In our last episode, I showed you how the blue-sky-clouds picture from several months ago became a dark, scary mass of shadowy clouds. That entry told the story of the top half of the canvas, and the entry included a short video! So, now we come to the lower half of the canvas. When this was originally a sunny blue sky, the lower half had never been touched. It was time to start.
So, the first thing done was to fill the lower half with more Paynes Gray. So I slathered that on, and then used white mixed with the gray to rough out a couple of large rocks in the front of the canvas. I didn’t get a good photograph of this stage–I got three bad ones. So here are all three, which might add up to one decent shot.
Since the paint is both dark and reflective, I tried to use a hand-held LED light in a dark room to see if I could take a picture without a flash. As you can see, that notion was an epic FAIL.
Remember from last post where I said there was a surprise under the masking tape? It’s hard to see in the pictures above, but there is a tiny sliver of blue sky left over.
The fragment above (and the one below) are from a later stage of the work, of course, but I wanted to show what it looked like in the current stage, and as noted I didn’t have a good photo of that. At any rate, the idea at the time was that I would take the new paint right up to the clouds, again using masking tape for the horizon, but since the clouds were still wet–and thus susceptible for smearing under the tape–I figured I’d go as close as I could, wait til the paint dried, and then use the tape.
But the more I looked at it, the more I liked that tiny sliver of blue. Even though it meant that the clouds above no longer “made sense” (unless the blue was a sunny sea, in which case the clouds could be a huge, distant, onrushing mass, or something), I still thought it added to the work.
The blue itself was a bit sketchy, with leftover white blotches and blank canvas, but once everything dried (or came close enough) I filled in the rest. Again, the fragment below is getting slightly ahead of our story.
Then it was time to work on the land portion of our pictmission. I started using white-and-gray to rough out more rocks, growing progressively smaller as they neared the horizon.
For some reason, I kept the “center lane” there unadorned. I don’t know why. I suppose that’s why I paint. Because I don’t know why.
More details were added:
The rushed nature of the upper-right shore (right under the clouds) bothered me (I was probably drunk when I painted it). So I tried to make it look like its left-ward sibling (only a little successfully I should note).
And that is pretty much how it stands as of today. For the most part, it seems finished–there may be some tweaking of details here and there, but overall I’m quite satisfied with it as it is. It seems to have a quiet, dark, ancient power in the rocks, with a kind of forceful potential in the clouds. Or maybe not. One thing I can say it isn’t is bright and sunny, which the original blue-sky-with-clouds image was supposed to be. That original image ended up making me dark and gloomy, and as any painter can tell you, turnabout is fair play.
And that’s that. Thank you again for visiting. I hope to post more often, but then I always say that, don’t I?
Yknow, I rather like that. The center lane just being there, between the rocks. Was it cleared so someone could ride a bicycle? Was it naturally created, as the rocks to the left and right pulled apart? Was it where the contractors distributing the rocks stopped work on Friday and restarted on Monday? Who knows? If you knew of such a place somewhere, you would most certainly be tempted to take a photograph to show that very distinctive feature, and yet we know that it wasn’t really the original concept.
This reminds me of pillow lava. I wonder what would happen if I started sending you cool photos of some of my favorite geological formations? For instance this, columnar basalt: http://yhoo.it/1jTahH8 (It’s just a link to Yahoo search results for columnar basalt)