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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Expect the unexpected!

What fun to be an artist, especially if you tend towards the experimental as I do!  Today I started a 36 x 48 x 1.25 image of a live oak that lives on our little piece of planet earth here in the hill country of Central Texas. I had caught the evening light playing on the tree in early spring when the light appears a sort of orange color, at least to my eye.
After numerous thumbnails, I settled on a composition and began the initial sketch in on canvas with a pastel pencil.  This part of my process is pure fun, as I allow only one long contour line which I manipulate with a damp cloth.  My next step would normally be to apply watered down black gesso, wet into wet, splattering and splashing as I go...a value sketch of sorts.
Today I decided to put a couple of drops of Golden Acrylic Flow Release into the mix.  WOW!  For future reference, one drop'll do ya!
Eventually I thought the better of my experiment and decided to upend the canvas so that the pigment could run off of one corner. With a canvas this size, this is no neat task.  I had a large puddle of pigment on my table and eventually dripping onto the floor before I was done. Still not in love with the resulting surface, I wiped the rest off with a damp cloth.  To my surprise, the lift brought up some of the blue gesso also, but left the texture I had applied into the gesso. 
OK.  Tomorrow I will go back into the painting with my traditional method, but I learned something useful.  Now I have to keep going to see how this all works, or if any of you can explain it to me, please comment.
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  1. Cool! I can't wait to see what you do next!

  2. Thanks Sally! I'm not exactly sure what application is best...I think I will move to fallback due to an impending deadline, and then experiment with the experiment.