Thanks to Jodi Ohl's Zenpainting class that I treated myself to this fall, I've really enjoyed the exposure to working with a predominantly neutral palette. It is alternately challenging and frustrating because you don't have color to set your tone or mood. These are two of my first
attempts. The one on the left was made up of four 6" square panels and is all graphite and neutral Golden High Flows. The one on the right used the same palette but added Titan Buff. I really enjoyed exploring Jodi's abstract style, but mine kept peeking through and luckily she is very accepting of my walking off the regular path. I worked in color next and loved that, too (not included here), and then heading back into my interest in high contrast black and saw how it meshed with more neutrals and bronze.
My own teaching deadlines hit along with the holidays so I didn't return to painting in mid-January. My biggest mistake was not taking photos of this process because it was wild and woolly just hours into it. I had started with a cruciform composition without any representational intent in my mind, but midway through I saw the iris in front of me. The rest took care of itself. (In fact, I'll show the painting both ways so you know I am not pulling your leg.)
Last week I continued my explorations and boldly committed to a large arount of black very early. That go-getter posturing is both a positive and a negative. On the positive side, it helps you commit in a direction, but on the negative side, that commitment can limit other choices you'd like to make. Here you see in the left picture, I've broken up the gessobord into two parts and I do have a vertical division as well. That quickly goes by the wayside in picture two. Here, also, I have committed to the bold, black statement. Whatever I do now has to balance out that black so I chose to dominate the white background with the palest of neutral florals. So you ask, where did those marbles or bubbles or pea pod groupings come from? I don't have a clue. Well, I drew them. How did they relate? They didn't, but I kept leaving them, hoping I would figure out a way to make it work. Well, the third picture (ignore the cast from the dreary day) Gessobord. It is the bomb. No paint except the Golden Carbon Black High Flow.
Pitt pen was added to define the flowers and areas of black were cleaned up and used to further separate the flowers where needed.
So midstream this painting was going to have one flower tinted with a quote (I'm saving for another piece so mum's the word on it). I auditioned (with my sister's guidance) both text and tint and rejected it. It's strong enough to stand on it's own in person. Who knows what various computer imaging will do to it. My point is..... you never know where art will end up. Be loose enough and brave enough to change midstream if you need to. You never know where it will end up if you do, but each time you are brave, you'll get more confidence to do it again.
What's up next for me????? Well, Artiscape for starters in April. I have three classes on tap there. I'm really excited for them and to return there. It's a fab event. I'll be at Stampaway in August as well with two classes. Those haven't been published yet. Who knows what else!!!! To be decided........ Follow me on IG and Facebook at Nancy Curry Art or if you like poodles, find me also on fbk here. As always, my regular site has links to it all. PLAY. ALL. THE. TIME.