Showing posts from September, 2019

making a painting - (part 4)

More and more paint. Mark and mark again. What else? Always, especially when I feel there is a resolution approaching, I will turn the piece I’m working on round - 90 degrees, then another until I’m back where it started. I’m looking for something better than I’ve got already. And this is what happened this time. Suddenly it all made sense. A quarter turn and I sighed. More work to do but...yes. (detail) A bit more paint. And a scratch here and there… It feels a bit odd to sum up what I do in so few words… “Well I put on the paint with a few tools and mark into it a bit until it is finished” It can take me days, weeks, (months?)... Sometimes I experience a freedom and lightness. Most often it is intense. It is abstract and I feel like my head is turned outside in trying to reach that itch. And still I love it. The newness of every single painting I make. And then the fighting with it. And myself. Chasing whatever it is. My artistic world is currently

making a painting - (part 3)

Now I have swathes of colour and a tracery of cuts and lines in front of me and the history of the piece is shaping up through numerous layers. Making the painting now will be to work over the earlier applications of colour and inevitably I end up using a large amount of white... But it feels like I have barely begun. This is a good place to acknowledge the know-how of artists Rebecca Crowell and Jerry McLaughlin and their book “Cold Wax Medium - Techniques, Concepts and Conversations”. It’s been really instructional. Their technical input along with my urge to explore ideas and dabble curiously, (ok, what can I do with cold wax medium?), has given me fresh direction and means of expression. Thank you Rebecca and Jerry! I have spoken about the mark marking process itself but a lot is determined by how wet or how dry the paint is. When cold wax medium is mixed with oils, the drying process is speeded up a bit. Some of the most subtle effects can be made when the surfa

making a painting - (part 2)

My painting has a good solid foundation now. It means I can build more paint on top and importantly work into the base layers to create texture and form. Scraping, gouging, cutting, scoring, scouring. Gentle rubbing. With every action the depths can be revealed - a flash of yellow, a shadow of indigo. It’s always inevitably early on in the making, that I find the urge to make scoring marks or draw in lines, almost overwhelming. Sometimes I use graphite in tablet or stick form. Sometimes I choose a scratchy bamboo pen dipped in Indian ink. I think I have said before how much I love process and where there is a process there are tools to aid me. The photo below shows the ones in near constant use. Making expressive marks is the whole point of my work. The laying on of paint can make shifts and shadows of colour appear. The scraping back and gouging of lines through layers, or the addition of graphite or ink can all create visual depth and narrative to the surface.

making a painting - (part 1)

I’ve seen other artists writing about the various processes they go through to make a painting and then showing the finished piece for sale. I’ve always found it quite interesting so thought I would give it a go and show you here just what it is I do. There will be a few blow-by-blow posts with images to illustrate the development of the work as I go along. By the end of this week you will see it complete and then have the opportunity to buy it if you wish. Ready to begin then… ...take a wooden panel ...edges covered in tape to keep them clean ...three or four layers of sanded gesso to provide a smooth surface. Nothing much to see so far then... But the title is decided already - “happed in sky” - so now I can set up my palette and how I love setting up my palette! The joy of choosing which colours of oil paint to squeeze silkily out of tubes onto the glass is huge and significant. There will nearly always be Indigo, Payne’s grey, Terre Verte, Indian Yellow, Dioxazine Pu