So, this entry will summarize the work that’s been done during the month of August, 2013. I don’t want to disappoint you, well, not too much anyway, but I did nothing on the canvases you’ve already seen. As I said in my last (non) entry, my new philosophy seems to be, why finish anything when you can start something else and move the problem down the road?
So, here’s what we started with, either in late July or early August:
Yes, it’s our old friend, the blank canvas! Let’s have a round of applause for the elder statesman, the man who will be better known than I in a dozen years hence.
There are some colors that I rarely use, and I thought that I’d give them a try. Among those colors are purple and orange. Both seem far too “specific” for me, in that they conjure up only a limited number of possible paths. In other words, they seem to control the canvas more than the brushwork or my own ideas.
But what the heck, yes? We started with some blobs of paint placed mostly in the upper-right corner; the idea was to sweep them downward and to the left.
As you can see, there are more colors there than just orange and purple. I’ve added some blues, some raw umber, cadmium yellow, and a bunch of white, just to help keep the colors from turning into one dark mass. I used latex gloves and wax paper in the initial smearing. Below is the result.
It’s hard to see in my (admittedly terrible) photography, but the paint is really thick on the canvas. I used a small piece of cardboard (comes in a box of canned cat-food) to further scrape at the paint to spread it more evenly across the canvas.
Using the cardboard and gloved hands, I was able to cover the entire canvas. So, what was the result of all this?
Here’s another photograph of the same, equally bad but in a too-washed-out sense, instead of too-dark-to see-clearly.
One thing you might notice…where the heck did all the purple and orange go? Wasn’t that the whole point of this? Where the heck did all this green come from?
There seems to be something happening in the upper left. Taking a brush, I used some of my orange and purple to…well, randomly do random things in the upper left.
It suggested a bubble, or the eye of an amphibian. Well, let’s see what a little highlighting in white will do.
That shows promise. Not sure what kind of promise, but it looks like something, instead of a waste of time (and paint). Here’s a close-up.
Let’s add some more highlighting. As long as we start “hearing” the proper direction, we should be okay with a bit of guided randomness. And some blue in the lower right. I was looking for some leftover green, to try and strengthen the carpet that was already there…and I couldn’t find any of that green left over. Where’d it go? Then I looked at my original blog photos…I didn’t use any green. The blue, cadmium yellow and orange made a strange kind of plant green.
I’ll have to try that again someday. But for now, I used some of the leftover blue instead. Not French ultramarine, but turquoise (I think). There’s a sweep of it in the lower right.
We let a couple of weeks pass, looking at the canvas every day, and asking it, “What are you? Are you an eye, or a drop of water, or something else entirely?” And the canvas didn’t say anything. It was silent, not out of arrogance or hubris, but because it genuinely didn’t know either.
Well, time to take some kind of plunge. Let’s move away from highlighting, and look into some shadows. Raw umber will do, though we should be careful…
Wow, that’s pretty good. Let’s see that in close-up.
Just before preparing this blog entry, I was fighting a bunch of flies (must be all the corpses in the basement) and I knocked the canvas off the easel. Not to worry, the paint was all dry, but when I put it back up on the easel, just for fun I put it sideways–
Oh…wow. That definitely looks promising. It’s much more evocative of something than the other orientation, which kept flipping between possibility and dead-end. This looks like it might work.
And that’s where we stand, as of the end of August (or close enough). We’ll see where (or if) it goes. As always, thanks for stopping by.