Friday, March 19, 2010

Plan A bombed, Plan B a success

Had an interesting day of battling it out with these paintings.

I've gotten such a good reaction to the Tides series, which are pictured on the home page of my website, that I decided to create a variation on the theme: a range of blues, layers of loops, five pieces each at 50" x 20". I stretched the canvases last week and had the first few layers of alternating blue washes and white lines. I completed three and set them beside each other. Nice. But nothing particularly interesting, that I didn't feel like I had done before.

I got an idea when I woke up this morning that I could add some splashes of color in rough chunks, so I applied a layer of gel medium, squirted a variety of blues, greens and even alizarin crimson into the wet gel, and brushed and scraped the colors together roughly so they were chopped not blended.

This new application looked great ... until the new top layer dried. UGH. It had obscured all the good things about the underlying lines, and added nothing but a confusing mass of unrelated color blobs.

I decided to try the same affect with watered down paint rather than paint floating in the gel. That looked like crap, too. In frustration, sensing that all the light areas had been obliterated, I grabbed a bottle of white paint and squirted some lines over the top. Because the surface was still wet, the new lines softened their edges and pulled in some of the blues and greens underneath.

I liked that look, so I did the same thing to two other pieces, hoping to keep the connection of a series. I'm finally happy with the way they've turned out!

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