Friday, February 15, 2013

"Textured Walls"

(unavailable.....6" x 6"......Experimental Piece.....Water Soluble Oils on Gessobord)

"History is layered in textured walls." At first glance, it might be difficult to comprehend what you might be viewing. It is a very old textured wall in Jefferson, Texas. If this wall could talk, I would love to know the stories it would tell. (If you look closely, there is a Texas Star.)

The patina and texture of old walls has long been a fascination to me. It looks like an abstract painting because of the layers and layers of concrete, mortar, repair work etc. Because of my struggles in painting this in oils, I would probably do it in acrylic if I ever chose to do this type of painting again. It is very difficult to achieve this many layers of texture in a wet into wet technique. (a word to the wise)

And that brings me to the reason why plein air painters and daily painters generally work small. The purpose is to work out the composition, technique, and other variables in a small version first before committing to a larger work. 

I came to another realization while working on this piece.  It  would be a good jumping off point for making it a totally abstract piece by not showing the brick work, the same shape of the building or sky, but simply using the same colors to create a grid format type of layout with hints of the same texture.

So there is a lot of "back and forth" thinking that goes on with these types of pieces. One could also do the reverse and take a totally abstract painting and add enough realism to bring it back a bit. There are always viewers who will bristle at abstraction unless there is something identifiable as an image in the piece.

The problem in combining realism with abstraction is that it can look contrived unless everything is well integrated. Color will probably be the best common denominator to integrate the two processes together. Another key point to keep ourselves out of the weeds is to make sure we are creating a pattern with our abstraction. And there you have it...just a few more things to think about.

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