Friday, April 26, 2013

Painting by plastic

In a whimsical departure, I was inspired by my plastic to paint a larger canvas 15 1/2 X 20). As I worked from the plastic I tried to let my love of Milton Avery and Richard Diebenkorn (and of course Pierre Bonnard) guide me in interpreting the little cardboard sketch with sewn plastic. The cardboard pieces (in the previous post) began as a series of 'free' colour studies.   When I began painting, my colour study mind went out the window. 

The thing is, for me this was a satisfying experience. So, I know I'm not finished with this idea and I think I can see what to do next. The title of this post 'painting by plastic' alludes to painting by numbers.  Working from a little image is a bit like working from a photograph and in my mind you have to be careful not to 'paint by number', copying what is front of you without thinking about what the painting needs - a challenge.

Before I take this idea forward, I need to do some more little things and after my conversation with potter friend Caroline, I think I'm ready to let go of a few things in the mail this time!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Recycled plastic landscape collage

I haven't been sending out much mail art lately.  I need to get some work together for a little upcoming show and what's intersting me are the little things I make (thinking I'll send them out).  

This morning I decided to do a colour study using a bit of leftover plastic as a starting point. I inteded to whip these off and send them out.  I decided I would choose three colours in the plastic and mix them to make different values and hues and then sew the plastic to the surface. The background painting began as a middle value from mixing two of the dominant colours in the plastic. As I continued to paint, they seem to have been inspired by Diebenkorn and my fused plastic quilts. 

The bad news is that I have been forbidden from sending these out as well. 

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Fused Plastic Interpretation 1

One of the things about fused plastic and monotypes that I enjoy is that there are surprises sometimes, and how even though these surprises haven't been intentional, sometimes they are believable and often the result has a particular energy I long for.  

Making a completely abstract painting has always felt like something I don't do, mostly I think because I don't understand what is believable in my own non-representational work. Not sure why, because I can be moved equally by abstract and figurative work of others.

That's why I decided to interpret a fused plastic landscape today. 

Monday, April 15, 2013

Fused plastic collage

I have decided to do a series of these, to take them beyond their mail art potential. It turns out with careful handling most plastics can be fused and incorporating paper as a layer gives me even more possibilities. Yesterday I found myself asking for a bag, even though I had a cloth bag... some of the flimsy bags produce a different kind transparency.  Heavy duty bags are absolutely opaque. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

using life drawings in a large painting

This is a painting that is certainly not painting itself, but am enjoying the challenge of trying to juggle lots of ideas and experiments at the same time. Beginning with a life drawing I painted over another painting that had been painted over another painting.  If I think about it I can see traces of each. Somewhere along the way I decided the nude needed some clothing.  I will go and do a colour study and see if I can figure out what colour I need on the cloth over the chair and then I will decide about the shape of the clothing that it needs to become... I also need to find the life drawing that I filed somewhere and can't find so I can think about those feet.

Friday, April 5, 2013

When to stop?

The struggle over how much to say, the memory, in my ear, of Dorothy Eisner telling me not to model.  The way people like a particular painting that painted itself ... I took my pastels into the room with the loved painting and drew on top of a scan of where I'd got to on this painting in the hope of finding what should happen next, wondering if the loved painting would offer answers. Back in the studio I didn't look at the pastel result as I worked, but it had warmed me up, probably. Later I compared and took from the pastel what seemed to be missing. Still not sure if it's finished.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Considering the role of white and black on colour

                                             A                                                B
Both of these studies are 6"sq.  I began study 'a' feeling very rusty about colour studies.  My next task (from David Hornung's colour workshop book) was to create a 'free study' and the previous reading was about the use of white and black around colour and the impact on adjacent colour. I thought I'd see what happened with black and white and try to jog my memory around an understanding of colour relations.  I used neocolour 2 (water soluble crayons) and portfolio water soluble oil pastels first.  They are messy to work with if you are trying for precision. I didn't begin thinking 'this is the plan' I had a loose objective and perhaps choice of materials didn't really suit where I ended up going... but it gave my a chance to think about texture, something I hadn't considered before.  The task was to use each colour at least twice.  I didn't  plan value or hue constraints. I wanted to use a variety of materials.  I wanted to add some pattern. Could I have too many variables going on here? In the end I used paper scraps, Caran D'ache gouache, black permanent pen and white paper.  Whatever colour I laid down on the square, I put the same colour on another piece of white paper to cut and collage elsewhere. 

In the second study I wanted to see what would happen if I seperated the blue/greens from the red/yellows.  I was also thinking I was putting the darker value at the top.  But as I responded to the image I found I needed a rich, deep more prismatic red/orange. The lemon yellow is quite cool and I put the cobalt violet with the blue greens...  so the end result was a wider range of values, a similar range of hues and more black in 'b'.  Although much is similar I prefer the gesture in 'b'.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

warming up with a new material

Whenever I take a break from painting and drawing, (and these breaks are always about making space for something else - in this case a family holiday and experiments in plastic), I always find it difficult to begin again.  I can't remember where I left off, what I was thinking.  This time I took a look at what I'd been doing and the barrier was that I wanted a bit of time to warm up before entering into that space because I liked some of the beginnings. I have never really used oil pastels, preferring chalk, and I wondered whether using an unfamiliar material would result in something different. This 16 X 24 cm drawing is a response to one of my unfinished paintings.