Peak of Autumn ©2016 C.L.Burgess
oil 16 x 12 panel
I do not post how I work as often I should here, regretfully. I know it is good to write about process for my followers but painting keeps me busy and while I like to talk about my painting with others, I find it challenging to garner my thoughts and then sit to write what goes on in that head of mine as I proceed at the easel. Forgive me, but there it is.
However, today I want to talk about the serendipity that visits me now and then that pleases me to no end, because it is freeing to play.
Play is in our nature as artists. The what if's often are the mothers of invention. Now wait, was that a band? This aging brain can't remember. Anyway, this is how my latest oil painting was born.
While painting in my studio, since my last post long ago, I have been contemplating our upcoming trip to Colorado to see the grandkids. In front of me was an old oil painting whose fate I had determined needed serious sanding(aka obliteration).
After the first swipes of sandpaper, I thought, "where do I go now?" and "hmmm, cold wax, oil, autumn, Colorado, Mts, rocks, trees, coolness" (Are these not the appropriate buzzwords for the omnipresent 'tag' system online? Gotta remember that!)
I just let my mind sit a bit with the images I remember from past visits out west, and the failed painting's ghost before me. I like to sometimes move away from a literal source like a photo and just respond to the Rorschach like shapes left behind from the scrapedown.
What do these latent shapes suggest? What is waiting to arrive?
Now, I know you want to hear a magician's "Voila"! ta da, the painting just painted itself. Not going to happen, sorry.
But I did work on it for about a week. Laying paint down, scraping it off, letting it dry, adding some more with a spatula, etc. etc. Stepping back, looking at the image in reverse in a mirror. Take a break. Play a little golf. Turned its back to the wall for a day or so. Take a break. Back to pastels. More golf.
Then today I put on the finishing touches.
And yes, I am happy at last reflection that some magic did give new birth to the old Raymar canvas board.
Funny, since I have been using mostly soft pastels for 2 years now, taking a break from daily oil painting, I find myself less afraid returning and playing with a palette knife, old credit card, squeegee, spatula, razor blade and brayer as tools, to apply another medium with the same strokes I use for the soft pastel with a modicum of bravado and dare I say, success.
Serendipity is good.
I promise to write again, too, because that also felt good to do.
Until next time. Thanks for staying with me!
Enjoy my painting "Peak of Autumn"