Monday, November 17, 2014

Mixed media painting 11.17.14

For the most part, these small paintings happen fast. I paint intuitively, something a lot of painters like to say these days. It means, to me anyway, attempting to paint without thinking, without a plan. Painting by "feel".

This painting gave me some trouble. It made me work. And think. Think about what I needed to do to it to make it mine. To get that gut feeling that it's good.

 This is the under-painting. It started out as a watercolor, mostly. There is a layer of rice paper over the watercolor under the "horizon". Then charcoal and white acrylic over that. It's pretty enough, but I just couldn't leave it at that.
 I stared at it for a long time. Couldn't find the direction or the courage to take the direction if I thought of one. Then I read the paper I have above my work table ~ Diebenkorn's notes to himself on beginning a painting. The first note is Attempt what is not certain. So I did.
I pasted a piece of pre-painted yupo paper over the top section and added some pre-inked rice paper over that. (Thank-you, Fran Skiles, for letting me paint with you in your studio!!!) I put a wash of gel medium stained with red oxide over the bottom and hated it. Scrubbed it with a paper towel, Added blue to the gel to make a grey and went over the forms with my finger and a toothbrush. Scrubbed and scratched some more, used charcoal here and there. 
Then I went over the bottom section with an ochre watercolor pencil, which dug into the paint layer nicely and revealed some of the bottom layers of charcoal. Then white oil pastel on the forms, smooshed with my finger and some touches of purple and blue oil pastel in the areas between the forms to tie the bottom section in with the strong shapes on the top. That's what I remember, anyway. There were probably some other steps here and there. Whatever it took until I was satisfied.

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