Before my semester of Modern and Contemporary Art History class came to an end at Diablo Valley College, Professor Michael Lawrence, our instructor had ask me a month earlier if I wanted to give a presentation regarding my art. I felt this would be a good first run considering a few months later I am scheduled to give a presentation to the members and guests of the East Bay Artists Guild.
Deciding to focus on photography, specifically my abstract images and how I go about seeking my subject matter.
Back home I combed through some twenty-five thousand images, when I came across one taken at an industrial site that had shut down and at that time the building underwent an environmental cleanup.
Having entered through the back entrance unseen, I had managed to set up my tripod, capture a dozen or so images inside before being discovered and having to leave the premises. Now four years later, one of these images from the Flint Ink plant I selected for the lecture captured my imagination; especially since just a week earlier I coined the term Abstract Realism in regards to my work.
Impulse got the better of me and during the preparations for the class presentation I just had to start the painting by giving it first several applications of gesso, this was followed with three layers of silver foil and a coat of sealer.
Several weeks would pass before any progress on the painting would continue as I had to work out numerous technical challenges, especially as I was entering new unexplored territories as to the materials I had not used previously, especially when one considers my goal was to recreate a photograph onto a 36 x 48 inch (91.44 x 121.92 cm) canvas.
Though I had previously used found objects or textured materials in a painting, I was now embarking on using commercially produced acrylic texture materials to visually establish the richness that took years to build up through accident or on purpose.
After lengthy contemplation the decisive moment arrived or the painting would remain unfinished and so the first layers of texture was applied to the canvas. Since then the painting has progressed through numerous changes but remains still unfinished, requiring a final coat or two of a glaze using oil paint mixed with Liquin to give the illusion of a light source striking the industrial wall.
Each step undertaken was a calculated experiment, though still a risk and any wrong move would alter the painting into something other than intended and at worst ruin what each step has achieved.
Fear is an element we all face in varying degrees and in the creation of art it can be very destructive, keeping us from not only achieving our potential but also from producing a work of significant importance in the growth as artist. Yet fear can also be a positive thing, by keeping any over confidence in check, since too much self-confidence can be just as destructive as fear.
With the painting a little more than half completed I tried out the shipping label, loosely nudging it between canvas and the piece of wood in order to see how it looked.
When I originally discovered the label I just fell in love with its imperfect quality and since the painting needed some bright snappy colour and a focal point to draw attention to the hand written notes still to be added.
This painting has taken six weeks to get to were it is at now and it might take another fourteen days before this canvas can be considered a finished painting.
To be continued . . .