Starting a Series

Posted on October 27, 2008

For some time now I’ve been wanting to work on a series of paintings in a theme. Katherine Tyrrell’s blog entry on working in series coupled with another inspiring article I found on her squidoo lens pushed me to begin.

My plan is for a series of paintings with the theme of trees. Our current Glassell assignment is on the grid and this was my first attempt. A jumbled mess – I lost the clarity in the background because I added too many layers. I love using transparent color but losing clarity can be a real issue.

This morning I worked on another grid/branches problem where I removed the grid of tape after the first layer and put down a new grid. The paper ripped in a few places as the tape came off, but I think that might be a good thing – very bark-texture like.

Here it is with the second layer of tape still on. You can see the lighter orange lines where the first layer of tape was. I like this mesh of lines and shapes but it is very improvised. More thought and design would probably bring out some much more interesting shapes.
I also applied molding paste to my two reused canvases that I gessoed over yesterday. I’m trying, in part, to cover up texture I’ve already applied, and partly trying to give the canvas an underlying bark-like texture.

One canvas already had a sand texture over a large area and I didn’t want all of this, so I applied absorbent ground over some of the sand. I want some areas to absorb the washes of fluid acrylic and puddles of paint in other areas.
As I painted the absorbent ground over some of the molding paste I found the paste wasn’t fully dry and so it dragged. I loved the texture that made and did some more!
Finally – for the first time in over a week I had a good painting session with some purpose to it! And here is the intention I have for this series:
Theme: branches, connections, trees
Spine (a term I borrow from Twyla Tharp): the underlying grid structure of branches and roots
Size: start 3 canvases using/reusing those I already have
  1. underlying negative shapes and relationship to an overlaid grid (linear) structure.
  2. interweaving of grid layers.

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