I'm travelling into a new way of working, a new country, a new language, and a new hobby which I'm passionate about. Come with me for some of the journey...

Friday, 4 November 2016

Abstract Crackle - or is it?



Hello everyone!  It's my turn to host the challenge over at A Vintage Journey, and for this month I've chosen one of my favourite things - crackle - and since I've had a pretty crazy year, I've called it Cracking Up!

Do check out the fabulous crackled creations made by my amazing team-mates, and come and join us on the journey for a chance to win the prize from this month's brilliant sponsor, Tando Creative.

I've got a piece of abstract art for you, full of crackled texture.  At least, I thought it was completely abstract as I was making it, and as it leaned against the wall of my craft room for several months.  It was only as I was photographing it that I realised there is actually a shadowy figure of a woman emerging from the book page fragments, paint and crackle.

Can you see her?  The face at the top, looking down and to the left, lowered in something between melancholy and meditation... and perhaps a blue hooded robe.  Having found her, I've fallen in love with her gentle grief and calm serenity.









I've no process photos, I'm afraid.  I was carried away in the making of this and, besides, I wasn't really sure that I would ever be posting it here at Words and Pictures.
















But when I remembered this challenge was coming up, I thought I would bite the bullet and take some photos to share it with you.















So I do have lots of close-ups so that you can see it really is strongly based on crackle...















... not only crackle, but also some of my favourite paint colours in a heavy-body version.
















There are scraps of book text throughout too...















... adding even more dimensional texture.















I love it when the light catches on some of the crackle glaze, and it shimmers into life.













I'm really happy with the sense of movement in some of the paint marks too.














I wish I could say I planned it, but the woman's face is completely accidental, formed of some crackle and a book page fragment.  Maybe my subconscious knew what it was doing...















I considered adding extra definition when I discovered her, but it was some months later, and I felt she was better left slightly shadowy and subliminal.
















Once again, there are no words (except in those book page fragments).  I hope this canvas speaks for itself.
















Altogether, it's a step in a new direction which feels very much a good place to keep stepping.















Now that I'm back home with access to my craft room again, I think there might be some more canvases coming to life.














And the next time, I might actually go in pursuit of creating the figure within the shapes, colours and textures.

I hope you're inspired to play with some crackle and join us on A Vintage Journey this month - don't forget to check out the other Creative Guides' projects.  Your crackle can be stamped, stencilled, painted, or you can use a crackle medium of some sort.  There are plenty of ways for you to be Cracking Up!  I hope we'll see you there soon.







I felt the most intense pleasure in piercing the stone in order to make an abstract form and space; quite a different sensation from that of doing it for the purpose of realism.
Barbara Hepworth

45 comments:

Lynn Price said...

Wow, Alison!! From first glance, this looked quite like an Oriental scroll, which would make sense (at least to me) given your recent travels. But then to read about its development and your thoughts - even more fascinating. As always, I so admire your skill with blue and brown....and your use of crackle here excels!! xxx Lynn

S@ndy Diller said...

What a lovely surprise to discover a figure emerging from your work. I love your canvas and the mysterious figure. Thanks for hosting this great challenge. S@ndy xx

Helen said...

I adore this abstract canvas Alison! the strong heavy body blue you used is beautiful. Enjoy being home and rediscovering the joys of your craft room!

brenda said...

As always, a lovely creation Alison, I'm always partial to some crackle.

B x

Redanne said...

A wonderful challenge theme Alison! This is a little different for you but the crackle is stunning and the shadowy woman was a great find. Gorgeous colours and wonderful textures, so glad you shared this! Anne xx

chrissie said...

This is wonderful Alison and a great challenge--so pleased I bought the TH crackle stamp lol.

I can see a lady but the one I see doesn't look like you described. Added interest for your, already, amazing piece.

Love Chrissie xx

Lauren Hatwell said...

This is such an interesting and beautiful piece of work. I love all the textures and the cherry on the icing on the cake is that mysterious face. I am drawn to it time and again. Who is she? Maybe the question should be who WAS she? I wonder... Lx

Sue said...

Really lovely Alison, that shade of blue is wonderful. Hope you are still having fun on your travels xx

Suzanne C said...

Beautiful crackle abstract :) art!

Sara Barker said...


Alison, this is such a different style for you, and I have to say, I love it! No words--no problem...this speaks for itself! I love your colors and that amazing crackle and texture from the book pages and your strokes. Sorry to say, I see a skeleton, but that's because I'm partial to spooky stuff right now. Yes, I know Halloween is over, but it's in my 'bones'! Ha! Ha! I digress...great challenge and a perfect piece for it! I can totally see this hanging in an art gallery! Hugs!

Linda Coughlin, the funkie junkie said...

Wow, this is so cool, Alison. The colors and textures are fabulous. Stunning design and I love your ghostly lady hovering in the background! Very inspiring!

Hugs,
Linda

Nan G said...

A fabulous piece butterfly! As I studied it before reading I noticed the face peeking out and then your words of finding her. Awesome!love your new direction. Keep exploring! Hugs

Jenny Marples said...

This really is absolutely gorgeous! I adore the abstract markings and textures. And yes, I can see her! Your lady hovers beautifully in the background like a captured memory. Glad you decided to share it xx

Jennie Atkinson said...

A fabulous piece of abstract art Alison - keep on please! I must say I haven't been able to see the ghostly lady - for me it is a glorious piece of art which reminds me of Spode china and old crackled paint. Just gorgeous and I love it! Thanks for a great challenge! Jennie x

Astrid Maclean said...

