Friday, November 16, 2012

Different Ground, Different Result

The landscape in the previous post was begun with a cadmium red ground--that is fairly comfortable for me. But I'd painted this new board black, and it required in an alternate approach, varied brushwork, and a leap of faith. 

"The artist himself is often surprised at the finished work of art. He cannot tell 'how it happened', nor could he repeat the feat at someone's bidding."
-John F. Carlson 
Carlson is right, but in my case, replace "often" with "always". All I can do is write down the sequence which follows, and I hope you find it interesting.

The little house that stimulated the idea.
 Isolated houses buried within trees provoke my need to commit them to paper or canvas. It's a deeply subconscious allure shared by many artists. There's mystery held within walls, and my response to that mystery ranges from vague fear on one end of the spectrum, through curiosity, all the way to comfort and nostalgia at the other end. 

The process:
Using a watery purplish-pink, I brushed in a loose composition, simplifying the house and dispensing with the photo. In my head, I felt that I was pursuing a path similar to the sequence that led to my painting of the previous post. Very wrong I was.

(Sorry about the color in this--it's a cell phone photo.)
My main objective was to keep the painting fresh while still being experimental--I hoped to avoid repainting, over-glazing, or fussing with it.
Keeping in mind that the process is a chase, by allowing my thoughts and brush to scramble over the black surface I discovered some peculiar and exciting methods I'd not used before. 
Of course, some of the process felt familiar, but I'd be a liar if I denied the bit of fear present. I fought the trepidation by telling myself I could always paint black over any mistakes, and start again.
 House at Dusk. Acrylic on board, 8" x 10".

The end product did please me, but the best thing? It had more to do with process than product; more to do with discovery than rote method; and had an unexpected--unpredictable--result.

If I was a different sort of artist, I'd remember all of this by repeating the process again and again (the only way I'm able to retain a sequence), and nail the method. I'm remembering the feeling though, of the unexpected, and the process is calling.
Thanks for reading--I appreciate the visit!


  1. it's certainly all about the doing...came out great! :)


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