Thursday, September 7, 2017

The Grand Fun of Asking Questions

I prepared colorful painting starts to take to camp with me a few weeks ago, along with an inquiry: What does it mean to paint negative space?

The inquiry has become the ongoing and limitless grand fun of asking questions:

• what happens if I do this?
• what next?
• how will I fix this mess?
• what is this piece still missing?
• how will I create contrast?
• it took me how long to go from coverup to completed (4x5"!) painting???

Today I finished the 6th in my series. If you look carefully in the lefthand towel hanging on the line, you'll find the partially obscured word camp.

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Before, during, after:

from this 8x10" start,



to this 4x5" quadrant,



to this coverup,



to a completed painting.

When I Had the Washing Hung Out, I Took a Nap
4x5"; acrylic, pencils, ink, collage, and pastels on paper,
mounted on manila stock
abstract
2017
$25

16 comments:

  1. I love your progressive images and the questions that you ask yourself. I love this little painting, When you are this small what size brushes do you use? Or do you use crayons/pastels at this stage

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    1. I realize that in the end, especially for all viewers other than myself, what matters is what they see in front of them, but as the artist I carry the process into what I see, and I love sharing the process with other artists. Glad you're enjoying.

      Couldn't really tell you what size brushes I use! My first pass in the coverup phase of this painting involved brushing on a coat of transparent green gold, and I probably used a 3/4" brush. Then, once I got to fussier details—narrower brushes as well as paint markers, pastels, pastel pencils, alphabet stamps, and collage!

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  2. I just love to see the wash hung out! It looks beautiful. So fun to see you painting realistically on top of your abstract work!

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    1. Wash on the line always appeals to me, and it's fun to paint it playfully from my imagination rather than with realism. Of course, this piece is more realistic than many, and the fun, as you also note, is to superimpose a degree of realism on total abstraction—something I couldn't have imagined when I first began painting. One of my camp friends especially likes my pieces that fall in this category.

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  3. Have you been reading my 'journal'?...how to fix this, how long.....This is such a great series Dotty - and this is a lovely painting - rich colour, nice lights and darks. Do another!!

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    1. Ha! You didn't know till now that I sneak into your studio after hours, Janet! Thanks for your encouragement and comments. Always grateful for feedback from my mentors. More to follow. I have 16 pieces cut, and only 6 completed thus far.

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    2. That is a lovely comment 'mentor' - thank you Dotty, but I think that belongs to you too!

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  4. I love what Jennifer said about slaying the art beast! This wonderful, Dotty! I love the movement in the wash. So characterful, so you.

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    1. Thanks, Laurie. It was really fun to watch the movement evolve in the washing on the line as I painted. Fun to hear you say this is 'so me'—for the most part I still don't have an inner sense of having a recognizable style.

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  5. "How will I fix this mess?" ha ha! That's a great question! Love your approach, and this piece! Really great!!! The barely hidden word is a fantastic little gem in this.

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    1. I don't ALWAYS greet a 'mess' with good cheer but, increasingly, I see the challenge of a mess as the fun that it can potentially be. In addition to the hidden word on the towel, I used alphabet stamps to imprint the letters for CABIN C, the cabin I stay in with my daughter and her family at camp. However, those letters are randomly placed, often intentionally stamped only partially, and got a little more lost than I'd hoped for. Nonetheless, they're there!

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  6. Silly me for thinking that it was done and gorgeous as was. LOL. You have added a bit of summer storm. Soon to pass, but still the wash will need to be brought inside. The porch will need to be swept as well, all those blustery leaves collecting.
    Such a shock to read that you do not think of yourself as having a distinct style. Still. So many other artists have confessed that as well. Makes me wonder why it is so hard for the artist to see, and so easy for the viewers to claim.
    Your style is playful, bold, exploratory. Rich with depth and layers to investigate. Your style is very much married to your writing, and how you share so much of your process and thoughts with us, your humor.
    Much more that I left out.

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    1. Sheila, lucky me to be the beneficiary of your observations re Washing, above (love what you see there!), and your reflections about my style. Gracias!

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  7. Oh, how sneaky of you to hide the word camp in there. :)) I love a good game of hide and sneak! I closely examined, but couldn't find. hm..where oh where did the word camp go?

    Your painting reminds me of one I did about 10 years ago of my husband wearing a dress while hanging his laundry on the line. haha I'll have to try to find it.

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    1. "camp" is in the left hand towel, top center, c-a-m visible, p less so.

      Do find and post the painting of your hubby in drag while hanging laundry!

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