Monday, January 24, 2011

Day 14: NOW see what you've gone and done

After holding back from putting larger, darker shapes on one of these recent paintings, I finally went ahead and tried it anyway:

If you tilt your screen a little, you'll still be able to see the texture, coal circles, and dots. I got those dark shapes by pouring out small pools of Payne's grey, adding a few drops of sepia and white, then placing some wax paper over them and spreading them out until they got bigger and the paints mixed together. Most of the mixing, and those swirl patterns, occurred when I carefully lifted the wax paper off the canvas. The effect depends on chance, as you don't exactly know where the colours are going to go until you lift the wax paper off. But I was doing this a lot in a different series about ten years ago, so I already had those memories to draw on. This also demonstrates that nothing you do is ever entirely forgotten. You may try something and not see an immediate use for it, you might feel that it's not quite right for a specific picture. But the idea gets filed away and is always somewhere at hand, ready to be pulled out again and re-evaluated under new circumstances.

The wax paper itself acquired an interesting pattern of paint. I photographed it below with a spotlight behind it:

Now this opens up more exciting possibilities--for example, collaging onto a panel or canvas, or gluing to plexiglass and lighting it from behind. And it chimes in with something one of my teachers at art college said: that when you reach the end of one piece of work you should be alive to the possibilities it suggest for the next piece.

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