Sunday, March 6, 2016

Abstract Painting: Where Spirit Meets Bone, Part 1

"Where Spirit Meets Bone", Part 1 of a Diptych, 30x40" (complete piece is 60x40"),
Mixed Media on Canvas. Available.

Stage One: the two canvases together barely fit on my
easel. I'm thinking a triptych is probably out of the question.
A couple months ago, I decided that I needed to do something large.  I've been working small for years... the largest I'd venture was a 30x40" piece I did last year. Problem is, I can't fit anything larger than that in my car. Even that is tight. But I wanted larger. I wanted something substantial. I wanted something that screamed "I'M HERE".

I have been working in series for a long time. I like to work that way. I get started on something, and I can just keep going until I get bored... which can take months or longer. I worked on my music series for probably close to 2 years.  Maybe, I thought,  I could do two pieces that worked together. A diptych. I hadn't done one of those before, and once I got the idea into my head, I couldn't get it out. I was going to have to do it.

Next stage... building the layers...
I had a couple large canvases hanging around I had gotten on sale about a year ago. They were just sitting there. For a year. That's crazy. I was doing well using up my stash of supplies... it was time for me to use these big canvases. Put together... 40x60"... oh my, that is an intimidating size. I decided to approach it just the way I work on a small piece.... Pick a colour and just start.

Once I got going it went pretty well, even if it did take a fairly long time.  I have been working away on this piece for what feels like ages: one canvas, then the other, then I'd put them together and make sure they work. It got difficult near the end, when I needed to have them together to put on the finishing touches. They barely fit on my easel (which is huge... when my husband built it for me I thought he was crazy making me something that big. You'll need it eventually, he said....). They seemed to take up most of the small room I work in. To get a sense of how they worked from a distance I had to move them out into the main part of the house and look at them from the end of the hall.

Anyway... I'm happy that I pushed myself to do something a little out of my comfort zone. Once it was done I felt a huge sense of satisfaction. I will do it again... but probably not soon. I have a spot to hang this one, but don't have too many walls big enough to accommodate a piece this large. Next week I'll post the other half, a shot of the two canvases together, and a bit about the imagery. If you are in the Toronto area, I'll have this and many other abstract paintings with me at the Arts on the Credit art fair on April 9 and 10, 2016. Come on out and say hi.