Humming along and finding my own way - Exploring Colour Part Two.
It has been a while since I wrote my first post about the Explore Colour class with Este McLeod, but I have not forgotten about the part two post I had promised. The reason for the delay is that I overworked both project three and four, possibly to the point of no return. Let me explain...
I was very excited by the new techniques I was learning, because I had attempted something similar in some earlier paintings (Giraffe and Tian Tian). In both paintings, I had left parts of the initial "doodle sketch" I had learned from Linda Hendrickson showing through to the final layers of the painting. I had drifted away from this idea in the Oatlands paintings, and I have recently been interested in going back to it and taking that idea further.
Projects three and four for the class involved making an abstract color background, printing, scratching and painting to add layers of color and texture. After a few layers of this, you look at what you see before you, and find the image in what is already there. Some marks could become a flower, some printed stripes a tablecloth, a few shapes over there could become a coffee mug. Slowly and carefully, you paint away the negative spaces, while adding more printing and painting on top. It is a meditative process of both adding and taking away, and I was completely in love with it. So in love, I didn't know when to stop, put the brush down and walk away. Knowing when a painting is done is a complicated thing. I like to keep an "unfinished" element in my paintings because I feel it gives a sense of energy and movement to them, but the challenge is to know just when to stop.
Finding your own way with new techniques is a challenging and sometimes lengthy process. In order to move forward, I decided that project three and four would spend some time in my canvas storage area so I can see them more clearly and (I hope) be able to rescue them from their current overworked state. A new canvas was in order - a second shot at the projects that I thought of as my "Project Five." Lurking in the back of my canvas closet, I found a doodle start I had begun a year ago, but had not yet used. After a few additional layers of printing and painting, I stepped back to have a look. Turning it this way and that, I began to see some flowers and a bird's wing. The more I looked at that wing, the more I saw a speedy hummingbird's wing. I have always loved hummingbirds, and so I decided to go with that image.
I painted much more slowly this time - stepping back and looking many times before plowing ahead. I decided to stop at this point, because I liked the etherial quality of the flowers, and didn't want to loose that with too much detail and definition. I am always working on more than one painting at a time, and there are a few more pieces in this direction that I hope to show you very soon. Until then, Happy Painting!!