|Sky To Earth|
I really had fun just playing with decorative color, but I wanted to do something a little weightier. For the second one I started out the same way, with a pattern of different-colored lines on wet paper, but when that dried I came back with a different brush and the same colors and played on top of the first pattern. It took a while for it to take form, so long that I was getting nervous, but eventually I liked it. It reminded me of a spring landscape in my local hills.
Next I tried a different line pattern with a new color scheme. This time I tried painting color into a wet gesso surface and that gave a completely different effect, much thicker paint—thick enough to scrape into, and basically no wet-in-wet effect. Painting into wet gesso is almost exactly like painting onto dry gesso. When I came back for a 2nd pass, I wet the surface, which was completely covered with acrylic so the water couldn't soak in. I was able to get some wet-in-wet effect that way, and with very little lifting of the previously laid colors. I did 3 more passes, adding one color at a time until I was happy with it. I used my hair dryer on each layer to speed up the process.
|Light As A Flower|
When I picked up my brush to start this last one I decided to draw a flower shape. No gesso this time, and I made use of the same layering and wet-in-wet techniques I'd used on the previous painting.
In between each painting I felt a familiar anxiety—the fear of starting a painting with no idea of what it was going to look like. Two of the 4 times I had to take a little time to screw up my courage to keep doing the same thing, before I could actually sit down and start a new painting. And partway through both the second and third paintings, I had to go through the mental argument of "Why am I wasting time on this? No one's going to buy these, they're just exercises." I seemed not to have quite grasped the point of doing exercises.
Until I started playing with color schemes last fall, I had never actually done a painting except with the single goal of completing a saleable, or at least a hangable painting. I've picked up a few skills in the process, but there are so many things now that I want to try, to experiment with, that I really want to just focus on these experiments for a while. When I do get back to landscapes, I'm hoping I can make use of whatever I'm able to learn by just playing.
But beyond the practice of trying lots of different things is the desire to see if I can keep it up—just sitting down and starting to paint, without a preconceived plan or any idea of a subject, and end up with a satisfying painting. I want to develop a habit of painting without thinking about it.
I think I'll get a lot more painting done.