24 x 18 x 0.75", acrylic and mixed media on stretched canvas
In my last post, I mentioned that I came out of teaching my workshop with two paintings that I liked, which was a bonus. This is the second one. When the earlier painting looked finished at Step 2 (I usually paint in three steps; see the last post), I needed another Step 2 painting that I could use in a demo and develop to Step 3. So I went home and created a tremendous mess. This one has some dry wall tape, in addition to the regular texture material (stucco patch, flexible patching compound). Then I took it to the second day of the workshop.
When it came time to discuss developing a painting, we used this as material for sharing ideas. So we kind of painted this as a committee. My purpose was to demonstrate simplifying a painting (in other words, you shoulda seen this before I simplified it). The students sat where they could see my easel, and we discussed different features of the painting and directions we could go in developing it. For instance, just right of center and a little up is a wonderful wrinkly section that we agreed looked like a dragon's head. I could have punched up the detail in it and made it a focal point. But it fought with the orange circle at the center of the spiral, left of center, so I attenuated it.
The whole experience was wonderfully fun: throwing ideas around, demonstrating what you can do with texture when you're putting a second layer of paint on it, figuring out what delicious little bits to sacrifice to the whole. I got to see how much the students really did know. I think I'll keep this exercise it as a feature of future workshops. I was initially kind of terrified of having to take a painting to completion. After all, I can't guarantee that any given painting will come out well. But if we all do it together then the learning happens whether or not the final result is ideal.