Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Plans for a Cover-Up Operation

So I'm thinking about what I want to do for my painting exploration when I go to camp. I'm going to think aloud here and see what emerges.

What I want to investigate/practice is painting negative space—covering paint already on paper, leaving bits and pieces of the underlayer visible. I LOVE paintings in which other artists do just that, but I have such a hard time doing it myself!

Before camp:

• speed paint four sheets of 8x10" canvas paper in a (very) loose-grid or random-blobs format
• maybe do some mark making as a next layer
• oh, and maybe add collage
• and maybe do some textural stuff with medium
• spray a fixative on the layers to date
• cut the sheets into sixteen 4x5" pieces

At camp:

• make marks with ink, pencils, china markers, paint pens, and oil pastels
• paint negative space with a limited palette, maybe using just black and white
• add more marks/collage

painting start #3 
for camp


  1. I just love your organized and thoughtful approach to painting! And mark-making at camp sounds primitive and organic and connected. Cannot wait to see what comes out of this camp experience. :) 37 years, eh? That is AMAZING!

    1. Truth to tell, I am just barely organized and thoughtful in my approach to my current painting project. The ONLY thinking that feels at all organized is the thinking I undertook to write this post! I'm eager along with you to see what comes of my ideas once I get to camp.

      Yes, long history at camp. It was run for its first 50 years by my maternal grandfather's cousin and his wife. My mom, uncle, and aunt all went there as campers and leaders, as did all my sisters and I. Then, some of the next generation participated to varying degrees both in the traditional summer programs and in family camp once it became part of the programing in around 1980. And now I go with my daughter, son-in-law, and two granddaughters. THE BEST.

  2. Can't wait to see how these come out. Adding collage certainly will help in the negative space goal.

    1. Tell me how you'd use collage with the negative space goal, Carol—your comment makes me realize how narrow my thoughts about collage may be …


  3. Negative space painting is fun. :) I think you'll like doing it.

    Camp sounds like it will be amazing, especially since you're bringing along some art projects to keep you busy.

    When my husband and I rented a cabin in the Ozarks a couple year ago, I didn't bring any art supplies with me. I got there, and was like..okay, now do I do? ha! So used to keeping my hands busy that I felt a little lost, even though I was there to take a break, and recharge. It all worked out fine, but next time I'll probably take along some art supplies, just to be safe. :)

    1. Thanks for the encouragement with the negative space painting—I get attached to what's in front of me so easily and then really have to push to cover up!

      Camp will be grand. I'll be on a beautiful little patch of land that will become my entire world for a week, in the company of some of my favorite people ever, living a totally pared back life-style, and having restorative solitude as well—and I will play with paint! I love the way painting puts me in the moment so fully and then lets me carry home those sensory moments on a piece of paper or a stretch of canvas.

  4. It definitely sounds like a win-win week!

  5. This one has a sort of tribal feel to me. Celebratory. So excited for what is to come :)

  6. Sheila, you are a right-o reader of paintings! Always a gift to hear what you see. The tribal drums are beating, tapping out a message of more to come.