Monday, February 4, 2013

"At Rest"

(unavailable.....6" x 12".....Water Soluble Oils on 300 lb HP....Mounted on an Ampersand Clayboard)

"Being at rest is being fully alive!" So often we think that perpetual activity is being fully alive. However, most of the important decisions in life are made during a period of deep meditation and prayer to the One who can truly change things.

After yesterday, I dusted myself off and painted another Gestural Landscape painting. This time, I chose 300 lb. HP and I talked to myself as I was mixing the color. I told myself that I had one or two (at the most) passes with my palette knife across an area. That definitely keeps the work fresh. It reminds me of a watercolor teacher I once had who made us count the number of brush strokes in the same area. We could use no more than three. It seemed a bit confining, but it really did keep the work from becoming muddy. 

So it really does help to limit the time you spend on a particular piece and keep yourself from "fussing" over it by counting your strokes. Another designer friend of mine coined a phrase for this type of process...."think before you stink!". It doesn't sound very nice, but it really does pay big dividends to think about your colors (hue, value, and intensity) before committing to laying them down. And of course, when lettering or gestural marks are included, the first layer of color is extremely important and helps keep the viewer's interest and introduce a bit of line work.

Last, but not least, is the idea of messing up the paint with a bit of finger painting (with your gloves on) or running the palette knife through parts of the lettering to create a bit of deconstruction. These techniques add energy to the piece and break up the surface tension.  And there you have it...just a few more things to think about.

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