I don’t know about you, but I get this urge now and then to just strike out and start work where I have no idea where it will go or how it will turn out.
You might say, I do this every time I paint, but that’s not really true. I do work intuitively but I still can’t help but have some idea because like everyone else, I can fall into a rut. I might even like the rut.
I’m trying to start a new painting(s) today with that idea in mind. And, of course, why not make it a real challenge by using fairly large canvases? These two are 40 x 40 inches each.
Saturday, when I was in the studio, I primed these two and set them out on my painting wall. I then, did something rare for me. I mixed up some smallish samples of paint to consider using on the two canvases. I jotted down the color mixtures without getting exact with it.
So then I came to the studio today and got out little dishes to mix the colors in. So far, I am not using my usual set up of a palette although I am sure that at some point I will because I just have to make variations of the colors and I can’t do that painting one mixture at a time.
And so, it begins. Stay tuned.
I am trying to think about what in the world people would want to know about my painting process and I’m coming up blank. That’s kind of the way I feel if I’ve been out of the studio for a while for whatever reason.
Maybe I should just ‘do it’ as the saying goes. That’s what I do while painting anyway. It is just paint, canvas, wood, paper and it’s not a catastrophe if it all goes south.
SO, this is how I started on a 40 x 40-inch canvas with acrylic early this week. Just a little mixture of unbleached titanium and nothing else that I remember. I am not toning the canvas or texturizing this canvas as I have done for so many years.
I’ve been working a lot on paper lately to conserve space in the studio. However, there comes a time when you have to decide if you are going to go to all the trouble and expense to use a frame, matt, and glazing or just more simply mount the work to wood panels This is that week.
Some people tell me they use acrylic gel medium but I have always found it easier to use a liquid gloss medium. First I make sure the whole board is covered with the medium, then I do the same for the back of the paper. This gives me more time to place the painting on the board. I, then smooth it all down gently from the center to the edges with a damp sponge and/or a soft brayer. I don’t press hard or the paper might stretch. I, also, am careful to wipe excess medium that will still seep out from between the paper and the panel.
Next, I place a sheet of glassine on the surface of the painting, lay a piece of cardboard or foam core over to help distribute the weight of all the books I pile on top. Then I wait twenty-four hours before removing.
Lastly, I trim the inevitable discrepancy of paper size to the panel size with a very sharp utility knife. Don’t do this until the paper/panel is bone dry or you will have a problem.
I haven’t decided yet what finish I will use for the edges. Usually, I just use a light wood stain. Sometimes, I even decide to go ahead and use a floater frame. At least I don’t have to cut a matt and use Plexiglas/glass.
The two oil paintings in the foreground are 20 x 20 inches and are titled, Finding My Way 1 and Finding My Way 2.
For two weeks, I have worked on this painting. It is oil so I have to wait (sometimes I am glad to wait, other times not), between the layers. It seems I am working with a lot of neutral colors lately. This kind of thing comes and goes in my work. It seems I have to make marks with any kind of color or implement, then cover them up. Then do this over and over until I embed the marks and colors into the surface. “It”.. the mark or color, needs to become a part of the surface. Not on top as an after thought but a part of the whole.
Like most artists, then I doubt myself and think..what was I thinking? And the next day I think I really do know what I am doing….HA, as if I will ever know what I am doing every step of the way. Whatever happens, I hope when the time comes, I will know when to stop.
In this painting, I can only hope that I have not veiled it so much that it becomes homogenized into a work that has no real impact.
I consider it a part of the Annotations Series I started last year.. with the sub-title of Veil.
Over the past couple of weeks, I have been sad that wasn’t going to the 9th International Encaustic Conference. I look forward to seeing like minded peeps at this professional conference every year.
To help make up for it, I started on two 40×30 inch wood panels with encaustic. I only set up parameters of using lot of black and white…one to be dominated by white and the other dominated by black.
I spent days between working quickly, alternating with the days of just staring at them. It’s not as easy to layer, block out and then re-do that layer as it is with some mediums. By that I meant there is more of a chance that each time you alter, you may never get back the freshness you had the first time. That said, rarely does the first time around end up being a good painting.
