The Goal

Posted on May 5, 2008

The other day I was trying something out on a small scale ready to use in a painting and I came up with an idea to work on over the summer. I call it the ‘Crack of Dawn Experiments’. Why? Well, the only reliable time of day I can find to paint is to get up before everyone else and get out to the studio at the crack of dawn, 5:45am to be precise. Then I can get an hour of work in before I have to get my son up and fed before the school bus.

So, I was looking at these lists of scribbled ideas of techniques and material combinations I want to try out and I decided to collect them and work on them over the next three to four months before my next class resumes. I’ll need something to get me out of bed every day when there is no school bus to get our day moving.
The goal is to develop a set of acrylic techniques and a language of mark-making that is MINE, all mine. But also to have fun and explore all those little alleys I glimpsed as I went down the thoroughfare that was my painting class this year.
I also intend that some of these ‘experiments’ (yes, I have a scientific background) will become initial sketches for full-fledged paintings and that I will have at least ten completed works by September, as well as a folder and sketchbook full of the results.
The experiments seem to fall into some broad groups:
  • ways of applying paint, or mark-making
  • supports
  • paint: viscosity, mediums, additives, metallic and interference paints
  • compostion
  • mixing media

I’m not going to buy many new materials for this, although I will need some new supports, and I’m not going to force myself to work through them in any kind of an order. There are 53 ideas on my list, some of which are very precise – “paint with sponge rollers” – and some which are very vague – “pastels and matte medium” – so I may take one studio visit to try out some and many visits to try out others.

Of course, before I can start all this I need to finish my course, finish the 13 or so paintings for the school exhibition and tidy my studio. Not much to do then…

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