The White Shirt

Just What is it about old buildings? Do you share the fascination? My current daily sketchbooks document an obsession with crumbly old houses, architectural details, ceramic tiles and agricultural huts. Just why do those faded shutters, hand-crafted doors and crumbling, mud-brick walls hold such appeal? For me, there’s something about them which I can’t quite put into words. It’s something to do with the passage of time – the stories of lives lived there and what the house has seen over the years. Questions arise about why and when the house was abandoned and who owns it now. It’s easier for me to use the drawn line to record the feeling of these dwellings, than write about the thoughts and emotions these deserted, faded buildings evoke.

work in progress photo of the white shirt painting

One such building provided the inspiration for a new painting entitled ‘The White Shirt’. I’ve observed this apparently long-abandoned summer house at intervals over the years and often wondered about its stories. A lone garment hangs on the porch as if waiting for its owner to return, whilst plaster falls off the walls and the timbers rot. It’s a poignant scene.

To create the painting I used my favourite acrylic transfer technique which gives a slightly weathered look. Layers were added by combining my initial drawings with a collage of Greek and English text. Fluid acrylics were then added in layers, gradually building up the colour and finally some opaque white was applied for texture. The careful layering of the images, the meditative, time-consuming peeling away of the paper and the imperfections produced by the process seem well suited to the subject matter and story. Its a lovely, therapeutic process, although one which rarely goes according to plan! You can see a few of the work-in-progress stages in the above video.

framed painting the white shirt by gill tomlinson

The painting which measures 21 x 30cm was created using acrylic mixed media, on artists grade, cotton canvas. It is available at £140 and will fit a standard size 30 x 40cm frame with a 21 x 30cm aperture mount, as shown here. It’s not yet been listed on the website, so do contact me soon if you’d like to give it a home.

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