This piece was inspired by a variety of sources. Most notably, Agnes Martin and her beautiful geometric frames. It also owes a fair amount to Klimpt, and his use of gold, as well how he depicted an embrace.
My gilding techniques are improving and I hope to make a study of these types of pieces, time permitting. If you're interested in working with gold leaf, I recommend investing in a gilding brush, and a gilding pillow. I found both on Amazon, and snagged them for about £20 altogether. In order to pick up the gold leaf with the gilding brush, I rub a little vaseline against my forearm and very gently brush the gilding brush over it. When you hover the brush over the gold leaf, it almost jumps up to it and sticks enough for you to move it to your canvas.
Frog tape was another very helpful material for this piece, although it did pull some of the top layers of water color paper off. I finished this off with very lightly mixed water colors, inspired by an Agnes Martin palette.
I measured out the canvas and set my lines at 1 inch, 1/2 inch and 1/4 inch intervals. I did this by hand using a metal ruler. I taped each area that I wanted to lay the gold, and treated it with size, the gold leaf adhesive.
I used a kitchen knife to cut the gold leaf into the appropriate sizes. Removing the tape from the gold leaf was a tricky business and often pulled off small areas of gold with it. I managed to fix this by gently "cutting" down the side of the tape as I pulled it back. A piece of gold leaf peeled off and I was going to fix it, but then decided to leave the imperfection. I don't know why really, expect that I liked the shape it made.
I don't know why I'm so into gold leaf and gilding, expect that I've always been attracted to warmth of brass, copper and gold. They seem to invite you forward somehow. There's also a very quiet meditative quality to working with it. It's so delicate, and easily ripped, you have have all of your movements be deliberate, methodical and calm. You tend to lose yourself for long periods of time while you work with it.