I started this piece, titled What's In A Dress? as a black & white pastel drawing about 3 to 4 years back, stashed it as a possible for a time when I could dig into the issues of working with representation in a symbolic way with pastel, which I find quite difficult these days.
This piece went through many transitions when I started working with it in color last year. It is done on rag drawing paper and had no tooth. I was able to work it for awhile, but found the color sentimental and too rainbow sherbet for my current aesthetic taste ( in other words, too pretty!). I surrounded the dress with black gesso that had aluminum oxide added into it . This gave the paper tooth and I launched into incorporating text into the piece. ( Titles have always been an important part of my work process and I have recently decided it was appropriate to incorporate text into my pieces. Well, this isn't an easy process, because text needs to be integrated into the piece as well as have some suggested meaning. After several more shifts, which included spraying acrylic paint onto the piece, adjusting elements of the dress, incorporating another layer that included a sense of night sky with constellations- well, I think it is done.