Wednesday, January 23, 2008

CHANNELING ALEX POWERS....I WISH! January Painting Challenge #4

While I persistently work on painting #2, the Kaleidoscope one, I am forging ahead with the next painting. This is #4 in the series. I need Cruciform design, shape element and Blue Violet for the Mother Color. I was thinking I wanted to leave a lot more undefined in this one. So, I got out my Alex Powers book, which is well worn, underlined, highlighted, flagged etc. to get some ideas how I might proceed. I will post the book on my reading list but it is now out of print and very pricey. Perhaps it is available in the library. I love every thing he does in this book, but I was interested in trying the mixed media idea of charcoal, watercolor and pastel, perhaps some gesso, too. What the heck! It's like cooking without a recipe...a dash of this, a pinch of that. Anyway, after doing a bunch of thumbnail sketches to figure out the light/dark cruciform shape I drew the image with charcoal on the watercolor paper. This is the first image above. Then I started putting in the Blue Violet color and saving some of the white areas. Blue Violet is one of my favorite colors but it is such a weak pigment, it is frustrating. I was working upright so the paint was dripping but I thought that looked like an Alex Power technique. Things started to get out of hand quickly! I kept working back and forth and the second image is where things left off for the day. I really like what has happened at the bottom under the head. Wish I knew exactly what I did to get that effect! It would be nice to be able to add it to my technique list but I don't think I could do it again. Darn! I started using a cheap little sponge brush for moving the paint and lifting color, etc. This turns out to be quite a handy little tool! It's nice to have something that costs 10 cents to put beside my Kolinsky Sables.

Now I have to do some serious thinking. I have lost the cruciform composition and it's definitely not a shape painting. I have been true to the Blue Violet, at least. I can get the cruciform back and make shape a dominant element, but I am liking what is happening and will probably let the painting guide me rather than force it into an arbitrary preconceived idea. The whole idea of the challenges is to set up something to motivate us to create past the photograph. If things take off in a different direction than you planned and you like what is happening, see where it will take you.


Nava said...

Amen to that!! I fully relate to this attitude - let the painting take you by the hand and lead you wherever it wants. Sometimes it leads you to a dark alley and mugs you (I am feeling like this with my own painting right now...), but most of the times, the result is astounding.

This is looking absolutely cool!! It's like a combination between the techniques of Alex Powers and Jean Pederson, but the mix doesn't look anything like one of their paintings. It has an incredible dreamy effect, and the charcoal creates a great texture.

RHCarpenter said...

I am liking this very much and the drips and runs add to the painting, for me - funny, I am working now on Shape, Cruciform and a Blue (can't recall which one right now)!!!

Mary said...

Love this one, Myrna. I am amazed at the effects you've gotten.

Joan said...

I like your attitude toward your work. You've got some really interesting things happening in the dripping paint. I'm enjoying seeing your progress.

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