Painting with plastics...

I've mentioned how my studio is too airtight to paint with oils in the winter. Especially when the temps outside are hovering around zero most of the time. This winter I've been playing with watercolor, gouache and acrylic. Here is a work in progress using acrylic on a panel. 

Dead low tide

Dead low tide

I haven't done an acrylic this big in years. Todays acrylics seem different. More like gouache in its flatness. My studio is so dry that I've had to spray the palette with water every 10 or 15 minutes. I'm happy-ish with it. About 70% done. It's a study in grays.

A real departure in composition style. More lyrical than boxy. Now I have to loose some edges. I only have 3 or 4 days that I can get at it before I trade in my knee.


Here is the finish as it is. I took a real different approach to the composition on this. The curves and arcs are the structure of the image. The arcs of the land and water mimic the arcs of the gunnels of the front boat. This was all carefully constructed as a photo comp over the past year. Though it's a  representational or impressionistic reality it's certainly more of an illusion creating the real look. The colors are all grays created by mixing complimentary colors.

Overall as an project I think it's successful. I like it. Is it beautiful art. I don't know. Style wise it's similar to the acrylics that I did early in my career because of the medium. I do prefer Oil or watercolor.

The painting itself took about 10 to 12 hours. That on top of panel preparation, and building the image which actually stared several years ago. I do like that when you look at this from a distance it looks realistic. Up close its a mess.


Finish 3.9.2014

A little explanation of the composition

Arcs an diagonals

Arcs an diagonals

I mentioned that this composition is different for me. Usually my compositions are based on rectangular relationships within the defined rectangle. This painting is based on arcs and diagonals. The picture rectangle was defined by the interlocking of the arced shapes.

26.5 x 22

26.5 x 22

This happened unintentionally during the process of cutting and pasting for the photo comp in photoshop. I used a couple of versions of the same shot. Moved boats around. Left out outboard motors. Forced some tonalities. Ending up with an image in the 26.5 by 22 scale.

The arc shapes are all base on arc A defined by the foreground boat's shape. It's an abstract where nature and objects blend. Add the strength of the diagonals and the fact that the objects are boats... how can I go wrong. Most of the time in the process I looked only at the subject matter. The lyrical base composition  was difficult for me. I let it sit for a long time. I had distractions. I made a panel for it and let it sit some more. More distractions. frustrated by distractions I started painting. I used Acrylic for several reasons. Because I was unsure of how to handle the surface. Real or more representational? Acrylics can easily go either way. As I painted i realized the abstract nature of the painting. 

It turned out to be a good painting. Not because of realistic detail but the inference of detail. Not real strong colors all grays. A lot of motion based on the above abstract but not so much that the eye escapes the frame. The main arc shapes support the natural arcs of the objects and nature. 

Okay. This is the result of an unconscious process. Not an unknowing process. Because of many years of being a visual wrist in a lot of disciplines I have internalized many mechanisms. Developed an eye. I finally becoming happy with my eye. 

In a later discussion I muse on the visual eye. How some people have to nurture it and others gifted with it.