Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Painting from Within

At Monday's class I started a new project and will be learning more techniques and textures on a 48" x 48" canvas!  I put on a pair of plastic gloves and after spreading out an even coat of wax medium, and knowing I wanted this project to be more organic, I took some browns and ochres and started "painting with my paws" using my entire body. IT WAS SO MUCH FUN!! I then backed off and loving the images and marks I created I wanted to call it finished! Well, not really but it was expressive, alive and while lean I could visually see the definition of painting from within. What a way to loosen up!

I sat for a bit and looked over my textural seashell surface images and a few landscapes as well as an image of one of my old watercolors I had brought in as ideas for this project but then I looked back onto the canvas. I still have the geography of the upstate New York countryside as well as the Florida coast and The Hammock in my soul however the storyline and the connection has yet to be developed in a manner that I can communicate yet just before leaving class I decided to put these photo images to the side and let the painting lead me. I will post as I progress.

In the meantime I came home empty handed, only able to work on such a large piece at the gallery's teaching studios location, and was itching to get back to work. I played with a few small pieces I had started then put the largest canvas I had (24 x 30) on the easel and with no real idea of what to do I attempted to try to make oils work like watercolors. I began by putting the wax medium only in certain locations on the lower part of the canvas to act as a resist and then painted straight terp over the top area. I then loaded my brush with paint and attempted an oil wash and watched the paint drip down the canvas. It was lovely. After some drying and more dripping I started painting and was lost for a few hours (see above).  After more work on Monday I'm either calling it Landscapes on the Brain or A Rainy Night in Georgia but it has opened another door in to The Hammock Land storyline I'm working on so we'll see where it leads. 

Which brings me to this weeks topic. Because the larger painting really puts you out there I find myself struggling between the concepts of "painting with intention" versus "painting from within." And now I think each painting has to start with some structure and then for me, at least at this stage, I want to see where it takes me...oh, and then learn how to paint myself out of a corner!  Brush on!

P.S. Here's an interview that I LOVE about painting and finding your own way - it delves more deeply into the process and is 7 minutes long Interview with painter/professor Harry Ally also check out his great website at


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