Thursday, June 8, 2017

Painted Jacket Inspired by Artist Franz Kline

I had previously refashioned this trench coat in 2013 by exchanging the boring 3/4 length sleeves for long sweater sleeves. I loved it and still do but the jacket, over the years, got dingy. 

No matter how many times I washed it it remained, well...dingy. And then I found these pen marks on them, not sure how they got there but there they were. Not wanting to give up on it, I searched for ways to once again refashion this amazing jacket that still fit pretty well. 

Black, White, and Grey, 1959. Collection Metropolitan Museum
So I decided that I could paint it! That's what a painting essentially is right? Paint on fabric, the fabric usually being canvas. Well, my trench coat was my canvas! 

The next decision was how to paint it? In what style? I immediately thought of one of my favorite painters, Franz Kline. Kline was an American painter born in Pennsylvania and associated with the abstract expressionist movement of the 1940s and 1950s.  

I am not sure what it is about his black and while abstract paintings that attract me. I do love the energy, the expressionistic, bold brushstrokes, the grittiness of it all. It reminds me of writing, graffiti, urban strength, everything I love about the city. 

Untitled, 1954

I was particularly interested in the paintings that incorporated the color beige as my jacket was a solid beige. 

So the second week of April, while the kids were on Spring break, I decided to embark on this project which had been on my mind for so long. 

It was a nice sunny day and while Dan was frolicking in the backyard, I started to assemble my palette. On wax paper I squeezed out titanium white, unbleached titanium, and mars black. I was going to use fabric paint, but had run out. I am actually glad I did because I really like the shiny quality in  acrylic paint. 

I also used two different brushes; a big flat one that I got at the hardware store and a medium sized one (not pictured here).  

I made sure to line the mannequin with garbage bags. I was about to go all Franz Kline on this coat and my hubby would kill me if I got paint on the deck. I also placed the sleeves on top of the mannequin top for a quick game of simon says, just kidding! Didn't want to get the sleeves painted. 

I buttoned the jacket and I started applying the black paint with the large brush, not wetting it in between to give it a dry brush effect. I then went over some areas with the white, making sure to blend and also used unbleached titanium which gives off a beige color. 

When I opened it, I realized that I had to also paint the other side in case I decided I wanted to leave the jacket open which I sometimes do. 

Now I had both sides painted. 

All finished. Here's the front/side

And here's the back. I love it so much! 

Definitely an improvement

So here's an example of a jacket that has been refashioned two times! I think this is it. The only other alteration I can think of doing is cutting it, but I have no plans to do that yet.

One day I met my museum colleague for a meeting. After I walked in the office and sat down she said, "when you walked in, you looked like you were wearing a painting." 

Yay! I nailed it! Exactly the look I was going for. 

With this crazy New York City weather I had the opportunity to wear it even into June. Looks like it's getting warmer starting today so I will hang up my beautiful painting until the fall. 

What do you think? Any questions? Feel free to e-mail me or post your comments on the bottom.

God bless and have a great day! 

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