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 . . .



Ian Foster said...

This is very interesting Egmont, I look forward to seeing the end results.
I feel that I have become almost obsessed with texture, I am constantly on the look out for new materials that I can use in my work.

Four Seasons in a Life said...

Greetings Ian,

Thank you for stopping by and having a look at my latest work.

One can say that I too am obsessed with textures in all my work, however in multi-medium paintings the base theme needs to be paper in order to tie all canvases into a single style.

Warmest regards,

linda said...

how interesting, dear egmont....why must canvas be the base i am wondering?

what you are developing makes my mouth water....a good thing in my synesthetic world...i may try it but i love crackle paste tho this weather is not the best for a good crack. i usually do it three to five times to get it right. have you tried?

i love how you are using these strips and then the egg crates? perfection. can't wait to see you progress with this and hope you share more often. please please!! X

Four Seasons in a Life said...

Dear Linda,

We are both restless this evening as the long awaited rain comes pouring down, then suddenly stop, only to continue after a brief respite.

As for your question, I have purchased a fair quantity of canvases as it is my preferred surface. I should point out that putting down a couple of layers of paper sheets upon which to build ones texture, strengthens the canvas.

Wishing you all the best,

Kim Hambric said...

Thanks for sharing your technique. These canvases are so beautiful already. The more texture the better! I am looking forward to seeing these progress.

JJ said...

Just happy to see you back!

Seth said...

So good to see you and see that you are working Egmont. As a lover of texture, I am fascinated with what you are creating here. Egg cartons???? Who knew!

Caterina Giglio said...

My Dear Egmont,
Lovely to see you working again and with such delicious textures, enjoy and I will be looking forward to see what you do with this...

Four Seasons in a Life said...

Thank you Kim and JJ,

I love texture and I will continue over the next months to explore a variety of textures and share my findings with you.

Wishing you all the best,

Four Seasons in a Life said...

Dear Seth,

I still have to work with the egg cartons I pictured on canvas, but that will be next. Most of the first half of this year I will be exploring more a variety of paper as a technique to build texture for a painting.

Wishing you all the best,

Four Seasons in a Life said...

Dear Caterina,

Thank you for stopping by. With my next post i plan to share a few of the smaller canvases that have paper texture and were painted.

One I really liked and decided to make it larger and in the end, my son decided he liked it and so now it belongs to him and it hangs in his room.

Wishing you all the best,