My Art in the Making
STAGE 1 MAKING THE FIGURE FLY
So, this was a very vigorous painting. And in this first photo of the painting, I am trying to get down the figure flying with very active, painterly strokes. I was not concerned with color yet, but had a very good idea of what I wanted. It was painted directly over a failed painting that I allowed to interact with the new painting. My thinking was the figure needed to be bold and broad, encompassing the entire canvas. Baby steps as they say; one step at a time. What I could understand and express in paint at this moment. Not the entire painting as of yet. More energy than you can ever imagine.
When you give someone a brush after they have been painting with a painting knife for years, the brush painting turns out much differently than it would if they never had used a painting knife. In my case, the painting knife painter paints much more aggressively, spreading paint massively, swooshing it, being so attentive to the mark its movement makes. This made me more attentive to the brush marks I started making.
I wanted to explore in the painting, like a mission across space, yes going where no man has gone, exploring…not settling for just your original idea, but allowing it to evolve and develop as you paint. You may even take a new direction that takes more research or development.
A pretty famous painter asked me, “How The panting is 2-by-4-foot Masonite, ¼-inch thick, mounted on 2-by-1-inch inch tall finished lumber to provide height for the painting. The Masonite is primed with two or three coats of latex primer. I enjoy the smooth surface because it lends well to painting with a painting knife.
I paint with M Graham oil paints that are made with walnut oil, which is a lot healthier for the oil painter. I used to use turpentine, but even odorless turps smells and both have fumes. Many of my students complained about getting migraine headaches, and I found walnut oil to be did you learn to paint that way?” He was assuming I had received it as a mentor of a painter as he had learned. It was by exploring and painting. I have found painting to help me express a lot of my feelings that I cannot express verbally.
Being a painter, to me, is learning to see and develop uniquely in your own universe. My next dream or vision cements the idea, an aerial view of steep rolling hills, a photo of me flying that I would need to alter to provide more foreshortening of the arm coming at you. The paint needs to be expressive from a brush to show its flowing movement.
I cannot say this is how I have always painted, but it may be more fun and a much better solution than giving up oil paints. Some have moved toacrylics for similar reasons, but I could never give up the physically intense colors and ability to continuing to adjust colors by adding different colors to change hues and values. With acrylics you would quickly end up with mud greys, has been my experience.
You can see the ruler here to provide an idea of size of some of my hand-altered brushes from a hardware store and hand-crafted large painting knife that I like to use on larger paintings. My smaller knife is 3 inches long. Brushes I use are explorative. Knowing what I want in the painting while not having any idea how it will turn out, just a rough facsimile in my mind now. Like peeling back an onion to see what you may find inside. I know I can only carry my enthusiasm for a painting just so long, and I am aware of this so I need to accomplish a painting in no more than a month over this time I may lose my original focus for the painting.
I must produce it while the energy is flowing strong and full of my spirit. My passion and enthusiasm in my brush and knife must be fluid and alive. It is not a photo; it is a painting. I want the viewer to experience this energy. an Ivory Rigor from Rosemary & Co., a Robert Simmons Signet Brush Series 43 Egbert No. 6 and also a No. 8, which are very nice, expressive and inexpensive, which I can beat up on. I am tough on my brushes. Maybe that is why I went to metal painting knives. You cannot hurt them.
I mix my colors on black glass so I can see color easier and I clean off paint from my glass with a painting knife or a razor blade. Paper towels, sanding block, my fingers or anything else I can grab on to so I can make the right mark could be used in my painting approach.