Friday, May 13, 2011

Figuring It Out



Innovation and problem solving are a big part of a painter’s life. Whenever I read about other artists it always seems that they're struggling with problems big and small and sometimes blow out of porportion.  If you don’t  have problems (the scientific definition of the word problem) you don’t have anything to resolve or figure out I guess.  Well, the proverbial problem is the upcoming summer with it’s 2% humidity and triple digit temperatures and my September exhibit I have to prepare for. As silly and trite as it may seem painting in the hottest month of the year in Arizona isn't going to be much fun.  I can deal with it by painting early mornings and nights physically, but the fact there's no humidity has my paint drying on the brush and in the pallet before it even reaches the canvas.  Acrylics dry fast as it is and I'll simply switch to oils like I used to, but the asthma isn't very easy to get past.  I admit I find the wonderful fragrance of the linseed and turpentine in the studio absolutely intoxicating.
My solution is switch to Golden’s Fluid Acrylics for the under painting to mid-layers.  New impasse - Golden doesn’t make the grey tones I work with.  So I'm attempting to mix my own using Fluid Acrylic medium.  It’s a fairly good solution.  The opacity isn’t quite there, but it’s workable while I work to find an even better solution.  I might even have to purchase pure pigments and disperse water to mix my own paint from scratch.
The strategy it’s self produces a very graphic look and is actually very fast and makes me simplify elements.  It’s a keeper, so I may even use this when it’s not seasonally required. 

Work continues on the commission.  Tonight I just spent hours looking and thinking.  I have a number of things to figure out in regards to how much of the motif I want to show through or if I will strike it out entirely with another pallet knife painting session.  Will I add to the collage or will I just keep expressively painting and let paint carry the day alone.  It's almost midnight, so I'll sleep on it and see what the morning brings.