WHEN THINGS GROW AT NIGHT
I’ve have been engaged in cleaning out and organizing my studio since the beginning of the year. It was pretty messy, having not been tackled much during my super intense work at the end of the year. But it isn’t really taking that much time to take on that project; it’s just that I have a hard time sticking with a project like that when I have all the things I want to play with right there. All my art supplies and inspiration allured me as I was cleaning. I hate to admit it but every time things started to feel organized, I gave myself permission to be distracted by my art.
So much fun! It’s like sneaking under the covers & reading after bedtime. But big canvases wouldn’t fit under the covers, so I have been making a bunch of small pieces. Not really working under the covers, just caught up in my metaphor. ;0) I want to share my process on one of them.
Starting with a 10″ square cradled (framed out) board, it was time to play with all sorts of mixed media. I used three types, applying each in a band across the board.
On the bottom I used gesso, in the middle I knifed on acrylic ground for pastels using the knife a varied, choppy texture. Then on the top band, I applied plaster through stencils. I sanded them when they were dry to get rid of sharp edges
I liquified colors and floated them onto the board. I decided to start with colors along the same bands of texture I had. Adding that sunny green, I sprayed it so it would drip and integrate together.
I used my fingers to apply a golden color on the raised textures at the top. More color and drips start adding depth and dimension. It was interesting but it didn’t have enough definition for me. I decided it needed more contrast. So I added black. Wow-black! I am such a color person, with a grounding in watercolor, so I hardly ever use black, especially not in any large sections. This was pretty brave for me.
I painted around the raised elements in the top section and used black paint to begin defining the elements. I looked at it for quite a while before I went on to finish it. I needed some time realize how it should end up. Added more color in varying shades and tones, enriched the black and gave it sparkle with shiny cooper on the raised elements. Then the hard part was to give it a title (sometimes the hardest). Decided on “Night Growth.”