Monday, November 5, 2012

E is for Effects

Foggy Day
One of the things I most enjoy about my life as an artist is looking at the work of other painters. I had some work in our annual Festival of the Arts this summer. The weather was horrible, which meant that I had lots of time to wander the show and really study the paintings that appealed to me. One of the things that really struck me was the use of fabulous and fascinating textures as backgrounds for images. How do they do that?

I asked. When I saw a painting that impressed me, it was not hard to strike up a conversation with the artist - to offer compliments, and ask questions. One artist in particular was especially gracious - and shared some of her secrets to her luminous colors and awesome textures. So, I went home to play.

The more I experiment, with solvents, with sprays, with laying textured materials on the canvas and painting over, with scraping, scratching and pouring, the more fun I have, and the more interesting the results. Suddenly the central image takes a back seat to the feeling of the whole, created by messing around until I get the effect I am looking for. This image, Foggy Day, is 9x12, a mixture of mediums on canvas, was completely fun to create ...

So, I knew my kid students would love to create their own effects as well. (This process is too messy for my more finicky seniors). I provided bottles of thinned paints, sponges, brushes, and water color paper, as well as pans for letting paint drip into - and everyone poured paint until they "saw a picture." Then, there were crayons and markers for enhancing anything that popped out.  It was a great lesson in color, contrast and creativity.