Thursday, June 13, 2013

"The Secret Place" (draft 1)

(draft 1)

This is a very special piece to me because it will contain passages from one of my favorite psalms....and that would be Psalm 91. The title of the piece comes from verse one. I am using the Amplified which reads....."He who dwells in the secret place of the most high shall remain stable and fixed under the shadow of the Almighty whose power no foe can withstand."

You can see from draft one that this is the same technique as my previous series of postings. The biggest difference here is that the smaller piece I just finished was an 8" x 10" and this piece is a 24" x 36". I have decided on a vertical format. By nature of the quote (and this one will not change), this piece will be an abstract representation of a "craggy" wall of boulders dominating the left hand side with yellow/greens (and perhaps some other greens) interspersed and interlocking the grays/whites on the right hand side.

Instead of painting actual rocks, I will be representing the rocks by their color and texture. I have chosen to do this with a combination of neutral colors in various intensities, undercoating, and topcoat. The colors I am using are titanium white, ivory black, unbleached titanium, and raw umber. You can see all of those colors in the three represented in today's posting.

The undercoating was completed while working on the last piece, so it was very dry when I applied the topcoat this morning. All of the heavy body acrylics are being applied with a palette knife. And because I am representing rocks or boulders, my textural marks will be much the same throughout.

After laying in the topcoat, I used the pointed corner of a metal palette knife to inscribe a lot of erratic lines as well as some gestural marks that look like words. After drying these sections, (dry to the touch will take all day to thoroughly dry), I chose one area in each section to leave as is and then sprayed rubbing alcohol on the remainder and brayered that area repeatedly. Just to give you an idea, I probably sprayed and brayered each area at least (20x).

These pieces will be drying today while I complete more sections. Tomorrow morning, I will be able to add some old bible text and plain rice paper to areas of the pieces you see today. You can see that this is a wonderful technique if you want to work large and still remain apprehensive about the process.  If you don't like something, save it for another piece and do something else. It's that degree of flexibility that makes this so appealing.

If you get a chance to see the original of the last piece or this one when it's finished, you will be amazed how much it looks like metal. And that's the freedom of knowing what different paint and applications will do for you. I will even be able to take a sharp knife and scratch into this surface well after it is dried. It's all about heavy body acrylics and the sgraffito technique. And there you have it...just a few more things to think about.

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