First Quarter Challenge – Inspired by Jackson Pollock

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.

20 thoughts on “First Quarter Challenge – Inspired by Jackson Pollock

  1. 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.

    1. 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.

  2. 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.

    1. 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. πŸ™‚

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