Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Abstract Painting Process in Pictures

I have been working on abstracts for the past 6 months and the process is fascinating and challenging at the same time.

Each piece goes through so many transformations that almost always I find myself working over a piece and transforming it into something entirely different that what I envisioned. 

Often one tiny mistake leads me to start the whole thing over again, one over the other over the other.

I have sometimes realized that I bury a good painting with a bad one then another *almost there* replaced by another and then another.

Documenting the steps makes me feel a bit better about it, so here it is....

I kind of miss the pieces that are created only to be buried under more paint.... 
so here it is, one of several pieces I have documented these past few weeks. 

This first photo is how it looked after one long day of working on it. I love pink and black together; I also love sap/olive green and pink- but Sergio hated the combination as much as he disliked the white splatters I made over the center, so... since I disagreed with him on both of those points, yet also was unhappy with the piece, I let it rest for the evening.

The next day, I added white all around to soften and break the space a bit.
Then more white:

At which point I encapsulated everything in one area inside the white splatters...
I liked the effects of the soft white and back and forth play of the original colors peeking through, but I was unhappy with the shape/composition
so I covered it in a glaze of burnt sienna

I liked it more now, but also wanted to add some white for balance towards the bottom.....

At this point I liked it. And it is here where it gets complicated when you second guess yourself AND you are married to a fellow painter whose critiques you respect but ..... 
so this, I liked. 
A lot.

But then I did this:

and I like that too... though at the time, I didn't realize it, so I went on...

And then the palette knife into some squarish forms...

At this point, the squares began to remind me of my "Cities at Night" Series, 
so I began to create the 
watery reflections below

And the one that follows became another piece that I liked.

I should have shown it to our son because he loved it when he saw this photo below,
but alas... I was still unsure and Sergios critiques were still the same

So I got rid of the watery effects
And regretted it right away

alas, there was nothing to do but continue
So I turned the canvas on the side and add a glop of white oil paint to it and picked up 
the palette knife again

I then decided to add more black to the central image
at which point everything changed for me
I became quite involved in the process and did not document further....
A few hours later, I had finished.

Admittedly, this is something I am very, very happy with.
The process was long, and full of surprises, a few challenges and lots of fun, a labor of love.
 I think it is a lot like life, we live, love, make mistakes, grow, stretch this way then the other, try this then that, we learn from others as well as from own revelations and ultimately, 
the process is indeed, half the fun!

The image below is not very good 
(lots of reflection as you can see)
 I will replace it with the scanned image once the piece dries.

Not only do I love my finish piece.... Sergio took one look at it and his eyes opened wide as he said:
"it's so damned good, I wish I had painted it myself"

Here is a close up of the piece:

Let me know what you think and if you would like for me to share my process with you more often!

Love & Light,

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