Tuesday

A leap of faith



Since I finished the painting “White on White”—my last post—more than a month ago, I felt I had only scratched the surface when it came to interpreting Typography Graveyard, a collection of photographs taken over a period of more than five years of the Berkeley telephone poles and the remains of fliers and posters.



Unfinished and in progress, stage 3
8 x 8” inch (20.32 x 20.32 cm) Shopping bags for a base, treated and
sculpted Bristol paper on canvas


So after taking a leap of faith these last weeks, I have set out upon a journey with the idea of creating a collection of paintings that would take my visual interpretation from a photograph to another level and with no less than thirty-five canvases. A huge undertaking even if these canvases are only 5 x 5” inches (12.7 x 12.7 cm), with an additional undisclosed number that are 8 x 8” inch (20.32 x 20.32 cm).



Unfinished and in progress, stage 3
5 x 5” inch (12.7 x 12.7 cm) treated and sculpted Bristol paper on canvas then covered with gesso,
 further adjustments made after adding new pieces of treated Bristol paper



Unfinished and in progress, stage 3
5 x 5” inch (12.7 x 12.7 cm) treated and sculpted Bristol paper on canvas


This undertaking of mine is now in its third week and during this time many technical discovers have been made as I experiment with different kinds of archival art papers, including vintage book pages, something I thought I would never do, since I love books too much to actually be cutting one up. Once the first cut was made, the next several were easier and now I not only have vintage book pages, but also plenty of interesting binding material and fibers for use in another project, with a few ideas already percolating in the back of my mind.



Unfinished and in progress, stage 1
5 x 5” inch (12.7 x 12.7 cm) treated Bristol paper on canvas


With each new canvas that is started I take another leap of faith in how I use the materials so that there are plenty of differences and yet enough similarities from one canvas to the next, including going back to those I first considered finished and ready for their last two stages, making further adjustments. 


With the first twelve canvases ready for their last two stages, I have opted to first build the foundation to which all layers are added, this way I can maintain control over quality and the look of the series, which otherwise could be jeopardized. This most likely will take two weeks with an additional three to six weeks for building the layers that will represent the Typography Graveyard, with an equal amount for painting the layers in acrylic and then finishing the painting in oil.



Unfinished and in progress, stage 1
5 x 5” inch (12.7 x 12.7 cm) treated charcoal paper on canvas


This will be only the second time in which I have set out to do a series, the other time was in 2000 and took eighteen months, over seven hundred sketches to complete 8 (?) 36 x 36” inch paintings based on Russian Reconstructivism and German Bauhaus.



Unfinished and in progress, stage 1
5 x 5” inch (12.7 x 12.7 cm) various art papers and vintage book text on canvas



Unfinished and in progress, stage 1
5 x 5” inch (12.7 x 12.7 cm) various art papers and vintage book text on canvas


So please join me over the next couple of months as I will sharing more photographs documenting the progress of these small paintings from the layering stages throughout the painting phase.





Thank you for your visit
and comment . . .
Egmont

15 comments:

Kim Hambric said...

Exciting to watch -- glad you are going to share the process with us.

William Cook said...

I'm tracking this too. Thanks for posting the progress.

I've been reading in your archives, great posts. Found that list describing your emotional and intellectual connection to the distressed surfaces very interesting and thoughtful. I have similar lists. You may have just given me permission to post them.

Also the grounding/priming stage of canvas prep as a spiritual bonding process is noteworthy. I thought I was the only one. This process is quite intimate, and people generally don't know about it. Very Cool of you to mention it.

Just found the directory. What a great resource. Thanks again for stopping by my blog and for your wonderful comments.

Anna Mavromatis said...

Best of luck with this new project!
I am glad to see how happily involved you are...

Four Seasons in a Life said...

Greetings Kim,

Thank you for stopping by.
I know I have left out how the paper was treated and prepared, but all this will be revealed.

Warmest regards,
Egmont

Four Seasons in a Life said...

Greetings Williams,

Thank you for your visit and comment.

The list I created was an intellectual exercise as well as 'word play' and see how may different ways I could discover to describe one thing. Please do publish yours as I and others would love to read it.

Thank you for discovering the personal fundamental requirement in my creative process, the spiritual bonding process, for it takes sometimes many months and even years to take an idea and then proceed to the next step.

Thank you for discovering The DIRECTORY, which I plan to add a lot more over the summer.

Warmest regards,
Egmont

Four Seasons in a Life said...

My dear friend Anna,

So good to see you visiting and wishing me well. It has been far too long since I have embarked on a major project and even though the process is slow, I look forward each day to the few hours I can spend in it.

Warmest regards,
Egmont

Sophie Munns said...

Great to see your progress in the studio Egmont!
thanks for the lovely message... books and a bit of light humor...helped start the week!

it late...Im off... good working...
Sophie

Four Seasons in a Life said...

Greetings Sophie,

thank you for dropping in for a visit.

You always bring a smile to my face, especially with your last post, it was certainly a good way to start the week.

Since it is raining outside and I cannot get any gardening done, I am going to head to the kitchen and set up to continue preparing the many other canvases in still need of a foundation.

Warmest regards,
Egmont

Ian Foster said...

This all looks very exciting Egmont, I very much look forward to seeing them develop over the next few months

Four Seasons in a Life said...

Greetings my dear friend Ian,

Thank you for joining the discussion and know that I am already in the process this morning to photograph each step with a couple of canvases.

I am excited about the project though I will admit a bit scared, but then nothing ventured is nothing gained.

Warmest regards,
Egmont

Hannah said...

Egmont--Thank you for your thoughtful post. I admire your ability to break down the process so that you are able to share it with us. I rush ahead, plunging headlong into process and later wish that I had slowed down a bit so that I could write about it.

I particularly like your comment about books--that you like them too much to cut them up. Lately, I've been feeling that using book pages in artwork is a way of doing them honor--that their existence is in danger and that we need to point that out by including them in our work if so moved to so do.

Kelly Marszycki said...

Egmont -- intriguing posting! love exploring these surfaces you are creating and the white (so many different whites, too!) seems to make it all the more mysterious, like terrains that must be navigated. Yes, cutting into vintage books can be amazing in the delicious debris that one finds inside. Will watch your progress on this project!

Luzia said...

Das sieht schon sehr vielversprechend aus. Ich bin gespannt, wie die Serie am Ende aussehen wird. Herzliche Grüße von Luzia.

Four Seasons in a Life said...

Greetings dear Kelly,

Please forgive me for not having acknowledge your comment earlier.

Thank you for dropping in and having a closer look at the preliminary work of these canvases. What you have been looking at is the unpainted foundation upon which I will continue to build my interpretation of these telephone poles. I just hope to be pulling it off-only time will tell.

After having carved up my first book, it became a little easier after that but I still treasure beautiful oder books and they will not see a razor blade.

Warmest regards,
Egmont

Four Seasons in a Life said...

Dear Luzia,

Vielen dank for your visit and comment and having a closer look at my latest project.

I too will be surprised to see how this series develops over time and turn out in the end.

Warmest regards,
Egmont