Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Of Paints and Purges

I always thought that a huge studio with unlimited storage space would make me happy. Lately though, I find that my stash of supplies has become more of a burden than a source of inspiration, and I also realize that, as I have gotten older, I am much less driven to "dabble" and join in on "the next new thing" -- I want to dig deeper into the processes and techniques that I really know that I enjoy. I have been making a mental inventory of the art activities that thrill me the most, and getting rid of supplies that no longer fill my need to create. Oh, the space!

The one activity that I keep coming back to is painting.  This is my little painting room.  Though it is only about 8' square, it has a large walk-in closet where I can store things that don't need to be immediately available, and that big window faces nearly due north and provides wonderful light even on dreary days. My favorite bonus is that it overlooks the field where the calves come out to play - it is a wonderful place to hide out.

Right now I am working on a pair of canvases I intend to display as a pair. I am using a project tutorial from a back issue of "Cloth Paper Scissors" that introduces Liquid Pencils. (OK, so Liquid Pencil is a new thing for me... it is still painting, LOL!)

Both of the canvases got a little more pigment on them than I originally intended (you can barely see the collage papers underneath all the layers,) but I am happy with the way they turned out.

I used "Gold Opal" glaze on this warm toned one for the lighter area in the center, so the reflection made it a little hard to photograph. If you look close you can see the beginnings of a figure sketched in the center. It took me several tries to find an implement that would make a mark on the painted surface, and I ruined several Sharpies in the process. (Does anyone know why??) A regular gel ink pen is the only thing I found that will leave a visible mark. Fortunately I am going for a "sketchy" look, so the fact that I can't remove the marks won't matter too much.

I'm not brave enough yet to paint without an undersketch. I am open to suggestions for other tools that will leave a *visible* mark and yet can still be removed.


Judi W. said...

they look great! how about charcoal?

Linda Fleming said...

I love those colors and all the texture!

Serena said...

Great idea to focus and hone your skills in the area of creativity that you feel most drawn to, Judi. I think that's why I lost my way for a time...I put my hand to too many styles/fads, but I'm gradually finding my way back. Your painted backgrounds look FABULOUS! I generally use a white chalk pencil to sketch design elements onto a painted background....works very well and can be painted over easily. Of course, it might be a problem on too light a surface, in which case I generally use a 'soft' graphite pencil.

Another other option is to draw your design on butcher's paper and then transfer it to the canvas with Chaco or Saral transfer paper specially made for use in art. It's a more time-consuming method which I never have the patience for anymore but it came in handy for my students though.