“Midsummer Jardin”, 2020 is available to buy here on my online shop.
At one level it feels like I’m getting to live my childhood dreams of painting everything in sight and on the other, I’m unable to cope with all the wonderful things that so many people have to say about my paintings. There are too many things I’m feeling these days due to various aspects of my art. It is terrifying. It is exhilarating. It is confusing – what am I doing?! It is clarity – why didn’t I do this sooner?! It is satisfaction and mental peace. It is revenue and financial security ( to whatever level art can be, in an art market like India’s. )
“Midsummer Jardin”, 2020 will forever be the first ever jacket I hand-painted. I was able to share the process on my Instagram stories and have shared the photo at the end of this blog post as well, as a gallery.
The jacket is 3-4 years old. This is an estimate because I have not been able to track any purchase receipts and Mango’s website seems to have changed and it has no record of my purchases. I had bought three white jackets at the same time. The one I’ve worn the most is a cotton jacket. The one I wore a little less is a cotton-blend jacket. And the one I wore the least, is this 100% polyester one.
This jacket was given over to the Swarovski brand, when they had offered to stick on and sew on a few Swarovski crystals to the left front of the jacket. Because of the nature of the crystals, I didn’t want to wear the jacket too often and in total, I wore it maybe 3 times total. I had been thinking of removing the crystals for a while now.
When the “Pink Garden” Golf Cap painting was received so well, my first response to was to paint another Golf Cap : “Roseiro Blaze“. But soon after, I knew I HAD to paint the jacket! And I wanted to wear the completed jacket painting to record the ad for my first free Zoom webinar / workshop introduction and then I wanted to wear the jacket for the 8th edition of my workshop, which would also be the first edition of the workshop to be conducted online!
I had plans!
But once I started posting some updates on the jacket painting online, I received more than a few queries on whether I was going to be putting the jacket up on my shop as well. I decided to put it up on the shop even though the size and material might be quite restrictive when it comes to personal choices.
I still plan to wear the jacket for the workshop announcement and for the workshop itself – unless it is sold before that of course.
I have also been asked if I plan to paint a line of clothing. A “collection”. I am planning to do no such thing. Mainly because I would much rather have custom commissions from buyers rather than a bunch of inventory that I spend hours and days working on, which I will then proceed on sit on because once I list it on the shop, I don’t wear the items myself, which is a WASTE.
I am happy to take on commissions where clients send me their existing garment pieces ( these will be their size and their material choices! ), I paint those and ship them back to the client.
Please do not ask me to paint on materials like t-shirts and cloth bags and chiffon shirts. This painting technique and application will not work on thin surfaces. The jacket that I have painted is structured, has a thin satin lining and even a double fabric lining in some places, as well as foam under the shoulder pads. The jacket is already “stiff” so to speak, that the paint application doesn’t make a lot of difference to the structure. A free-flowing chiffon shirt or a thin silk saree will not have the same fall / drape after I paint it or a portion of it.
This kind of pointillism is only possible with these polyurethane based paints that I’m using. I will not be able to produce the same effect using more absorbable paints like silk paints or textile paints. For the kind of opacity that I envision on my paintings, I need this particular type of paint. To keep the colors solid and bright. I’m not saying that I will not experiment with other types of paint, but for now, this is it.
At the beginning of the painting, I knew I was going to connect the painting at the back of the jacket as well but I wasn’t sure how much I was willing to spread the vines and the flowers. In the end, to me, it looks like a jacket of vines – a stole of vines and flowers over the jacket.
One thing that I did not anticipate was how much I would dislike the abrupt cut off of the sleeve from the shoulder. The white “cut” was making the painting look abrupt. I had not planned to paint that section at all. But once I looked at it from a distance, I knew I had to extend the vines a bit in that direction to pull the entire painting together.
Painting on a canvas, on a brooch even, is very different from painting on a cap, which is very different from painting on a jacket! I had not expected that. I was concerned about not coming too close to the skin, for example. The paint can get scratchy / hard. And, in the long run, I don’t want the paint touching my skin – or the wearer’s skin. Although the paint is non-toxic and complies with the European EN 71-3 Standard and the ASTM D4236, I still don’t want skin contact. So, I had to keep in mind that the edges closest to the skin don’t get any paint.
The protective coating on the paint, to make it even more UV resistant and long-lasting, makes the edges of the painting a slightly different color. You can see this best in the image above. A few millimeters outside the periphery of the paint, you will see the white change color slightly. That’s the protective coating being absorbed into the fabric.
This painting was an adventure and an experiment that succeeded as far as I’m concerned.
The pricing is based on what most new artists base their pricing on : area painted. While I’ve been around for almost two decades as a photographer and blogger, my journey as a painter is only beginning. I haven’t yet reached the stage where I can price my art on the basis of my “name”.
It took me approximately three days to paint and seal this jacket. Another day to photograph and edit the images and present it on my shop and now on this blog. I’m pleased with the effort and now, I’m worried that I will feel deflated. My job is done. Another project closed. Now what?
But that is only till I find the next project – the next surface that I look at, that brings a glint to my eye and then I have to paint it!
Thank you for reading along!
If you have any questions, please feel free to email me on [email protected] anytime.
“Midsummer Jardin”, 2020 is available to buy here on my online shop.
All my wearable art pieces are available to buy only on my online shop. I do not retail or sell from any place else. You might, of course, find a previous buyer or collector re-selling one of my pieces, as is the custom with art.
All photographs have been shot by me. Self-portraits, jacket details and progress photo gallery below. Some on a DSLR, some on the Pixel 3 XL smartphone.
This last photograph is from the middle of the painting process. Sometimes, when I’m in a hurry, I use a hair-dryer to help dry the paint faster. I don’t dry the paint all the way through, just the top layer, so that I can start applying another layer of dots ASAP. I’m impatient.
The hair-dryer is about 33 years old. Yes, I use it to dry my hair too – mostly in the Winter Season when it is not advisable to step out of the apartment with wet hair after a shower.