Saturday, September 26, 2009
Intense studio day yields some answers
Last week was my first full week of the semester, and I didn't have a second of extra time to paint between Monday and Thursday, so I had it carefully planned that on Friday (yesterday), I would do NOTHING but paint.
I created the painting here, which is 40 inches square on stretched canvas. I enjoyed working on this piece very much, and the process made me decide that I'm going to revisit two techniques I developed in graduate school (12 years ago!) to enhance acrylic applications -- namely, oil sticks and tissue paper.
The oil sticks, to me, MUST be R&F pigment sticks. Unfortunately, because they are an extremely expensive brand, but fortunately, because they smell HEAVENLY and they interact well with acrylic -- i.e., they sit on top of acrylic if you want them to, but can be obscured with additional layers if you want them to be. (They must be R&F because no other brand is so creamy or offers such unique colors.)
With the tissue paper, I used to tear it and place it (fairly) randomly on a fresh canvas, and that would determine how I would compose the painting. It must be a dark color -- brown, black, navy, wine -- so that this layer will hold its place as a background, and it must be the kind of tissue paper that loses color when it's wet, or it will remain too solid and dull. (Beautiful colors result when the dyes run, colors that you couldn't mix on purpose.)
I think these techniques will work well with the direction I now seem to be taking -- curving lines on a square surface -- because I am trying to create some degree of depth, and the all-over lines I usually use threaten to be too flat. (While I'm sometimes going for flat, in this case, I think implied depth could be intriguing.)
So we'll see. I just drove to three stores before I found the right tissue paper, and I'll have to order the pigment sticks, so it will be a while before I can put this plan into motion. But for now, I'm happy to be starting in a new direction (still influenced by the old).