Friday, June 22, 2012


NFS - 24x20x1.5", acrylic and mixed media on canvas

I'm really enjoying using the cardboard. It gives wonderful texture, especially when glued down and then ripped off. Also, sometimes it has a stowaway, such as white paper on the reverse, or tape that's left flapping (which appears in this piece). Mind you, I'm a little cautious of being trite. There are textural effects that are used too commonly, and cardboard might be one. We'll see. Speaking of effects, I do like the one you can see on the right of putting tape down, adding paint, letting it dry, then pulling it up. I don't think I've done that since college.

Compositionally, this was a bit of a conundrum. You can see it if you use your hand to hide the block in the lower right corner. The painting then becomes more amorphous, consisting mostly of dripping colors. The block gives it structure. But after I put it in, it still seemed too obstructive and obdurate. Eventually I added the circles, and that helped. The fact that they're not in a straight line, and, in fact, that they mimic the curve of the cardboard across the top, adds a bit of swirl to the picture.

My husband says his eyes keep returning to the spot of red at the bottom, left of center. I actually like leaving a bit of raw canvas. It seems more honest.

And, FYI, if you're wondering where the name comes from, it's a bit of text in the upper right quadrant (see the picture, below; you might need to click it). I like the name because names are hard. They can limit a picture by telling you what I meant you to see, which forces you to interpret it a certain way. This was just handed to me and leaves it wide open. I hope.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


6x6", oil on canvas board 

So, mostly I do large abstracts and small still lifes. Don't know why. It's what feels right and that's how I've chosen to paint: Doing what feels right. 

But recently I decided to try more small abstracts. I figure I'll still get the benefit of the small still lifes: You do more paintings, and thus get more lessons, in a smaller period of time; and you're not risking much in materials or personal judgment because there's not much investment. But, strangely, I also like them for a couple of other funny reasons: I get to hold the board with one hand and move it around and turn it, and the brush or knife with the other, and they interact like you were putting frosting on a cupcake. It's very satisfying. Also, I use up paint on my palette. I even find that mildly dried-up paint can give good texture.

And this is one such, with wonderful areas of texture: paint, scraping, dragging.

Finally, another thing I like about the small paintings is that I can go overboard on the color. A big painting full of hot colors can be overwhelming. But a 6x6" balances the color with the size. I'm imagining this one at, say, 48x48" and it could take over a room. Of course, maybe that's good...

Monday, June 4, 2012


24x30x1.5", acrylic and mixed media on canvas

So, while I've been working on the small skill-builders, I've also been doing some work on my larger textured abstracts. I don't really know how the two styles relate to each other. I figure that I should do what I feel inclined to do, and that varies. This one has sand or stucco patch, cardboard, and some lines created by putting white glue on the cardboard and using it sort of like a stamp. I think I also used some marble dust to give it that matte look. 

I set this up to be extra large because the texture really is a huge component, and it's harder to see in a photo. Below is a detail from the upper right corner that shows all of the elements. You can click it to see it even bigger.

To be honest, this one sat there in a near-finished state, quite patient, really, until I decided it was time to finish it up. It was fun.