Thursday, February 9, 2017

Winter Brings New Directions!

"Rae Glacier Abstraction ii", 30x40" acrylic on gallery canvas

I just love the winter time when it is too cold or miserable to venture outside to paint, as that gives me prolonged studio time to explore ideas away from the actual scene I am trying to interpret.

This is a much larger version of an original 11x14" acrylic and collage painting I did in 2007 during a Gerald Brommer workshop on Line And Shape (see image below). Wow, that was 10 years ago almost to the date!! I always say, and seldom do myself, that it is a great idea to revisit old ideas and to see how far your art has advanced in the interim. At the time I did several quick pencil sketches of PARTS of a photo I took of a hike we were on, and explored each of them in abstraction, choosing to focus on only parts of the scene in each one. I have been interested in adding line as a major element in my work for years, while continuing my interest in shape as a dominant element, which is why I just loved Brommer's workshop! By the way he is an incredible teacher of PAINTING IDEAS, and I highly recommend advanced artists to take a workshop or two with him. He is in his 80's now, so do it quickly if you can :).

In this current attempt, I wanted to focus on texture as well as abstract shape, so I kept the colour more muted. I also kept the element of line as a less dominant element, although it is still present. If you blare all the elements of design the result is a train wreck!
Firstly I drew the large shapes from the original painting onto the canvas with a large sharpie marker, gridding them up so that I maintained the composition. Then I spent some time texturing the large canvas using soft gel, self leveling gel, clear tar gel and gesso, and pressing different textures into the wet mediums and scraping with palette knives, sponges and brushes.
While that was still wet, I flowed on india ink and acrylic inks and let them do their thing.
When all that had dried, I played with the shapes I had drawn, trying to incorporate the random colour and texture that had happened, while still keeping to the spirit of the original.
I found it very useful to have this compositional 'playground' to play within, knowing that if I followed that, I would have a strong painting. Please click on the top image to see it larger and in more detail.

Original "Rae Glacier Abstraction", 11x14" ink, acrylic and collage. Tertiary triadic colour scheme (BV, YO, YG).

For interest sake, and because I hope that my posts will be educational, fun and inspirational for you, I will post the other paintings I did in this series at the time. They are all done on 1/4 sheets of watercolour paper using sharpie markers, india ink, watercolour and acrylic. Obviously the colour schemes are made up -the bottom 4 are all based on analogous colour schemes (another thing I was exploring at the time!) All are sold, so I am REALLY glad I had taken good photos of them :)

This is the first one in the series. Just watercolour and ink.
I think this was the second one. This one has random collage papers placed on a line drawing and then acrylic and watercolour was added, and more line. Some of the lines became trees and rocks. I was going for a V composition which framed everything else.

This is the third one, getting even looser. Here you can see the edges of the random collage papers, some of which were incorporated as objects and some just left to just be.

This was the last one. I wanted to keep the strong abstraction in the cruciform design, yet see how true I could get to representing what was actually in the photo -well, sort of! This was a  really valuable lesson for me!
 Enjoy and please feel free to SHARE!!

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Alice Saltiel-Marshall said...

These are wonderful paintings. You've nailed the concept - even 10 years ago.
I enjoy that you explain the process - imagine using all those mediums and dropping in inks while they are still wet? Clever!

Sharon Lynn Williams said...

Thanks Alice -glad you enjoyed it! I was inspired by a recent FCA program with Melanie Morstad

Mary Sheehan Winn said...

while updating my blog links I came across these awesome paintings!!
Glad to see you still at it.