Saturday, March 8, 2014

Stuck in the Pipe, 9"x9", acrylic painting: Process Post

Have you ever felt stuck? Had a blank page and a blank mind? Look something like this:
You're surrounded by all your favorite art supplies and gloriously lovely colors. But nothing comes to mind. There are several things I like to do to get ideas flowing. I'll show you the one I did for this painting. But first I'll show you my 'color card' which I made recently to catalog all my paint colors. I take it with me to the art store so I don't buy the same thing, but I also like to look at it to get color ideas. It's really easy to make - just put a dab of your paints on a thick paper, then write the color name and brand under the dab.
Now for today's painting. I picked a book randomly from my bookshelf, in this case it was "Travels with Charley" by Steinbeck. I found a page I liked - this one was talking about how one of his favorite authors would capitalize nouns. I scanned the page, then opened it in Gimp to crop it and reduce the threshold to make the letters less pronounced, then printed it and cut it out and glued it to my page, a 9"x9" piece of mixed media paper (thick and smooth like cardstock). I intentionally glued it sideways and a bit crooked:
Then I saw my piles of fabric nearby for the quilt I'm 'supposed' to be working on, and decided to cut off a scrap and glue it to the page (I used matte gel medium):
I decided to see what would happen if I brayered some paint (pink gouache) onto some leaves then pressed them onto the page:
The result wasn't too amazing, actually pretty sad, but there are some pretty little marks on there that add some interest. I also brayered on a bit of the pink paint to use up what was on the brayer. Generally I think trying random things is a good idea, because you might be pleased with the result, and if not you can paint it out:
Then I picked a color (any color) - in this case I started with orange. I usually end up using ALL the colors (one of my mottos is: When in doubt, use ALL the colors), so I just pick one to start with. I drew two circles and some lines to create visual interest:
Then I added some black lines and an overall pattern. I really like this particular pattern and it shows up now and then in my work, including this post where I used a Sun Tzu quote in the artwork, and this post, which is not exactly this pattern but a variation:
I started to add some color to the circles - a green to go with the green fabric, and some red here and there:
At that point I decided to fill in the background with different blues and greens and purples. I will also say that this image below is one of my favorites, more so than the finished painting. I want to practice leaving more white space, because I think that's visually pleasing to me. But then some other art behavior in me takes over and covers everything with color - EVERYTHING!
I kept adding color until I felt like it was 'done', and at this point I also decided I think the painting's 'right side up' is this one (which is upside down from how I was painting it, as you can see from the first place I put my signature, on the top left in this picture):
I covered up my first signature in black pen, added some more marks with black and silver pens, and signed it again on the bottom right.
I like how this turned out. Early on when I started to fill in the pattern with colors, I thought about painting over that rogue orange blob in the upper right, but I decided to keep it. Thinking about what to call the painting, I thought the blob looked like something stuck in a pipe, so I'm calling this Stuck in the Pipe. Which is apropos considering I started off this post asking what to do when you're stuck.

What do YOU do when you're stuck?

1 comment:

    I just experiment in my MM Art Journal or try new supplies!