Sunday, February 20, 2011

They've Got Gold Trouble

They've Got Gold Trouble (temporary title, still considering other options)
Gouache on paper mounted on board (it will soon also get a coat of acrylic on top)
12" x 12"

Apparently, it took me exactly one year to finish this painting. (Well, I finished it sometime after midnight, so I suppose technically it was a year and a day...)

Looking through my archives, this first photo was taken Feb 19, 2010, and this was how this painting started — a pour and 3 spritzes with a water bottle that created the 3 bulbous spots:

I didn't work on it again until October of 2010, when I needed a demo piece for Portland Open Studios and I thought this looked like a demo in the making. During the two weekends, I worked on this on and off in between talking to people. I really didn't have anything in mind, it was meant to be a demo piece, something I could do while talking at the same time. But I wanted to preserve the three bulbous forms, I really liked those, for whatever reason. And at the end of two weekends, I had:

It was January, 2011 before I got back to it, hoping to finish it in time for the PCPA exhibit, but I didn't finish in time. The bulbous forms turned into seahorses. I hadn't ever done seahorses before, although I've always love them and have a collection of images I've kept from my 30 years of Natural HIstory subscriptions (my 20 year old neighbor was really impressed that I've subscribed to a magazine for THAT long):

Betwen January and February, I worked on it on and off between putting together 3 other applications. And then I got pretty well stuck on it. I had decided that the three seahorses were really Rheinmaidens (I saw Das Rheingold at the Met Simulcast somewhere along the line in there), but I really didn't know how to proceed from there.

When I get stuck on something, one way I get myself unstuck is to do something 'drastic' in red. In the past, I've poured red over an entire piece, I've poured red over most of a piece, but in here, I've made red waves. It's just something that forces me to react and to do something other than to sit there, stare and wonder what the heck I'm going to do next.

From Valentines Day on until Saturday night, I worked on it pretty intensely, while listening to the BBC news about the protests in North Africa, Middle East (and Wisconsin). How much does that have to do with the finished painting? I don't know.

Although I managed to preserve the bulbous forms (at least two of the three), I lost the lines of drippy paint in the process. I wanted to bring those back...and so I did, in the final stage (top photo).