Saturday, November 2, 2013

B is for Background

One of my greatest challenges is deciding how to begin a painting. Sometimes its easy - I start with an idea,  a line or a patch of color, and just go. Other times I struggle to find my direction. Lately, I find that building on a background can create good results and allow me to really let my love of color take center stage.

This approach started a while ago when I found an early canvas in my collection of "not suitable for seeing" stash. There were lots of great colors, but the image seemed beyond help. As I looked at the work, I realized that the oripalette of strong hot colors just called out for some cools to balance - and I began to paint over it.

The painting that resulted has become a favorite, and I have used this method - either by painting a new background, or overpainting something else has had good effect several times. In fact, each of the paintings I have in the Instructors Show at Multnomah Art Center were painted in this way. I like knowing that I that the painting on top is hiding another story, and letting just little bits of the past influence the present.

By starting on a painted background in this way, it is easy to select a limited palette, and all that lies beneath offers a subtle texture to the finished work.

Each of these painting is 18x24 acrylic on canvas.