Well this painting is done I guess.

The Eleven Have Assembled, acrylic on 11″ x 14″ canvas, October 20, 2012

I actually stopped painting this over two weeks ago, but at the time felt like it still needed something…  Then I looked at it the other day and it definitely seemed done.  I knew this would happen, because it’s happened before.  I get to a point where I feel like a painting is almost done, but still needs something.  While I try to figure out what that something is — I was thinking a lizard or a yellow-headed poison dart frog in the upper right for this one — at some point before I do, it just seems done.  Completely done.

What is going on here?  This always makes me question my artistic judgment.  Did it really need something?  Or did it really not?  Does it really still need something and I’ve just gotten used to how it looks and can’t see that anymore?  Man, what a frustrating way to end a painting.  I mean, I like it now, but I’m left with these nagging, perhaps unresolvable, questions — wondering if it could be better.  Grrrr!

Anyway, about the painting.  “The Eleven Have Assembled.”  So we have 11 squares, assembled in this arrangement.  I thought wording the title that way lended it some import.  Wax resists, washes, washes, and more washes, then splashes, a rough masked and spray-painted border, and then the squares and their textures!  The blue squares are manganese blue mixed with light modeling paste.  The orange are fluorescent orange mixed with gel opaque.  You can see quite a difference in body between the two.  I made all the textures the same way with my trusty palette knife.  The modeling paste with the heavy body blue dried rough and sharp.  The gel opaque basically kept the texture but flowed a little smoother.  The orange paint does not declare a weight, but it’s runnier than heavy body yet thicker than soft bodied paints.  I should mix each paint with the other medium and see what happens.  🙂

I like the effect I got here with the gel opaque, but I’m basically disappointed with the stuff.  I got it from Utrecht.  I would think that a product named “gel opaque” would just turn transparent and translucent paints opaque.  I had read before that opaque mediums do lighten the paint a little, but this stuff whitens it as much as adding titanium white!   What then is the point of this?  Falsehood in advertizing if you ask me.  Apparently the point is to sell expensive medium.  So, I have the stuff now, so I’ll use it, but lets be honest — it’s really just a white gel medium.   Opaquing paint without lightening it would seem to be a holy grail of sorts…

I guess I can say I’ve finally done what I’ve been trying to do with blue and orange since at least July with small painting 22.  That’s a good thing.  🙂



Filed under Paintings

11 responses to “Well this painting is done I guess.

  1. Ah, simply accept the process! Many of them decide -all by themselves!- to become finished! Whether it’s the air, climate …nobody knows. You just wake up, look at it and cry: it is accomplished! I’ve stopped wondering years ago! 🙂 Seriously, it’s our artistic judgement. On “The Eleven Have Assembled”, I also see it pleasantly finished. Really nice texture on the assemblies, circling the lovely square. Well done, Charlie!

  2. This is another example of that super bright orange just not really being the same on a monitor as it is in person. In person, the orange is an *experience*. 🙂

  3. Great finish on this! Art, as with many things, is all about going with your gut feeling. If it feels done to you, it is done, in my opinion. 🙂 Sorry to hear about your disappointment in the opaque gel. They likely make a translucent gel that will dry clear. It’s always dscouraging to buy something and have it end up different than you expected. For the record, modeling paste, as least the kind I have, dries white, so you have to mix it in with your desired paint color.

    This turned out great! I love the ring of orange and blue squares around the big one. Well done!

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