April 2021. Acrylic on canvas. 14 x 11 in.
This actually did start out as black and white, but it certainly didn’t stay that way! It’s one of four pieces I began months ago. only finally finishing in the last couple weeks. They all started with black improvisations brushed on a plain white ground, although two of them had been textured first with Golden Light Molding Paste, including this one.
I liked the black drawing, but I really disliked the cold white over the texturing. It did not inspire me. So, after a few weeks of staring at it, I stained it with quinacridone red to a pale rose.
I really hated the rose. I mean, really hated it. Like gnashing my teeth when I’d look at it. So, once again, it sat around for weeks but this time with me not staring at it. Just avoiding it.
Finally I’d had enough. I chose my palette (the original quinacridone red, cadmium yellow light, and cerulean blue) and sailed in with abandon, starting with the orange and progressing to the green. I’d always known I was going to have that blue stripe, and opposite was going to be a white stripe, but I didn’t like that after all and covered it with the yellow. Came together pretty fast, once I finally got to it.
This is a different way of handling the paint than I’ve used heretofore. It helps to feel one has nothing to lose. It specifically helped to have the textured and tinted surface that I just wanted to mess up; I am so easily enslaved by the beauty of a pure white surface, I get too careful. This painting turned out to have no visible white in it at all – quite unusual for me. I’m really glad I got over it, because I quite like the texture in it. It truly adds a third dimension.
Anyway, in the end it felt good and I like how it turned out. Different for me, at least in a paint medium (as opposed to pastels). It’s got a hint of a Matissean feel to it, in terms of the saturated color, loose drawing, and joyous mood. I like that direction. Glad I stuck it out.