I worked on the painting a bit more earlier today, and after looking at the painting, I was reminded that I needed to introduce a few more darks, and this time I wanted to add some solid darker red hues. I again turned the painting around a few times while working on it to balance the colors and shapes in the overall composition of this abstract painting.
After adding some darker neutrals to add some contrast and depth to the painting, I go back in with a lighter lilac mixed color and sprout some energetic bursts around some of the curves in the forms. There’s still even more to do that I have ideas to add to this painting!
As I continued working on this painting, to balance out the lighter, bold colors I’ve chosen, there comes a point when I must introduce a darker neutral to balance the overall distribution of values and hues in the painting. In this (Phase 7) I have added some textured darker-brown areas, lending themselves to aid in grounding the painting.
The other day, I was in my studio, painting away. Sometimes when I paint, I just dabble my brush in the paint and apply a few brustrokes every few minutes, as I stop to pause often to consider the direction that I will take the painting in. Although, to be fair, there are many times that my painting takes me somewhere else instead. Today was one of those days that my painting took me somewhere. Instead of where I thought I was taking it.
This is the best time for painting…because I become so absorbed in the act of applying paint to brush and brush to canvas that I forget to breathe. Literally. I only realize that I have not breathed in a regular fashion when I finally step back from the painting and inhale a long, deep breathe, and exhale long and deeply. It’s as though my body, mind and whole being become so engaged and focused on the brushwork at hand that one breath could render my hand slightly off the line I’m creating.
It might sound strange, but I am glad when I get to the place that I forget to breathe while painting. It is a signal to me that sometimes in the act of artistic creation, the act of exhaling the work I’m rendering is more crucial than inhaling the oxygen my body needs.
Now back to breathing.
In Phase 4 of this abstract painting, I have added some warmer salmon-orange lines to balance out some of the cooler colors I had added with the blues and greens.
In Phase III, I have added a third color, with small shapes and filling in a few of the negative spaces created by the lines after the paint’s watery texture caused some of the yellow to drip down the canvas.
In this second layer of paint I’ve applied to the canvas, I add sweeping darker blue graphic lines. These will be part of the framework that I will wrap the rest of the elements around and through.
The other day, while I was working on a medium-large canvas mounted on my easel, I had the local classical music station be my soundtrack for this painting. As I am working on any painting, particularly one starting out as an abstract painting, I turn the canvas around after every few brushstrokes, to balance the color and visual rhythm of the piece while I am working on it.
I am so glad that my easel is on wheels, because as I was painting the top and sides of the canvas, I was twirling and whirling the easel back and forth as though I was dancing with it. It was glorious, as my involvement in the movement of the painting was physically more than the brush.
Tomorrow I think my painting selection will be jazz. I am curious to find out how that affects my easel-dancing.