“One thing I sought, another answered me.” Dante, Paradise – Canto XXXI
Last night we attended the opening of the Colorado Springs Fine Art Center’s amazing summer exhibition, “99 Days To Be Amazed.” Includes contemporary painter Stephen Batura (Denver…how did he transport such huge panels down I-25???) and classics such as John Singer Sargent, Marc Chagall (I love, love, love..his story-telling way of painting has always inspired me), and Salvador Dali. Not a huge fan of the latter, but this exhibition, “INFERNO, PURGATORIO, PARADISO,” features delicate woodblock prints depicting chapters from Dante’s The Divine Comedy.
The above quote adjacent to one of the chapters jumped out at me, as it describes simply the way my painting process often goes.
Yesterday, after a week or more of being otherwise occupied, I spent the entire day, at last, in the studio working on “Brilliant.” Reveled in finally applying color to the underpainting.
Encaustikos Cobalt Green Light
R&F Manganese Violet, Cad Orange, Malachite Green and Encaustikos Cerulean Blue. R&F Titanium White made into a glaze with large quantities of my home-cooked medium.
R&F Titanium White
Next, I select and rub in an assortment of R&F pigment stick colors, BEFORE I fuse, so that brush stroke texture can grab the paint.
You can see Mars Yellow Light Pigment stick on top of the titanium white encaustic, and also Provence blue pigment stick on top of titanium white in foreground.
After fusing all eleven panels, I apply a thick layer of a white glaze, fuse again.
Reintroducing mid-tones, adding some darker values with R&F Green Earth.
More R&F Manganese Violet and Encaustikos Cerelean Blue
Finally, enough layers that I can begin scraping back.
Detail showing excavating the layers, carving some line work.
Ended the long studio day before I finished scraping all eleven panels. That’s okay, it’s a good practice to stop when you know what comes next, so Day 7 will begin with continuing the scraping, and shaping with glazes. The painting is a creative mess, but the complexity I’m after with layering is making me happy. The painting is in its chaotic “ugly duckling” stage, very busy and without cohesion, but these intuitive layers are critical in establishing the painting’s energy and movement.
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