Break Week 20 — The End of Summer

Hello everyone, and welcome to the last post of the summer. Next week — on Wednesday — I start school again, with my first public art and cultural theory classes. Advanced ceramics is on Mondays, and that won’t happen next week due to the long weekend, so it starts the following week.

Thus, next week I expect homework from two classes, and things really get going the following week.

As I think I mentioned in the last post, I was a homebody this week. My wife was at a music camp during the day for four days, so I was home alone with the dogs while she was building up her cello finger callouses. I used the time to do a tiny bit of painting. Here are the results:

Image for post
Image for post

I apologize for the lousy photo. I will work on the glare in future photos, but I think this piece is probably just an exercise, so I am not all that concerned about it.

The general idea was to work with the paints I have (all acrylic, and not exactly new) and my pallet knives to create something. I was working thick and wet, and learning a bit about controlling the tools and paint. (Vocabulary term for non-artists: the word for that is “impasto.” Feel free to look it up. Remember: the more you know, the more you know!)

I am not actually sure if this work is done or not. Again, I think of it as an exercise — so whether it is done or not really doesn’t matter — but it’s still an interesting question. I have this vague idea that it needs something in the foreground, and thus that the colour planes are the background … for something. Not certain of that, but perhaps.

Another thing I am contemplating is mixing some really thick, clear gel medium with a tiny bit of black paint to create a nearly clear but thick layer I could overcoat over the entire thing with. Then I could paint whatever is in the foreground on top of that, to physically lift it above the surface. But that would require buying supplies, and for this exercise I don’t know if I want to bother or not.

Since it is an exercise, I am interested in your thoughts. Email, comment, or whatever. I am curious to hear what others think and thus if I am missing any obvious directions I could go with it.

I am stewing on some other things to try next, working on more complex shapes to create a surface, but painted in a similar manner. Texture and surface seem interesting to me in some way, and a lot of the paintings I like are nonrepresentational works that play with those ideas. My own experiments and thoughts head more towards geometric shapes rather than organic ones, but that might change over time as well.

In fact, this afternoon I was going to get going on that, but in the process of moving things around I knocked over the large glass of water I use to clean my painting equipment, and that was a mess that took half an hour to clean up. (Thankfully the water was clean and not full of paint residue. That made it much less of a problem.) Things are still drying out, though, so the next project is on hold until tomorrow, or Sunday.

All of that being said, when school gets going and I am in the thick of it, all painting work will probably come to a screeching halt. Time will tell.

In other news, I want to plug the work of a friend. My college buddy Doug has written a book of games you can play with friends that have interesting and fun results. Doug’s an amazing person, and he let me read an early draft of this book a while back. My final copy is ordered on the way here already. If you’re looking for new ways to entertain your friends, consider this:

I have no idea why Medium’s software picked the twitter logo to show in that link, but such is life. Check out Doug’s book, please!

And if any of you are doing creative work that you want shared, all you have to do is email me photos or links. Yes, this is my blog, but I expect many of my friends are doing fun things, and I love learning about (and sharing) those as well.

Anyway, that’s all this time around. Look for real school news next week!

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