Jackson Pollock Piece Finally Finished.

Jackson Pollock Piece Finally Finished.

I started my first quarter challenge back at the beginning of February. I made a piece of nuno felt using black wool prefelt and white silk to make a canvas.

beginning beginning felted

Finally the other day I decided to try out my idea on how to paint the canvas. I thickened some die with arrowroot powder. I was aiming for a paint like texture. I had never thickened dye before and I didn’t want to spend any money ordering something special. I looked up thickeners and arrowroot was the one recommended for acidic things.  It is a very fine powder.

thickened dye

I added a little to each small batch of acid dye and heated it a little. The first one I heated too much and it was like vulcanised rubber in the bottom of the cup. lesson learned less powder and less heat.

I started with yellow.It wasn’t dribbling how I wanted so I thinned it down. I didn’t like that either it  spread out too much. For the next 3 colours I poured it from the cups and moved them across the canvas quickly. That worked really well. Then I heated it in the microwave.

dye applied 1 into the microwave 1

While I was doing this I realised I had not put any vinegar in the dye. I heated up some water and put it in a basin and when the canvas come out of the microwave I put it into the acidified water and heated it in the microwave a bit and let it cool. having to put it in the water bath blurred the lines a bit but the arrowroot made it stay put for the most part. as you can see the thickened yellow is what moved in to the water the most.

after microwave vinigar bath 1

When I rinsed it and it felt really slimy. I thought I rinsed it well but it was harsh and stiff feeling when dry so I gave it a good wash with some shampoo. This is the finished piece. I think its very Pollock like.

finished pollock

I haven’t ironed it yet but I think I will and use the heat and steam to square it up.

22 thoughts on “Jackson Pollock Piece Finally Finished.

  1. Yes, you’ve captured Pollock’s pour,drip,splash technique – and I like the textured ‘canvas’ you started with because it adds depth to the finished piece.

    Does it need ironing? I like the irregular shape.

  2. definitely a Pollock piece, I love your journey with the dyes, it resonates with me, very funny and how you sorted out the little mishaps on route, I have learned a lot from this blog, I like the irregular shape too 🙂

    1. It was an interesting experiment. I would say the texture of the dye was more slimy than anything. You can see it sort of sits on top. I will have to see how it soaks into wool another time.

  3. Wow Ann, what an experiment! But the results are terrific. You definitely captured Pollack and a different way than the rest of us. I admit I may have panicked seeing the “stew” out of the microwave in the second to last pic. Kudos to you!

    1. Thank you Marilyn, I had a panic feeling when I realised I forgot the acid. I had to do something because doing nothing wouldn’t do any good. it turned out ok in the end.

  4. Great job Ann – that is how you develop new techniques – make a mistake and then figure out how to fix it. I haven’t tried the arrowroot powder with dyes but that’s a good idea. I have some I was using for cooking when I was going gluten free. Now I’ll just move it into the studio!

    I do love the nuno felt canvas idea too.

  5. Hello Ann
    Very nice work.Although I love felting I am very limited due to my pains in arms and shoulders but for years I had a school-atelier for silk painting and I use to paint large. pieces of silk, like 3 or 4 meters, with unique and exclusive paterns intended for couture and let me tell you how I used to do for achieving similar results.Normally the liquid colors for silk which can be fixed with an electric iron are also suitable for wool, so I believe you can use them.They can be thicked with a ready made thickner for these paints (not expensive) and you can put the mix into small plastic bottles with conic end (I’m sorry but I miss some words in english I hope you understand) and a small hole on it, so you can make thin lines all over your work.This product can be solved in warm water very easily. If anyone of you want some information on silk paiting please let me know and I will be glad to hel you.There are wonderful and very easy technicks.At present i am not working too much but the last year seminars on Shibori were very much apreciatted.
    Best regards
    Irene Freitas

    1. yes I would like to hear about this too. I would like to know what dye you are using because silk takes both acid and fiber reactive dye but wool takes only acid dye as far as I know. it would be good to find something different. your English was great and easy to understand.

  6. Great result and interesting journey. You definitely captured Pollack in this piece!

  7. A very creative approach to the 1st Quarter Challenge! Kudos to you, Ann, for going above and beyond the Pollock challenge.

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