Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Masked Fun

I am not painting these days. Haven't painted for several weeks before we went on the trip to Utah and Arizona, haven't really painted since we came back.

I'm busy and distracted. My one and only sister is coming to visit us for a month (she's landed in New York today for 5 days on the East Coast, and will arrive to our house on Monday), and it got us in a frenzy of house improvement, or at least converting the house from a pigsty (lot of neglect in the past year) to a welcoming cozy home - not just for her, but mainly for us.

And yet - I do have the urge to dip a brush into some paint and go for it. And am in the eternal catch 22: I have so many images I want to work on that I cannot choose any of them. Plus, after not painting for a while, you kinda get into regression, and need to start two steps behind (at least two, that is). Armed with all these lame excuses - no wonder I haven't visited my studio for quite a while.

In the last couple of days I've been browsing through Rhonda Carpenter's
Watercolor and Words art blog, and was inspired by her recent work, of going nuts with masking fluid, letting it dry, and then pouring watercolor all over. I decided this might be a good way to loosen up and get over the well known fear of a white paper staring you in the eyes. Plus - I am on a quest for new ways to get away from tight realism, and this process has really appealed to me. Nothing frees you up like making a mess and then creating a painting from it. (Thanks, Rhonda, for the inspiration!!)

I took 3 different color triads, and played with five pieces of paper this way. Without thinking of the subject, I simply tried to create interesting shapes with the masking fluid, smearing it with a scrap piece of foamcore and using spray bottle to move it around a bit (hmm... still need to work on that). Waited for it to completely dry (which wasn't hard, as we're having a heat wave as I write. 94 degrees tomorrow!), and then poured the paint. It was pure fun to see the colors intermingle and become acquaintances without the interruption of the brush. When this dried out too, I removed the mask (which is a very annoying stage - I hate doing that!), and was rewarded with five pieces of paper with interesting colors and patterns.

OK... now what?

I can see things in some of these, but nothing really screams at me yet.

Because it's so much fun to make these, I think I'll just start a pool of poured papers, and use them when the right mood and subject strikes. Some will serve as backgrounds, some as under-paintings, and some will sit in the dark closet until their day comes to be torn and reincarnate as pieces for collage.

Still, they look really cool even as they are now. So, I played with them a bit on my "Picture It!" program (the poor cousin of Photoshop), and - lo and behold, just juxtaposing them together came out as a cool abstract piece! (The JohnnyB claims he likes it more than most pieces of nonobejctive work he's seen).

Sometimes, art can be just for fun - I need to remember this more often.


RHCarpenter said...

I like this very much, Nava! Glad the pouring technique inspired you :)

Anonymous said...

He, neat abstract. If this doesn't get me into the garage (studio) nothing will!!! I'm on my way..............


Tracy Wandling said...

Cool! It's fun to look at these and see what I can see...better than clouds! So how's the painting going...feeling inspired?!? Looking forward to seeing what you do with these.