Thursday, February 16, 2017

Starting with a Transparent Wash


"Meditation on Joy"
9x12", oil on canvas mounted on hardboard
The Hildt Gallery, Chicago

I thought I'd try a completely different approach with this little floral abstract painting.  Instead of setting up a floral arrangement to paint from, I thought I'd let the painting "create itself" this time.  




I started the painting with a little bit of paint and a whole lot of Gamsol (a paint solvent) to make my oil paint behave similarly to watercolor paint.  I dropped the different colors on the canvas and let them run together and spill right off the bottom.  All the while, I was observing what parts of the painting were speaking to me.  I wanted to develop the areas I liked with just enough detail without ruining the spontaneity of the abstract underneath.


Little by little, I snuck up on the painting, adding small dashes of color wherever I wanted to.  This was a pretty long, drawn out process.  After every few brush strokes, I stepped back about six feet and asked myself what I should do next.  To me, the process of abstract painting is much more intensive and tiring than painting from a reference.  In abstract painting, it's just you and the painting, without any outside guidance from reality.  


After this painting is mounted and framed, it's off to the Hildt Gallery.

5 comments:

  1. Excellent!I've seen this in watercolor but never oil. Beautiful!

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  2. 'Meditaton on Joy' - "To me, the process of abstract painting is much more intensive and tiring than painting from a reference."

    Well said - as abstract painting is like long distance running - it's just you and the wind, your breathing and the patter of your feet as you glide along.

    Whether your guide is line, form or color ... proceeding is a symbiotic relationship of you and the canvas. Kudos.

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  3. What an interesting approach and the result is wonderful. I love doing paintings just painting it for the feel of what is before me. It's true that the painting grows and becomes seemingly what ever it wants to. However I think the stepping back technique is a magnificent way to feel its intent. If I might make a suggestion on your use of a solvent, lately I use refined linseed oil and thinner 1:1 as a thinner or medium. The result is less flattening of the oil paint, rule of thump is no more than 10% solvent helps lessen the drying out and flat spots in a painting. Oiling out is a process also to revitalize oil paint dry spots (Winsor Newton site info)

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  4. I love seeing this! GREAT ART!!!!

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