($40.00.....6" x 6".....Water Soluble Oils on Gessobord)
The piece today was a complete surprise to me. Here I was, minding my own business, and painting a cactus scene from Arizona. It happened to be one of those "raspberry" colored cactus that look so different from the typical green ones. Everything was going along just fine. I had painted the sandy looking foreground and the brush and bits of green that were in the background. It all went south went I began to paint the cactus. I couldn't tell whether they were roses, cactus, or some other strange looking flower. In the "blink of an eye", without even thinking about it, I picked up a palette knife and swiped over the entire painting! I followed that action by doing it several more times, but stopping before I went too far.
The lettering then became quite important to me, so I picked up a Mitchell #6 nib in a holder and practiced my gestural writing...wiping off the paint after every stroke of the pen. And so goes my excursion into total abstraction. And just a side note for those who work a lot with acrylics and wonder if they should get into oils. This type of action could not have happened with acrylics...even with a lot of retarder. The paint needs to be quite "squishy" and able to move easily. Only oils will give you that ability.
The important point to note from all of this is that by showing up in my studio every morning, this very unexpected thing happened and now I have a plan to create more abstract work. Now I am thinking that by starting with an actual realistic image, I can break away from that and abstract it a little bit or a lot. This gets me one step closer to the "marriage" between abstraction, realism, and gestural writing. And there you have it...just a few more things to think about.
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