Thursday, March 29, 2012

Abstract Workshop: Ladder

Ladder              2012             j. c. phillipps

Remember how I said I needed to paint something with red in it.  BOOM!  Red!

That really is how I started though, warm tones.  I just started mushing them together, being sure to leave lighter spots, concentrating the paint in darker spots.  Then I took the wrong end of my paint brush and started carving circles from the wet paint.  This is a fun technique and can lift the paint off the paper if it's sorta medium-dry.  (See the area in the yellow square kinda in the middle?  See how there are lines lifted out of it.  That's what I was doing.)  Of course, sometimes the paint is too wet and then the color just seeps in over the mark you just made.  Sometimes you leave an indention and the color fills in and makes that place darker.  You really have to have a sense of what level of dryness your paint is in to get your desired results.

But since I had no desired result, I just went hog wild.

Then it looked kinda bad, actually.

So I figured, what the heck, I'll put more paint down at the top of the paper and make some lines going across.  They started out kinda cool, but dried flat and boring.

It was still looking pretty blah.

Then I watched TV.

You probably don't notice the art that hangs on the walls in the law offices, living rooms, etc. of TV dramas.  Maybe you do.  I certainly do.  I think I was watching The Good Wife and there was a lovely abstract painting in some conference room that gave me an idea.  So I started laying in the blocks of colors that you see along the top.  Then I just felt like pushing that black around with the butt of my brush might be cool.

I liked the sections it created, so I decided to bump out the sections in the circle and make them into pieces.  As that was coming along, I also thought I needed more lines in the circle, so I pulled out my long, thin rigger brush and added more dark, round lines.

When that was dry and I was happy with it, it was then time to title this sucker.  The vertical lines off to the right side reminded me of a ladder.  So I added a few short horizontal lines to play that up.

I like the idea of a ladder because it could be a means to go up or a means to go down.  It could help someone achieve a lofty goal or escape a burning fire.  It's open ended.

So far this is my favorite.  I think I'm started to get to a level of complexity that I'm psyched about.

Everything is framed up, wired, and packed to go to the library next week.  I'll post a pic when it's up.

Happy Thursday!


Äiti said...

I really do love hearing all the bits that go into the process.

And I love this painting! My favorite part is how the circle sections in and to the right of the ladder "flip" and reflect.

Julie_c said...

Thanks Shirley.

Angela said...

Congrats on the show! Sorry about the space, but my this is a gorgeous painting! I love it! Congrats! :)