Friday, June 06, 2014

Painting Day 4

I have made a breakthrough!
I guess you'd have to know what I was looking for, because these seems so unlike me, kinda low contrast, and uncolorful. But the question that kept arising in my mind when I looked at the work of artists like  Elaine Daily Birnbaum, or Adele Sypesteyn (and here) was how did they get there? Since the work is not representational, how did they make it so intriguing and interesting?
#1 is 8" square, #2 is 9" square and #3 is 12" square.

 I decided to work in neutrals to avoid the beauty of color, which can deflect the eye and confuse the path. Dragging out the brand new unused burnt and raw umber tubes and mixing them with black or white I began to paint. I drew a little on the paint and then stamped and then painted again, blotting away excess paint and leaving bare spots. Eventually I felt I was on to something and added some color in the second one.
By the time I got to #3, I felt it was okay to add a bit of color, but toned down. I applied it with a dry brush so I could control the blending. Click this photo once and then again to see the surface. I also used modeling paste as a first layer to add texture and to lead the way for the details. A little stamping which I painted over, lightly, leaving a ghost image, was added, and then pencil, ink and a bit more white paint to highlight the key areas. It's a picture of nothing! But so atmospheric!
I am trying to explain something that is all about the experience of doing, and having the result be what happened while I was getting there. There is no there, there, but the ride was exhilarating.
So I feel armed with the 'secret' and can try again to do more, only stronger with more color, I think. Altho I do love that I did two beige paintings!
Or are they drawings?
When I was in jr. college painting class, I painted a 4 foot square canvas light purple, and then brought it to drawing class and painted the model in dark purple on my canvas. It was an excellent drawing but when I brought it to my painting teacher (a ceramicist who didn't actually paint....) he said it wasn't a painting. It was a drawing. Talk about closing the door on my idea, but I only bring it up because there was no concept of combining these two ideas into one format. Nowadays, mixed media is so everywhere, and loved and accepted. Thank heaven!
If I had a kid who wanted to be an artist, I wouldn't send them to school for it, but instead have them take week long workshops with lots of artists where they really could learn something. I didn't learn a thing in my undergrad painting classes. Seriously.
I think I'll be picking the squash today!


  1. Once again, thanks for taking the time to explain your creative journey. It's fascinating. I really like the first painting in shades of black and white. I think that the tiny white dots sort of anchor it and give the eye something to rest on. Really nice work.

  2. Anonymous7:47 PM

    I love all of these!! Especially #3,the atmospheric one. Would you be selling this? I already own one of your fabulous quilts. Julie

  3. Love the colours in these which is unusual for me because I tend to go for pretty bright paintings/quilts. The invoke a delicious sense of peace.

  4. I just caught up to your prolific paintings and your amazing gardens - you have a green thumb for everything, don't you?! Amazing - enjoy your new digs! ;-)

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