Opaque Media

“Stud Bucket”
mixed media 22 x 15 inches

“Spidermen”
mixed media 15 x 22 inches

In my search to simplify and still entertain the viewer with excitement in my paintings of Linemen, I have begun an approach using orange (or other color) stained watercolor paper as a beginning.

The paper is stained with a weak solution of acrylic paint and water. Once completely dry the paper can be painted over easily with watercolor . . . . .yes! It can! Because the acrylic soaks into the paper, the paper still accepts the transparent watercolor paint. This will make for some interesting surprises in the resultant color, that is for sure!
Then, by adding gouache to the process in certain places, the orange stain is covered completely because the medium is opaque. Using a random brush stroke strategy and letting the brush run out of pigment before recharging allows some of the orange to peek through. This has the effect of unifying the painting by having variants of that orange being the basis of all colors and values throughout the entire piece. Additionally, the surface has an exciting vibrating effect which is stimulating to the viewer.
In “Spidermen”, above, I used tempera instead of gouache. I was most deliberate to also be conscious of edges and line in that piece in order for line to be an interesting element in the painting. The white helmets are pure tempera over the orange paper. The helmets are much easier on the eye in person. (The photograph seems to emphasize the impasto effect here.)
Obviously, I am still playing with simplified shapes and flattening the picture space. I have a long way to go to get what I am after, but the chase is absolute funn!! After all, it is only paper I am wasting.
Oh! You think I am wasting time too? Nope! I would have gotten older whether or not I was painting. Not a waste at all! I am LEARNING !!!

Plein Air Vertigo

“Red Carpeting”
oil on canvas panel 12 x 16 inches

No Kidding! That cliff edge is over 150 feet straight down . . . .and a few bumps along the way!
Standing at the edge and painting really required me to concentrate because the vertigo was always nagging at me.
This location you might have seen before in other paintings and posts. But I must admit that I keep going back there for more. Yes, the vegetation is definetely that color . . . .ice plant . . . a succulent which carpets the area and displays these vivid colors. What a joy to paint . . . .even if I was a little bit dizzy!

On Glazing and Mist

“Elkhorn Neighbors”

oil on stretched canvas, 16 x 20 inches

This painting is a breakthrough to new territory for me: the use of glazinng and also painting a convincing illusion of haze or atmospheric mist.
To date, most all the oils have been painted ala prima . . . .or directly. The great thing about painting watercolor effectively is that one must learn to mix value, as well as color. That skill has transferred nicely to the oil world and has helped in the setting up of atmospheric perspective. In this painting, however, so much was necessary to establish a sense of space and forms disappearing up the background hill that repeated adjustments of value and color (cooler tones) had to be progressively overlaid on dried coats of paint.
I am finding another world in oil painting . . . .one full of variables and methods, not to mention substances and mediums. It is a maze, indeed. And while I am foolin’ round with this stuff, I am still plugging away at my watercolors . . . . . because . . . . .well, (ahem) it’s “Home” to me.