Dormant Form

Detail of an abstract fabric sculpture by MJ Seal that resembles a giant, dark gray sea fan

Floating on the wall like a sea fan plucked from the bottom of a deep, dark ocean-

“Dormant Form/Winter Forest”- Original sculpture by MJ Seal. Sackcloth, jute rope, PVA glue and acrylic, 40” x 51”. C. 2020.

Compared to most of my projects this piece was fairly simple to finish.

This is wear we left off a few months ago

After letting this beauté étrange cure for a few months I sealed the whole thing up with matte acrylic medium- a lot of matte acrylic medium- like a whole 32 oz bottle and then some- it was remarkably porous- but then again this is a sizable piece.

I love how the “roots” came out

When the matte medium dried I quickly painted on a dark glaze of Carbon Black mixed with Open Medium. To give it some contrast I gently wiped away the black paint from the uppermost surfaces revealing the warm browns of the burlap and jute beneath it.

While this isn’t as colorful as some of my other pieces this sculpture has plenty of texture to interest the eye.

I was debating on whether or not to scumble on some white paint for greater contrast but decided I liked this forest of threads as is- it’s dark but there is clearly a gradation of tones- like a bare branched winter forest at dusk.

From a distance it really does not look like something created by the human hand

*Stay Safe- Stay Productive*


    1. Merci! It was quite a learning experience- but I think I am going to do more fabric pieces in the future- and not paint them- I think I’m developing a sensitivity to acrylic paint ☹️- plus they are much faster to make than my paper mache objets d’arts.

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      1. Respiratory irritation – I get this feeling like I’m coming down with something after I use a lot of acrylic medium – and right now I don’t need false alarms! I used to get the same symptoms when I used a cleaning product called simple green- and they stopped when I stopped using it. If the windows were open it wouldn’t be an issue- but It’s hot as the blazes over here- so I may have to work outside if I want to get anything accomplished rather than overload the AC- which would b really bad to.


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