Thursday, December 17, 2015

Asking Questions

Painting as personal inquiry. That's where I parked myself ten days ago.

My entry question: What will I investigate?

I grab poster paper, cut it to 8x10", tape it to a tray, apply gesso, run a comb-like gizmo through the wet gesso. Let it dry. Paint some shapes that I've had in mind for a few days, using a chromatic black concocted from Mars Black, Dioxazine Purple, and Titanium White; black because fellow artist Ann Marquis wrote a blog post about chromatic black.

Already I notice attachment: I like the gizmo lines! I like the black shapes! Time to frame it!

But, with outdoor an outdoor temp of 58˚ (on December 7th! in Massachusetts!), I sit on my front steps with ink and pastels.

Plus, I have a messy disgusting stay-wet palette again, and I still hate to throw away paint so I go back indoors and pick up a brush. Once I start messing around I don't feel so attached anymore!

The phone rings. A prospective client. We've never met before but we connect. I return to my studio with our wholehearted conversation infusing me.

My exit question: Have I completed this inquiry? Don't know. But my painting time was joy-filled; I am joy-filled.

Tomorrow, more inquiry.


  1. Love the progression Dotty. Thanks so much for sharing the link! I love Ann's work, and playing with the Golden colors is fun!

    1. Thanks, Sheila. The progression is fun to observe, both the actual strokes on the pages and the mental "strokes" I have along the way! Glad you enjoyed seeing Ann's work.

  2. Hi Dotty,
    First of all, your two Grand-daughters are very lucky girls. Imagine the nice memories (we call them "memory locks" in my family) you are creating. Also, another cool and interesting piece! I love your description of how you created it. I just checked out the article on chromatic blacks. I find I use sap green with alizarin a lot, and alizarin with a lot of colors make nice darks. Burnt sienna/umber with ultramarine, too. So fun!

    1. Hi Laurie,

      My granddaughters and I together are three lucky girls, I tell ya!

      Thanks for your comments about this piece. I appreciate your giving me the feedback that you loved the description of how I created it.

      I laughed when you reported that you use "sap green with alizarin a lot." If I didn't look at a tube of paint I couldn't tell you its name, and off the top of my head I couldn't name what colors I use a lot. No idea!

      The piece I worked on today (won't appear in blog for a few days; I'll try to give you a heads-up) was directly at your influence. I got fooling around with negative painting again—so grateful to you for introducing the concept to me through the beauty of your paintings and the gift of information via your blog.