Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Selected Painting of the Day + Love Words

Just a Little More, oil and cold wax on canvas, 2008, 36"x36"x1.5"

There's something about this painting that reminds me of Guston's work. It looks a little cartoonish but at the same time has a certain dignity. I gave it that title because at first it was much more an all-over field and then I started putting in boxes. I kept adding more and more of them until they almost filled up the whole work. Then I started over-painting and taking back the field. And then more boxes came back and I kept painting...just a little more. Like eating peanuts - whoops! not these days.

I made this painting as a companion to an earlier piece:

This one is titled Ooooo because of the ooooo in it and also because I was so enjoying working with this medium.

I like to use cold wax medium when I paint with oil. Dorland's is the most well-known brand, but I prefer Gamblin's because it has less solvent, is more creamy and dries to a more flexible skin. When you mix it with oil paint as a medium, it will let you spread the paint with pallette knives like butter. It dries to a matte finish.

Note for those painting in encaustic, this cold wax medium has nothing to do with encaustic and should not be used with it. If you heat it, it will release toxic fumes because it contains turpentine (solvent).

Aromaphilia (Not a real word, but I made it up to mean "love of aroma.")
Back when I attended MassArt, every time I walked into the building where we had student studios, the smell of oil paint let me know that I was home. I just love that smell - I think even more than the aromatic smell of beeswax and damar resin. Oil paint just wafts me away on a pink cloud more than the most expensive perfume.

Yesterday, after finally recovering from that nasty virus, I decided to clean the house. I felt so sick of winter and so badly in need of uplift from something. When I spotted two wrapped paintings standing against the wall in my bedroom, I decided that they were the change of vision I needed and that hanging them would be my mission before mundane tasks like vaccuuming.

As soon as I peeled apart the bubblewrap, I could smell the oil paint and it was luscious. The painting I hung in the bedroom was Just a Little More, and I hung it opposite the bed so I could look at it morning and night. This is not something I would have done years ago, but I'm fairly happy with this painting and don't mind looking at it for extended periods. That is, I'm not constantly thinking about how I could repaint sections. Progress?

Chromophilia (love of color)
One thing about the bedroom is that the walls are magenta, as in Pipilotti-Rist-at-MoMA-magenta. The surprising thing is that I didn't paint them that color, the prior owner of our house did. At first I was taken aback by it, but I grew to really like it, so here's the painting as it looks on magenta:

Deciding to post this image got me thinking about other backdrops for artwork in our house. We have really strong colors on the walls - no white box for us - so here is more art hung on chromophiliac walls.

Encaustic paintings on deep turquoise.

Another wall in the same room with a work on paper (Pale Guide, 1999).

An oil painting (Mission to Mars, 2004) on dark orange.

Two little oil paintings on a blue-grey wall.

I like the way the art interacts with the wall behind it. It's always a surprise to hang something and see how the wall color changes your perception. Too much interference with art's sanctity? What do you think?

1 comment:

Leslie Avon Miller said...

I really enjoyed this tour. I love visiting an artits own home, as spaces filled with original art are so rich. Even though I am a neutral color person, I can appreciate color used this way.