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Experimenting on my experiments

As the pandemic continues and getting art supplies is not as simple as it used to be, I continue to experiment (using the supplies I already have). But my experiments are all over the place. I’m experimenting on my experiments.

I kept trying to achieve the loose effect I used to get with watercolor and then later with acrylic on raw canvas. So first I took a canvasboard, flooded it with water, and then dropped in some acrylic. When it dried, it WAS nice and loose … but kinda boring. So I tried to define the sky a little more, added the ground and had the white cloud overlap the tree tops. Voil√†: my fantasy landscape:

Fantasy 12×9

I didn’t want to repeat the watercolor attempt, so I just tried to blend the acrylic paints directly on the canvasboard for a new sky and then added darker colors on thickly for the ground. More like a “normal” acrylic painting. Smoothing white on top made an interesting sky and then I made the water more active to balance it out: Ghostly.

Ghostly 12×9

My third experiment was acrylic on stretched canvas. I blocked in the basic colors using fluid acrylics and then stroked in the details using a bristly house painting brush: Moonlight. So far so good.

Moonlight 12×12

Last, but not least, I gessoed over a stretched raw canvas with a disastrous painting from last year, and then tried again to block in the major color areas. After that dried, I added the brush strokes using fluid acrylic: Ghost Light II.

Ghost Light II 18×24

I don’t know how many of these — or even which ones — I’m going to love when a little time has passed. The goal is not to produce paintings I love (although that’s okay if it happens), but rather to decide what technique I like enough to continue … or come back to.

Global Expressions

The new exhibit at The Blue Door Art Center is aptly named, Global Expressions – A Celetration of Cultural Heritage. It includes 4 of my paintings based on my memories of various overseas trips and my reactions to COVID19. Here are two of the four.

Ghost Light, 18×24

When theaters are closed and dark (as in a pandemic), they keep a “ghost light” on. I suppose it’s to make it easier to find the things that have to be turned back on when they reopen.¬† Somehow the phrase “ghost light” stuck in the back of my mind after reading the NYTimes article. I didn’t want to paint a real theater with a real ghost light, but did want to convey what the words meant to me, the hope that everything would get turned back on.

Hwange Sunset, 24×30

Although my trip to southern Africa was almost a year ago, I continue to be captivated by my memories of spectacular African skies.

The Blue Door Art Center, 13 Riverdale Avenue, Yonkers, NY is open Fridays 3-6, and Saturdays 1-6. The work in this exhibit is quite remarkable and well worth the trip.