Finished up Clutching on Saturday morning. I worked really hard to capture the feel of the drawing while introducing the wonderful abstract distance and depth that happens more naturally within the medium of painting. What I like best about my drawings is the clarity that line provides, but what I love about my paintings is the brush strokes and ambiguous abstract areas that allow the viewer to fill in the blanks. With the last batch of works, I'm working to establish a synthesis of the two almost a hybrid style that possesses both qualities.
With some of these works the collaged elements has fallen to the wayside for the moment. I guess to focus in on developing the new technique really. Another part of it is that each piece or body of work calls for it's own mode of working. If a piece needs collaged elements it comes naturally, if it doesn't that comes naturally as well. I paint very intuitively and don't really have a natural flowing way of working. Yes, my paintings start by inking followed with varnishing after the ink has set and the first layer of underpainting. This layer of underpainting is then followed up with another inking session, but this time around I will either paint directly into this layer or varnish before the ink sets fully, so that it will bleed and create distortion. Afterwards I typically clean things up and repeat this process until the work is finished. That is a fairly set way of working, but the collage aspect if needed for a given work happens between these varnishing sessions. The layers of varnish also give the paintings the luminosity that is seen within oil paintings.
I enjoy working with oils, but when I started collaging and incorporating drawing materials in my work, I found that acrylics provided a more ph stable environment for those materials.
Another big part of this was that while in college two of my painting instructors joined together and received a research grant to explore new painting material technologies. Two painting classes were joined into one and I believe the class time was lengthened as well. We were given a huge amount of materials to experiment from a wide range of binders (different acrylic polymers, urethane, nylon, and more), powdered pigments to mix our own paints, additives that would either cause surface effects or prevent crazing, orange peeling and air bubbles, and a host of other things. The materials were free for us to use and we were to provide panels of technique exploration documenting what we had done to get the effects. I guess for me that really set the stage for moving away from oils and working with acrylics.