25 June 2009

Exploring Art Techniques

"Summer River"
12" x 9"
on Wallis paper

Breaking away, exploring, experimenting, testing the waters of the strange and unusual -- sounds more like science fiction than art!

Last weekend I dedicated 2 whole days (almost) to working on some methods I had been thinking of for some time now. I wanted to combine the lush sensibilities of working on paper but with more "umph," shall we say?

I used some Japanese nujabi watercolor paper at about 185 lbs. and also had some Wallis archival sanded paper (200 lbs. also), which is meant for pastel work. Because of their heft and toughness, I felt I could truly abuse the surfaces more than usual.

"Summer River" is an example of working with acrylics, lots (!) of water and sprayed rubbing alcohol (just a bit), and continual layers of paint worked into the surface while still wet and dripping.

The acrylics seemed to love this sanded surface, although the brushes took a beating -- I learned that quickly and switched to old, stubby things just laying around.

This next painting -- "Grey Wetlands" -- was worked on nujabi paper, a handmade Japanese watercolor paper with beautiful deckled edges on all 4 sides. This I worked more thickly with less water and more opaque colors, but also using the spray method to obtain a less rigid appearance.
"Grey Wetlands"
16 x 12
acrylic on nujabi watercolor paper

On both these and other works (see my gallery "Coastlines & Waterscapes"), my vision was to achieve that hazy appearance one finds at the beach in summer when the heat drops a veil over the atmosphere and a lovely drowsiness descends, letting us drift into a state of reverie so difficult to find in the everyday world.

Did it work . . . ? I like to think so!

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