An incredible canvas Alison and a great departure in a new direction! The paints and marks seem to be hovering suspended above the background which makes for really interesting viewing. The melancholy lady in the background adds further interest and wonder, giving it all a magical feel!

rachel said...

wow alison - this is fabulous and so totally different - love it! Hugs rachel x

Meggymay said...

Its a gorgeous abstract project and of course the crackle effects look awesome.
Yvonne x

Joi at RR said...

Oh my Alison - this is just EYE CANDY to me. I adore all your crackling grungy glitzy abstract YUMMINESS. Wow! Each picture is just STUNNING. Love it. Xj.

Deb~Paxton Valley Folk Art said...

That is stunning Alison, amazing texture and yes, I can see the figure that you spoke of, what a wonderful happy accident! Thanks so much for sharing it and for hosting this great challenge, Deb xo

Mrs.B said...

This is fabulous - such amazing depth of texture and colour.
Once you see the ghostly face your eye is drawn to it - happy accident indeed!.
Avril xx

Hazel Agnew said...

Inspirational! Might have to have a go! Xx

Anita Houston said...

Seriously, it's fabulous to see something abstract...something I struggle with, so I love to see it. I love the blues, the crackle, and the woman's face, AND I see another woman's face. All the way over to the left in the upper middle between the first and second blue strips. Her head is tilted back and you can only see one eye and it's closed with heavy mascara. She has a definite Marilyn Monroe look. You can see it plain as day in the first photo. Anyway...I saw her first and then saw the one you see. That is what I love about abstract art. Thanks for the inspiration!

maria's knutselplezier said...

Fantastic!!! what a beautiful effect!!
Greetings
Maria

A Pink said...

A fabulous piece of art! Alison . Just love those colours working with all the gorgeous crackle. Abstract and allusive -I adore !
hugs x

Dorthe said...

I can see her Alison, a little ghostly, and living there, on your page, appearing from the air, and maybe sky !!
The new line you have maybe started here, is a gorgeous abstract ,and with the amazing crackle, it catches my eyes, but I also love your more figurative line, of art !!
Hope your Saturday is not as wet as mine !!
Dorthe xox

Craftyfield said...

I may or may not see the woman... it's a bit like the Rorschach test, subjective! But it is interesting and the sobriety of colours gives a tranquil feeling.

Sandy said...

I don't know what it is but I call it a beautiful piece of artwork!
Sandy xx

craftytrog said...

Absolutely stunning! I see your serendipitous lady too, just magical! I love your crackle art Alison. xx

craftimamma said...

What a wonderful ethereal piece Alison. That colour blue is simply stunning and all the texture and crackle is really beautiful. I wish I could touch it. Your lady looks so lost in thought!

Hugs
Lesley Xx

Coco said...

Oh, what a beautiful piece Alison!
Sorry as I'm in late discovering it and commenting...
An abstract piece with neither a stamp or a stencil - not even a word.. how surprising! :-) - but SO gorgeous. Loving the deep blue and brown shades here, and of course the marvelous crackle here and there... but not everywhere. Your crossed strips are simply wonderful.
I see a bit the face of the lady, right! :)
Hugs xx

pearshapedcrafting said...

This really is fabulous Alison! I love all the crackle and those gorgeous colours that just look amazing! I can see the figure looking out too. Hugs, Chrisx

Pawsitively Creative said...

This is gorgeous and so Wowzers! I just adore everything about this design and the fact that there is a hidden image in it makes it even more spectacular! The colors are stupendous and the crackle is awesome sauce. Very very amazing! Hugz ~Niki

Juliz Design Post said...

Such a different style for you Alison but I am so pleased you shared it. I love how the lady has emerged from the background and your colour choice gives the illusion of embedded delft ware. Exquisite.
Julie x

Corrie Herriman said...

Such fabulous crackles... I can see your lady too...
Corrie x

Julia Aston said...

This is just SO cool Alison! I CAN see the lady there glancing down - I love the white and blues - the dragged lines and text papers - a lovely piece of crackled art!! Julia xx

Barbara Schiassi said...

OMG Alison! It's amazing! Love love this texture, these colors, incredible work! barbara

Deri Crafts said...

Absolutely amazing work!

Princess Judy Palmer said...

I did see the woman, but only after I noticed the BARBED WIRE, which is what I felt the main focus of this piece. It is interesting what we all interpret in a piece of abstract art.

Paper Profusion said...

I could look at this for an age - its strangely bewitching, in a very positive way. I immediately saw your 'lady' but I also see two faces, (no bodies), in the left hand 'column'? Definitely keep stepping out with makes like this Alison - a new style for you that should be explored more. I hope you are enjoying being back at home and that all is well. Nicola x

Angela Radford said...

So love the texture on this piece and yes I can see the lady, what a lovely surprise to find her there. Now I must pop over to see what the others have been up to with this great challenge theme. Happy crafting, Angela x

Gaby Bee said...

The colors and textures are amazing, Alison! Love your crackle art.
Wishing you a wonderful, art-filled week!

Gaby xo

Annie said...

Totally love this Abstract piece Alison x I can actually see another face emerging too !!!! Love the layers of paint, pages and crackle

Hope you are managing some R & R as well as the comfort of your own home

Sending huge hugs Annie xx

Diana Taylor said...

Gorgeous Alison - I love the depth in it and the ghostly image just peeping through. Beautiful textures and layers, and so glad you decided to share it!

Etsuko Noguchi said...

I thought too, I saw it and looked like a Japanese haiku written in strips. And finally I found the woman face. This is beautiful ingenious piece. I love the cracks. and wonderful the Barbara Hepworth words. xx

Jackie P Neal said...

Gorgeous Alison!
I saw her as soon as i looked at his piece- yes, she needed to be seen=ho wonderful!
I so love your art! hugs,Jackie