Saturday, March 3, 2012

Experiments in the Paint Surface

8 x 10
Oil on linen
This has been a season of experimentation for me.  I've explored different ways to make marks and apply paint and tried out different surfaces on which to put the paint.  I've also been working at creating more variety and texture in the surfaces of my paintings.  To that end, I bought some Rosemary and Co. mongoose-hair brushes and an inspiring selection of palette knives.

It may seem like a lot of variables to play with but the challenge kept me motivated during the long winter.

"Driftwood", despite it's small size, contains most of what I've been mulling over for the past few months.  There are strong, visible brushmarks but also areas of abstract, layered colour in which the brush is not evident.  I'm particularly happy with the almost 3-D effect of the blue over the yellow-ish ground colour.   There's an illusion of depth that seems to suit the subject of water.

The support is a smooth, oil-primed linen, something that I've been on-again and off-again about for quite some time.  The slippery surface makes it tough to work wet-in-wet layers: too much medium and the second layer won't sit cleanly on top; it will remove the first layer instead.  But too little medium won't let the paint flow; it goes on dry and choppy.  I think I've finally got a feel for the consistency of that first coat.
Driftwood detail
I'm currently working on a large version of this to see if I can successfully scale it up.  There's always the danger that a painting will become to fussier when it's enlarged so I'm sticking to very big brushes and knives.  I'll post it if it works and, if it doesn't, I'll never mention it again.  Wish me luck.

Happy painting!


Erik said...

I've been really enjoying your latest works Ingrid. Keep up the good work. Erik.

Ingrid Christensen said...

Thanks, Erik! It's a productive time in the studio for me right now; I'm glad the new work speaks to you.


Dean H. said...

By coincidence, I too have been experimenting with the painting knife and trying different brush strokes.

Love this painting. Like you said, the yellow ground does wonders with the blues on top! The close up shows it well.

Ingrid Christensen said...

The knife must be a Spring thing: expecting and creating abundance...

Thanks for the great comments!