Saturday, April 4, 2015

My Acrylic Painting Process, Sometimes

I've received several qusetions via email this week on how I paint. Acrylics are my sole paint medium; their versatility and extreme weirdness appeal to me tremendously. My paintings usually take a month to a year to complete. This is because they can have up to 35 layers! Some only have 10 or so. Why so many layers? I like my paintings to change with the light, and with the position of the sun and the viewer. If I've done one right, the viewer bobs and weaves to be able to see all the different angles. So it's very hard to photograph them- only one view can be shown on the screen, while in IRL, there's a lot more going on, and they shimmer and shake. So keep that in mind as you read.

Here's the first layer of a new painting I call "Oshun and Yemaja":
The first 3 to four layers are usually monochrome, either black, white, or grey. Then I move on to color:
Here's the next stage:
The middle stage is the ugly, gawky, "adolescent" stage where conflicting elements are just right up front. Nothing ever seems to work during this period. Many layers. This is normal.
A landscape is starting to come together here by layer 20. There's clearly a dialogue between the ocean layer and the earth/air layer. It moves on into further abstraction:
The final layers here are metal leaf (copper, in this case), and interference tones in rainbow hues. The bright copper layer has only a hint of the underlying mountainscape. It changes drastically according to the light, and the "ocean" layer  gives an optical illusion of swirling, moving color and depth as the light changes. It's about 32 layers here. I'm sorry I can't show it IRL, as the effect is intended to be either meditative or mesmerizing, but you get a general sort of idea.

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