Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Cara's Painting, Bringing in the New Year!

Cara's Painting (a temporary title)
December 31, 2010
3' x 4'
Acrylic on Canvas

   What a way to bring in the New Year! A glass of Bailey's on ice in one hand and paint brushes in the other! After getting together the show that went up in November, teaching classes, and Christmas I really needed to have myself a good painting session. In all the hub-bub of the holidays, in the season of giving, I sometimes give up a little too much of myself. My attention, my time, my thoughts. I get a little wrapped up in it. Finishing this painting helped me to centre myself. Become grounded again. Reminded me of who I am and what I am about.
   I started this painting a long time ago. It is a commissioned piece. I had many reference photos to choose from along with several ideas and compositions. This created a huge problem. I hate when I am a little too creative and I become a detriment to my work or goal. There were just so many possibilities with this piece. It could have gone anywhere and turned into so many things. I am very satisfied with how it turned out.
   I started it mid summer. It was going to be orientated the other way with the width being 4ft. The canvas is covered in layers of paint, shadows of several different compositions which turned into a pleasant layering effect. It started out in black and white, then adding color. The black border was there from the beginning. Then I took away color and changed the orientation. Then at the beginning of December it really started to come along. The composition was there. I had a solid feeling about it. The height, size, and orientation helps give strength to the composition. This painting has become about strength and attraction. The pushing and pulling of the spaces in between. The couple in the portrait are of course in love. There is space between them but in that space there is this attractive force that connects them even though they are not touching. They are both hard working individuals that work with their hands as their tools. While painting their hands I really lost myself.
   The painting had an extremely crappy start. It was a horrid painting that had no where to go but up (or slash it with a knife into tiny bits, but even that would have been interesting). Normally, for those who are following may know, I work with oil paint and paint quite quickly. This one is in acrylic.The whole thing remained in acrylic paint, even the heart is glossy with acrylic gel. I was intending to do an under painting, figure out the composition, and then paint with oils over top. The monochromatic scheme of it started to make it so dramatic I started to think that maybe I would just glaze over it with oil and experiment a bit (which, in the end, I decided against).  It was such crap when I started that I treated the whole thing as an experiment, which as a really freeing experience. I was completely open to ruining the whole thing and having to start over on a new canvas. I worked through it and gained so much knowledge through the process. It was difficult yet well worth it. Much like life.


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