Painting adventure

December 16, 2015

There is a lot of movement happening in my life, and it is reflected in my painting. I’m leaving old ways of seeing, and familiar approaches, and embarking on ‘The adventure of a lifetime’ (A plug for Coldplay’s new single YAY!!). The freedom I have in inventing when working in oil pastels has finally transferred to paint. I’m working in acrylics because I like layering and they dry fast.

I won’t take you on the complete journey, but this particular stream started months ago. I have mentioned that I do collages for relaxation and processing of any issues up for me. I always really like them, they surprise me and are fresh. So this one, with the painting by Alexey Kvaratskeheliya at center stage inspired me to try an oil pastel painting using the same kind of little shards of concentrated colour as Alexey K.

Happy collage

Which resulted in this piece:

Of dreams oil pastel

Working with colour in this way feels very natural to me. (This piece is in our currently running show at Scherer design store. In a few days they will have our exhibit announced on the site.)

I wondered if I could work this way in paints, but it is different when you can reach for one of 121 concentrated oil pastel colours, or you have to mix them yourself and keep using clean brushes to apply them.

But one evening I took a little piece of cardboard, and intuitively began working in small colour areas. That freed me up to take another step- I took all the leftover colours on my palette and made a background on a previously painted canvas with the partly dried paint and palette knife:

Underpainting with palette knife

Then I painted over it intending to work into the result below, but I like it so much I’m leaving it as is.

Horse acrylic on panel

The next two happened around the same time:

They are both painted in acrylic over previous paintings, taking cues from the background and at the same time evolving their own unique forms.

This method of working really suits me. I work messily and spontaneously on an already painted canvas and things just happen.
Gee that Flora Bowley book mentioned in the last post must really work, I haven’t even read it yet and my work is undergoing a major reorientation! 🙂

All of the preceding are quite small format- around 30 x 30 cm. Then I retrieved one of the fairly free paintings from this summer where I was trying to lose form, and painted over it. The tree emerged, and I worked into it some, but not much. It captures the energy I need most to connect with now as I face major surgery tomorrow. Hopefully I can bring it into the hospital where I can see it.

Tree 1 acrylic on canvas board

Tree 1     acrylic on canvas board

9 Responses to “Painting adventure”

  1. that “Tree 1” is a beautiful piece Sarah, so full of life and light. Best wishes for tomorrow, eoin

    • Oh thank you so much Eoin. It feels like one of the most true things I’ve done and it is nice to have a fellow artist ‘see’ it as well.
      And yes, all wishes are gratefully accepted. Hope to be back on line before too long.

  2. Good luck tomorrow Sarah I hope it all goes well. I’m loving the new freedom you have found it reminds me of a process I was introduced to quite a few years ago to access our creative side.

    • Sonja, thank you, I love how you’ve phrased this. The process I’m in now has to do with freeing up blocked energy on several levels, and yes, how could the painting ever be separate from that. For me it is all related. Strange how accessing my creative side requires letting go of being an ‘artist’ in some ways.

  3. These are really lovely, my favourite is the Thumb Trees for their intriguing shapes. My very best wishes for the op.

  4. Really like the abstract qualities and different types of marks. Thank you for sharing and I wish you a smooth and fast recovery.

  5. Laura Hughes Says:

    Gosh, what a bold departure yet unmistakeably ‘you’! Wonderful, Sarah! For me at least, working on an already painted/messed up/discarded canvas is a minor marvel as it seems to paint itself with very little help from me and also stretches me greatly in terms of how to ‘not know’, to relinquish tight control, and to sense when to stop… and it still all be ok!
    Warm wishes,

  6. Kay Says:

    thanks for sharing your process in such detail – always insightful and triggers ideas

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: