Elegance and Simplicity

In my last post I shared with you the development of a textured surface made created from paper that would be painted using acrylic and/or oils and now I would like to provide some samples of 5 x 5 inch study paintings in which you can see the results that can achieved.

All the paintings in this post, I used acrylic paints, except for one, were I used spray paint on a portion of the canvas. Some of the canvases had a portion of there surface area painted not with a brush, but applying a technique used by etchers preparing their plates for printing, by wiping off the ink, including using either a cloth or paper towel to remove some paint, only to use it also like a rubber stamp. This allows for the paint that was removed to be transferred back in a different area and by only covering the top surface, it leaves the crevasses untouched.

We can faintly see this method of transfer of off-white paint having been used on the larger area of the canvas to finish the painting. While a more dramatic effects are aimed for in the next sample by using brush and the etching method of cleaning ones plate.

The etcher’s method is when one uses either the edge of ones palm to wipe the surface of the copper plate and remove the excess ink. By using the side palm of ones hand, paper towel or a piece of soft cloths shaped in a ball and then carefully wiping the surface of the canvas and removing the wet acrylic paint so that it only portions remains in the crevasses of the papers textures. This can be clearly seen in the image above, were multiple colors remain scattered randomly about, building numerous layers of color amidst the texture.

The following painting uses a number of different combinations. First the right portion is sealed with painters tape so that I can brush the color yellow, followed by orange that is wiped off. However next I add a little orange acrylic directly to a ball of cloth and then with the same motion of removing paint from the surface, I am now striking the raised ridges of the paper texture and leaving behind concentrated amounts of random color.

Ones this portion of the painting is completely dried—I usually wait a full day—this area is taped off to protect the surface from the other area being worked.

Now instead of using brush or cloth subtract or transfer method, I employ spray paint, containing a fine texture to emulate a particular surface of stone. It was first given a light pass before a second one to firmly cover the area evenly with paint and texture.

Study for Elegance and Simplicity

Upon the completion of this study, I fell in love with the limited color selection and how the paper’s texture reacted to it that I would have to attempt a larger size painting. Doing so would also reveal how the idea on a much smaller canvas translates to a larger medium size one.

Elegance and Simplicity, close-up

On a technical note, the upper left area was first worked, meaning that the rest of the canvas was covered to protect the area. Instead of painting the exposed section, I applied some paint to the cloth and using the etcher’s method in reverse by applying the paint. However at the same time I also wiped the section clean. 

Using this technique, permitted me to color softy the paper, while at the same time leaving ample amount of paint against the raised ridges of the papers texture. This process was repeated several times until the desired visual effect was achieved.

Elegance and Simplicity, MM/C

After a few days the section just completed was covered and work on the opposite side began. One would think it were easier since it was black, but after three coats of acrylic paint, there was enough variation to balance the two sections.

The last area to be painted was the grey. This area too required several coats of paint before evenness and the loss of paint brush tracks disappeared. Several weeks later the painted was sealed with a matt varnish.

In the end, this painting was presented to my son for his twenty-third birthday.

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and comment . . .


What is new for 2012

It seems my creativity has taken a long silent absence, in part due to the holidays, but now that they it is over with the year end celebrations, it is time to go back to work.

This is where I left off just before Thanksgiving —
Third 20 x 20 inch unpainted canvas in a new series for 2012

Every artist seeks to define themselves through style and materials employed in their work and I am no different and while the last six years has produced a major body of photographic work being Typography Graveyard, I had been experimenting with different materials for painting. The main material source being modeling paste and paper, specifically newsprint, in order to create a distressed surfaces to paint on as well as a collage painting, as with Orderly Confusion or Beauty Re-defined.

The second half of last year was mostly spent focusing on developing texture using different kinds of paper since newsprint was limited to just a flat surface, then came a major break through with the painting White on White. This painting used paper grocery bags to achieve the desired texture and recaptured the desire first discovered with Symphony #3 The Nocturnal Suite, a painting that comes to life as the room light changes.

Trying to merge the concept of a canvas changing its appearance without being as overt as with White on White, while also going in two different directions, one that emulates Typography Graveyard, as well as a distinctive new look.

This has me cutting strips of Vellum Bristle drawing paper at different widths and lengths, then soaking it into a bowl of warm water, anywhere from thirty-seconds to two minutes. Once removed, excess water is wiped, then the paper is crumpled to the desired degree of texture before carefully unfolding and laying it out to dry or depending on the desired effect, applied damp to the canvas with medium gel. Just remember, one can also use a spray bottle, applying a fine mist to re-adjust a dried piece of paper into the desired position.

When applying the paper to the canvas, it is possible to blend the edges of the paper with those next to it for a smoother, almost seamless finish as pictured below.

First 20 x 20 inch unpainted canvas in this new series for 2012

After the paper pieces dry on the canvas, one can fill any gaps with regular medium gel or, depending on the desired texture, use heavy medium gel for better transition, since it will be painted over. The image below features more distinctive lines between the pieces, including a more overall rougher appearance, creating more distinctive shadows that will alter the paintings appearance with the changing room light once it is finished and displayed properly.

Second 20 x 20 inch unpainted canvas in this new series for 2012

With another four to five paintings planned, I am searching for ways to make each canvas stand out, while remaining homogenous to the series core and since I wish to build texture on texture. I am looking at including paper with a much rougher texture, one that is also softer and more applicable than the Vellum Bristle. To the rescue, egg container cartons, made from paper pulp.

Egg cartons, flattened and whole

Torn and flatten pieces of egg container cartons with a few pieces 
 that were flattened, soaked and air dried

I also have another piece of pre-formed paper form used in packaging I plan to use, along with purchasing pulp paper from an art store. However one must not forget that when using any wet paper products, they must be allowed to dry before sealing with medium gel, so that deterioration does not occur.

As this series continues, I continue to look at different ways to include other products into the mix of creating texture. Items as modeling paste, heavy medium gel, tissue paper and Golden Artist Colors product, fiber paste. Other items one might consider is crackle paste, fine pumice gel or for a little more texture, I have a collection of additives I have gathered and filtered for size constancy that would be mixed with medium gel before applying to the canvas.

In the coming months I will share with you further results from this series, along with other smaller projects being developed and some of the pieces completed from last year. In the meantime, I wish you all the best, including a creative and productive year.

Thank you for your visit
and comment . . .