I really can’t remember if it was my intention to paint a figure 8, or if it’s an accident that the mind forms into a recognizable pattern. I do recall working with overlapping circles but I think I had chain links as my intended motif.
I did a number of paintings in my Long Series with a stylized paint drop, and I was trying to find a word to describe the image. Spot seems more suitable for a dog, and splash didn’t really do it for me either. Splat? Splish? Splotch? I am in want for a better word…
Many of my Long Series combine elements of collage. This image of a sword swallower is from a book about the circus.
I went into my studio to find everything had gone wrong. The gesso that I had poured on this canvas cracked, and my first thought was “oh crap!”
I thought about what had gone wrong. I’ve used this technique before but only on board, and it worked well on board. Maybe the canvas shrunk and caused the cracks?
I decided to continue working on it. I painted the gesso with acrylic, and I worked the paint down into the cracks. That didn’t fix it, which was not really a surprise.
After the paint had dried I chipped away all the loose gesso, but I left some areas that were well attached but still had cracks.
After I chipped away all the problem areas I painted another coat of acrylic paint over the gesso. What at first seemed like a complete mess might actually be working out fine. I’ve decided I like the broken surface that I now have, and that it works better as a translation of one of my Long Series paintings.
It’s been awhile since I’ve worked with oil paint, and I’m enjoying the reintroduction. I like using palette knives rather than brushes, and I use brown wrapping paper to create texture and soak up some of the paint’s oil. I enjoy the fact that I really don’t have complete control over what the paper is going to do, and it is always a surprise when I pull the paper off and see the canvas for the first time. Sometimes it’s a complete disaster, but more times than not it works.
The painting is pretty much done. When it’s dry I will make a varnish using damar resin, turpentine, and stand oil. The varnish will be thick and bring up sunken colours.