Saturday, March 29, 2014

Walk in the Woods Side by Side

This is  the finished 16 x 20 acrylic on canvas. Available for shipping but on display at the Artisans Guild Gallery in Gainesville.  Unframed gallery wrapped and black painted edges,  275.00

Walk In the Woods  Side by Side

Just started this one by throwing around some gesso.  I put a sheet of watercolor paper below just to catch what ever happens

The first paint. A supper wet wash from the rinse water bucket.  Some people call this "mud"  I call it a warm neutral gray
this triple shot shows some progress.  I liked the initial marks of the violet on the gessoed canvas, which can still be seen in the middle of the first picture.  When I sparyed it down with water and did some spattering the paint marbelized. With with swirls of green and yellow. However I walked away for a couple of hours and when I came back it was all bled together.  I picked it up and moved it around to get the color to move into something else I liked.  

still watching paint dry adding and subtracting as it drys.  this transparent paint is not transparent when it's puddled up and wet.  as it dries the background starts to come back 

More red spattered in and more yellow here at the bottom applied as a glaze with a brush.  I think this was the first time I touched the brushed to canvas in this one

The color of the light in this room is very warm so it makes the whites pink and warms up the whole painting.  
    When the big puddle dried some of the lower layer came back into view.  I made another puddle of yellow /blue at the bottom   The heater came into play at this point to speed up the drying process and to try to preserve the marbling that was happening   Doesn't work.  The paint becomes transparent when dry  
 I can tell when I'm getting close to the end because it becomes harder to make changes without thinking I'm going to screw it up.  But it still needs something. What I'm seeing here is tree trunks or fence posts in a flooded field casting shadows and reflections
More blue to make the midsection darker a little more orange at the top. and the bottom. Striving now for an abstract landscape. Im seeing shallow water with sky reflections. But this is still in an aleatrric, pure chance, stage. Paint is being applied by shaking the loaded brush into wet areas and letting the paint flow. An interesting visual  texture is developing from the layers of transparent paint. This is one of my old watercolor techniques. 
I put in more detail in the mid right and the tree trunks shapes in the center. At this point, I'm feeling like its just about done.
 But. The tree trunks look too empty. In my minds eye, i can see the tops vaguely in the color shapes above.  But real eyes don't see it.  I didn't want to disturb the orange color and it's getting too close to the top and the top is warm and the bottom is cool  Just the opposite of actual landscapes, so I turned the canvas over. 
Suddenly it becomes more clear and less abstract. Warm parts in foreground and cool color at the top distance.   Now i have room to do something with the trees. Now it becomes a different painting.  I dabbed in some color to define the shapes, added some spatter, mixing the paint with medium instead of water this time to give it some body and not run so much. It makes the paint more transparent too but,  I have to wait for it to dry to see what I get. More layers may be required.

Another trunk appeared. Now much further from being finished. It's moving in the wrong direction. Its moving away from the abstract and the aleatoric. Now every addition of paint is with studied intention.  I'm still answering the question  " what does it need" 
Here I added some opaqueness to the green tree with some thicker paint adding texture at the same time.  I added some light to the orange one, some warm glaze to the foreground and cool spatter and glaze to the top, a band of dark behind the trees to increase the contrast.    Progress is slowing. Every addition now holds the possibility of ruining it. I want to call it done. I'm resisting the urge to get in control of the detail. I have signed it. But after seeing the photo of it, i see it needs more 

Some detail shots.  The camera over saturates the colors and heightens the contrast on its own. 
The light area with violet and yellow on the right is spatter and glaze from the first step  Some how I managed to preserve this whole middle area that I liked from the start
Not done yet now the trees are too smooth and too similar. Close up the texture is visible but from the viewing distance they look like lolly pops.  so I added more volume and texture to the trees separated the green ones with a slight color shift.

these last 2 pictures are pretty close to the actual colors at least on my screen. this is so much fun!

This is  the finished 16 x 20 acrylic on canvas. Available for shipping but on display at the Artisans Guild Gallery in Gainesville.

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