Our July/August show at Carrollwood Cultural Center is called "Celebrate America" and I really wanted to get something to show for myself. As usual I tried to make something way more complicated than what you see here, and my ideas had to be scrapped due to time limits and energy levels. I was going to make my own fabric drapery using images I've taken across America, cropped into large star shapes, and applied to fabric using the transfer and iron method. It could have been interesting, but when I thought about all that difficult perspective and folds and weird images, I realized I might have it done by Christmas! So...the edited version is what you see here and I need to have it finished and dry enough to hang by the 30th of this month. I'm about to spend the rest of today working on it, also another day tomorrow, and hopefully Sunday as well, and then I think it will be close to finished. The canvas is one of those deep gallery wraps so I don't have to worry about a frame for it.
When I overpainted the last mess with pure cobalt blue (Winsor and Newton) the wet paint looked fabulous and as it dried this is what I got. It is still slightly wet in a few spots, and so I'm back to wonderment with what is happening here. It is better than the last time, so I guess the next step is to cover it again with pure cobalt out of the tube and keep trying until it dries a solid color without the mottling. I can only say that in my 55 years of painting I've never experienced anything like this before and I am so frustrated. I'll let it dry another few days and see what happens next.
I had a nice day with my friend Marcia who wanted to work on some more monotypes with me. She has done this before, coming out from Tampa to work in my studio, since I am now unwilling to schlep all my gear into Carrollwood Cultural Center for a one day Monotype Workshop which was a killer the last few times I've done it. So it is my studio or nothing from now on. When Marcia comes it gives me a day to get some of my own monotypes created. These are two nude studies I did that day using models I get from www.posespace.com, a nifty way to get wonderful models for not much money, who don't move and are never cranky or hung over, at least that I know about! At least I know they are going to show up...a common problem with live models, many of whom are not really very professional.
Monotypes are basically a print of a painting, created on a nonabsorbent surface (I use Plexiglas or acrylic panels) with inks, or almost any kind of paint. I am not overly enthused by my efforts to make watercolor monotypes, but they are possible. Acrylics are also possible, but I don't like to use them. Normally my best monotypes are made with oil paint on wet etching paper, Rives BFK papers, although I think these two were printed on Stonehenge printmaking papers, wet. I don't have a press so they were printed with my handheld press and a spoon.
Before I moved to Florida I did many monotypes. Back then I did some very exciting experiments in monotype and was constantly inspired by the work of colleagues in the Monotype Guild of New England. How I miss those days! I love doing monotypes because it keeps me spontaneous and loose. You can't get fussy with a monotype or the paint will dry and you get spots of white where nothing prints. Paint can be dry in a matter of hours, especially in our air-conditioned work spaces in Florida.
I suspect this, along with another monotype nude I made awhile ago, (here) is the beginning of a series of nudes using various models in PoseSpace.
What is going on here? I am so puzzled...not puzzled isn't the right word at all...freaked, confused, confounded and disheartened. So...what to do next? I guess I'll just ladle on more paint and see what happens. I thought this miserable painting was done, or nearly done. Unfortunately it isn't. Oh my...this is a bad dream.
As the Sky Dries...sounds like the title of a Country and Western Song! Anyway, I checked the progress of the drying of the paint this morning and it looks pretty good. If I need to touch up the very top of the painting where that stripe was I can easily do it as it was Cobalt Blue out of the tube. I think I may have the problem solved, but it is still wet in places and dry in others, so I won't know for another few days.
The paint is still wet from my repainting the sky yesterday afternoon. I am hopeful that those streaks will go away once the paint is dry. I took out the very dark section of the sky at the top and put in cobalt instead of ultramarine dark. I did this to try to hide a very mysterious darkish stripe about 2 inches wide at the top. It was bothering me so much I couldn't finish the rest of the painting until it was resolved. I really like what I did with this, but I'm trying to get used to the difference. It isn't as dramatic as the dark sky, but I think I may have painted out that stripe, but in earlier efforts it popped up when the paint dried. I have my fingers crossed for this redo. We shall see what it looks like when the paint has dried. I can always go back and put that dark ultramarine sky at the top. I think the flowers look good against that more uniform blue. I cut the number of colors in the sky from 9 to 5.
I am a painter, working in oil, pastel, watercolor, egg tempera, and monotype. I love all art and artists. I have been doing art all my life and range around many subjects and types of art. Sometimes I have a lot to "say" and sometimes I'm just checking into shape and color. I need you because art is a two-way affair and without you, my viewer/audience, my efforts are only half done.