Sunday, July 4, 2021

When you're between projects....

Happy 4th everyone! I hope you're doing something fun today. We have pretty lousy weather right now so I don't think we're doing anything outside, hence, the reason I'm sitting at my computer. 

So this is the kind of thing I do when I'm between projects. I just finished the last nest painting. I have 2 commissions waiting in the wings. I have multiple canvases prepped and waiting for new nests and landscapes. Before starting all that I wanted to play with something a little different. It always helps to get the creative juices flowing. 

I started with a full sheet of watercolor paper, gave it a layer of gesso, and taped it down on all the edges. Then I used the tape to section off 12 squares. With a large brush I started throwing acrylic paint around - thalo blue, light green and red gold. I also scribbled a bit with graphite and colored pencils.

While the paint was still wet I used the handle end of the brush to scratch into the paint and make more marks. I applied the white with a big kitchen spatula. You can see here that I peeled the tape away. 

I tore the squares apart using a straight edge. Since the paper has deckled edges I didn't want to use scissors and make the inside edges too clean. Tearing against the straight edge gives a more deckled feel. 

As a last step, I used my favorite black - BLK3.0 ultra matte black, to add areas of contrast. They're fun little abstracts! Now what do I do with them? I thought about framing them but I HATE framing. The hassle and expense of framing is one of the reasons I no longer do much work on paper but sometimes the urge is too great. So what now - I realized that these little guys fit well on an 8x8 canvas so I ordered a case. I'll paint them solid black and then mount the paintings on the canvas. I like the way the black edge frames the design. 

While I'm waiting for the canvas order to come in I can start working on the commissions. This is one of the best things about being a painter. I love having multiple projects to work on. Maybe it seems like I'm all over the place or unfocused to some folks but I never get bored in the studio! And it seems to me that working with multiple subject matter and methods can influence the other work you do. Isn't that how we grow as artists? Anyway, this is definitely something I'll do again. If you're looking for a fun exercise to build your composition and design skills, this is it. 

Just some thoughts on a rainy day.

Till next time,

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