We’re here at the tail end of 2004. What better way to say something about something than by starting a new painting? I don’t know, because I actually started this one a few days back, so it doesn’t really count. But it might have, had I decided to lie to you and say I just began it, just now. But I decided not to do that, so don’t say I don’t care. Because sometimes I do. Sometimes.
Anyway. I first decided that this new painting should have an all-black background, and by all black, I mean Raw Umber. In the course of applying the paint directly from the tube to the canvas and smearing it around with my fingers, I thought, Hey, this might make a good photo for the blog-thing! It wasn’t the first time I’ve been wrong, but here’s the picture anyway.
Here’s the same canvas after I had managed to get paint all over it. You can see how wet the pigment is by how much it catches the light. You might think that the reddish-black canvas in the back is also wet because it shines, too, but you’d be wrong. It just shines. But trust me, the one front and center is very wet.
I smoothed the paint out as much as I could, gave the canvas a few days to dry, and then it looked like this.
Note that in this picture, the canvas is oriented in Portrait mode. This is how the final work, whatever that might turn out to be, will be oriented. The two pictures showing it in Landscape are oriented such because it’s easier to smear paint on a canvas when it is lying down, as it were.
The next step was to wait until some form of inspiration hit. The form that it took was masking tape. Masking tape is great for making straight edges in a work; you just line the tape on the canvas, paint up to and over the edge of the tape, and when you peel the tape off, voila: a straight edge.
However, I didn’t want to use tape just to do that. I wanted to create a lattice or framework of some kind, so I put the tape up where it felt “right,” whether it was or not. Note that the tape is, for the most part, in the upper part of the canvas (it’s actually hard to see that, isn’t it? I was focusing the camera somewhat closer than I usually do, so some of the canvas is cropped off at the bottom).
When that was done, I took some time to think about that, about what ought to be placed in (essentially, behind) the lattice. I wanted the lattice to appear somewhat like an enclosure, so I painted an open blue sky over the tape.
And that’s where it stands as of today. I’m still not certain, completely certain, about the sky, so I may allow it to stand for a while and then do some more work on it (the lower half in particular bugs me a bit, the upper half I think is quite good).
And then we take the tape off. Ooo, it’ll be just like that scene in Bride of Frankenstein, remember, where Colin Clive and Ernest Thesiger are unwrapping Elsa Lanchester, unaware of what they’ll find underneath. Will it be some kind of a monster, or might it end up being something else, like a completely different monster?
We’ll all find out next year. See you then. Happy New Year to you all!