Oct 28, 2010

Shadows of Leaves

This is an experiment I did painting in watercolor and gouache over acrylic on handmade paper. I’ve always been more at home using water media that oils but the first time I painted in oil I felt like I had arrived home. The vibrant colors and smooth blending made me feel like I was creating much more substantial, expressive pieces. Previously I was mystified as to why I was in art school at all. I hated drawing from life, painting in acrylics, and I really didn’t see my self as a watercolorist. Oils seemed to put everything in perspective. Acrylic isn’t really paint, I decided…it’s anti-paint. Drawing from life is not an end in itself, it is just a way to collect information for oil-paintings. 

Since then I have had to admit that I don’t like using oils as much as watercolor, I just like the effect. This was an experiment to see if I could bridge the gap between the qualities I love about various media. I used anti-paint to make a more vibrant, textural drawing and then I used watercolor and gouache to make a real painting over the top. Of course the handmade paper also seems very promising to me, partly because I love any excuse to make paper and partly it makes me feel like I am creating an artifact or story more than I am transposing a picture onto a wall-ready surface.

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