Sunday, February 16, 2014

Project: Reclaimation

I've got a pile of half-finished canvases in my studio. One of my projects this year is to rework and finish them all. Acrylic is a wonderful medium... no matter how ugly something is, you can always paint over it. But rather than just painting over the whole thing with gesso and starting from scratch, I wanted to let what existed already show to some extent. I wanted to transform what I'd done, rather than erase it. To do this I used a combination of transparent and opaque paints, and instead of using brushes, I used tools that scrape... an old credit card, and ice scraper, and a squeegee.

These two canvases started off as musician paintings. One was a cellist whose head was at an odd angle... seriously, it looked like it had been chopped off and put back on not quite right. The other was a guitar player that looked off balance. But they were both done in shades of green, and the same size, so I figured that made them a pair, and I worked on them together.

Reclamation: I  
16x20 Acrylic on Canvas
Reclamation: II
16x20 Acrylic on Canvas
What I like about these pieces is the texture. There is so much paint on there, there are areas that feel vaguely organic. I'm enjoying this project, and its great for when I need to paint but don't want to touch something I'm half done and afraid of messing up (I feel this way from time to time... if something is going great, but I'm not quite in the right head-space for it, I will go on to something else rather than court disaster). And I got to make that pile of half-finished work just a little bit smaller.