier work. It is fun to try working from a different point of view. We’d love to see what you create.

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20 Responses to First Quarter Challenge – Inspired by Jackson Pollock

  1. Lyn says:

    I think you’ve ‘out-pollocked’ Jackson. Your version is best! It’s a lovely wall hanging piece.

  2. ali says:

    The black and white is stunning – a beautiful piece of felt

  3. This turned out really well Ruth it will make a grate wall hanging. I too had a hard time working out how to portray Pollock in felt. I’ve decided what i am doing now and have it started.

  4. Marilyn Nelson says:

    Beautiful Ruth! You really captured the style in a unique way using the prefelt and fibers!

  5. Nancy says:

    I do not understand how you got the nylon and banana fiber to felt in?

    • ruthlane says:

      I laid the banana fiber and nylon down on the top and didn’t need to add wisps of wool. It just felted in by itself. I was careful to use very thin bits of banana and nylon and didn’t rub aggressively in these areas until it had started to all felt together.

  6. Teri Berry says:

    This is lovely Ruth. Lyn has hit the nail on the head… you have indead out-pollocked Pollock! 🙂

  7. koffipot says:

    I think you’ve captured it extremely well Ruth. I really can’t get inspired by his work, but perhaps I should take another look at his daubings and see what I can do.

    • ruthlane says:

      Thanks Judith – I wasn’t inspired by the “paint drippings” much but I really like this piece because of the depth he achieved. I’d love to see your efforts if you give it a try. 🙂

  8. luvswool says:

    Ruth, kudos for your fabulous felt work ala Pollock! The black and white makes such a strong statement.

  9. ruthlane says:

    Thanks Cathy – I liked the black and white. Not sure I’ve ever done a piece in those colors.

  10. zedster66 says:

    You really thought this out well, Ruth, and it turned out brilliantly! 🙂

  11. This is fab Ruth. I also love the limited colour palette of The Deep and I agree with previous comments…your version wins over Pollock any day in my book!

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