Mary Anne requested a closer look at the vintage linens that I have been painting on so here are a few photos. To the left is a selection of fabrics found at various sales. They are waiting to be painted and are unprimed. You can see why they present a challenge as each piece is quite different in texture/weave. Some pieces are embroidered with simple initials or elaborate monograms, some are fringed, a few pieces have little tabs as though they had been attached to something.
In September when the tree was laden with figs I did some small studies. I love the natural colour of the fabric that I chose and I didn't want to hide it with white gesso. I decided to try mat medium as a ground, using 2 coats. It worked fairly well, didn't seal the surface completely. When I used diluted acrylic as you see in the shadow under the fig it created a lovely watercolour effect. Paint was applied in a thicker fashion on the fig but it still bled a bit giving the edges a diffused look.
Several of the pieces of fabrics purchased at the local brocante have the intials "C S" in a corner. Here is a close-up as well as a painting in progress where you can see the intials in the upper left corner. On the right hand side of this painting is another prepped fabric which shows you the tabs I'm talking about. I really like the texture of these particular pieces of fabric. They remind me of a Gauguin painting that I saw in Toronto and fell in love with because of the burlap-like coarseness of the canvas.