I now think I am through with both of these paintings that I am considering titling Reverie and Dark Reverie. I think the title of Dark Reverie fits better than the one for the light one so we will see later.
I’ve been in the studio…. just not as much since the holiday rolled around and past. It seems like I have been spending too much time learning a new computer OS and all the new programs that come with that change-over to MAC. On the positive side, it is keeping my brain cells working over time.
I have been in that studio though and have been working with acrylic again since it has been awhile. This painting is 30 x 30 inches, acrylic on canvas, Johnson Creek, February.
I have been working on a couple of oil paintings all month it seems. Oil takes a lot of consideration as well as drying time between layers. BUT, I think these two are both finished. They are both titled Annotations Series……..Annotations, Blue-Bay and Annotations, Red-Walk. They are both 36 x 36 x 2 inches on wood panels.
This time is almost here……………..the opening reception for the East Texas Regional Artists exhibit at the Longview Museum of Fine Arts, Longview TX.
I am honored to have been chosen for this six artist showing for 2014. Saturday, July 19, 2014 215 E. Tyler St., Longview, TX 7-9pm
When I paint, it is usually with a large flurry of paint, gesture, mark-making. It doesn’t matter sometimes what comes first so it is okay to just let loose with acrylic
Then there are those other times when you have to slow down………..and that is not a bad thing. Oil painting is one such process. I have to slow down, look more, think more.
That has been the case with the last two paintings I started on at the same time. One is still waiting for more judgement. This one is progressing to the point I can show it. It may not be totally finished. Sometimes there is a little more finesse needed in the paint surface, or a dark or a line to be made that I will discover a little later. I have even turned it all around………it could be hung in about any direction, especially since it is a square.
The final title will be determined when I am sure, but it is another painting in my Annotation Series begun earlier this year.
Here are the three stages I photographed as time went past.
It’s amazing sometimes what happens by chance. In this instance, I needed to have an exchange painting, 8 x 8 inches for the 8th International Encaustic Conference to be held June 6-8, 2014 in Provincetown, MA.
I don’t work that small generally speaking and I guess I could have done something on paper BUT I decided to work on a small 2 inch deep cradled panel. I hated to ask the panel people to make ONE, so I got a dozen.
I had an idea to work on all of them and give one in the exchange. My idea was to take some of the bits and pieces of the shapes and colors I see in the area here where I live on Johnson Creek. I determined to limit my color and just concentrate on the shapes.
I wanted half of them to start light, the other half dark. As they progressed I got excited that they would all look great hung all together as a group.
I will still choose one (not determined at this time) to be wrapped for the exchange but I will let that person come exchange for one of the others if they want to do this. Then I will hang all the others with a blank spot where the missing one would have been.
This plan is not written in stone, but I think it will be an interesting departure. The work is titled, Johnson Creek, Field Notes.
The whole grouping will be shown and available at the Hotel Fair at the Conference, Sunday, June 8, 2014
I went to Houston last week to freshen up the inventory there at Jack Meier gallery. Now that I am home, I have to re-arrange all the work I brought back and think about where some of it will go in the next round of rotation with galleries. AND, it is Spring Cleaning time.
This painting is titled Meander 13 and is an acrylic diptych, 48 x 48 inches hung vertically. I have a couple of these paintings …or this one is larger and another is 30 x 30 inches.
I was thinking that when it was painted a couple of years ago, I was really getting into the line, mark-making and more nuanced additions to the paint in a painting. I have continued to be intrigued with making these varied marks in my paintings ever since. Some are made with graphite, or charcoal or india ink.
This one just might be one of the paintings I show at a museum show I am invited to opening mid summer. The second painting is one I did first… the 30 x 30 inch, Meander 12.
More layers and more layers over the past two days. These two 30 x 30 x 2 inch oil paintings are essentially finished. Having so much red, it will be a time before I can add some clear cold wax medium over them but I don’t think they will need anything else…or at least not much.
These are two of the new series I call Annotations. The exact titles are not determined yet.