Saturday, November 22, 2008

AEDM 22 - Who Let the Left Brain Have a Paintbrush?

This evening I got busy removing three paintings from the boards, trimming the stapled edges, and putting them in my portfolio. Then I measured, marked, and wet three more sheets, and stapled them on the boards for use over the weekend. It was cold enough that I had ice on the edges of the paper! Not a great time to be outside messing with a hose!

While I had no ready larger paper, I decided to work with my small 8x10 Arches paper block. But the left brain seems to have gotten the upper hand, and this is what we got. I hated it, but I started painting it to see what my left hemisphere would make of this. Not what I wanted. My left brain doesn't even color in the lines with any imagination, much less color OVER the lines...

So I decided to scare the left brain away. This is not too hard to do with nonsense (really silly play of most kinds), tedium (like driving the car or taking a shower), or mess. I went for number 1 and number 3, but mostly number 3. This is when it's handy to have those Lukas acrylics in squirt bottles.

I've never started with a mostly green ground before. Why not? Spreading the green out was fun, and I had some left over, which I put back in the squeeze bottle (try doing that with the traditional tubes!). The left brain was nowhere in sight. It's back for this writing, but it wasn't wielding the brush anymore. It needs to stay where it belongs - a computer keyboard is a good place.

After I spread the green paint, I added an ivory color I like, and some red pencil (Prismacolor - neon red). I've got more texture and paint ridges than I usually have even on larger pieces - I'm curious to see how those turn out (what they end up inside of). For a piece this small, this feels like a lot of texture, to me.

The acrylics, while wet, will absorb some color from watercolors, so I loaded a brush and dripped, splashed, and splattered. Then I put on a few yellow accents in some of the rare remaining unpainted paper. I have to keep my watercolor brushes away from the acrylics! I have two sets, which reminds me of a kosher kitchen, with separate dishes for the passover, to keep even the smallest trace of possible leavening from getting into the food. Hence with acrylics, which forever change the fibers of a brush, making them no longer able to soak up watercolors as they should.

Now mind you, this little rectangle is truly nothing but a mess right now - a manageable mess, with a little bit structure and manners, but a mess all the same. It may become something, or not. It might jest get painted over arbitrarily, like the recent self portrait, or it might grow into something without being mostly lost to view. We'll see. The results might be on AEDM 23, or maybe something else will be... I'll have three dry sheets by then, and I'm, itchin' to start those cats in the sun.


linda said...

wow steve, you do have a mess there! but I also see why you screamed at the first one, kicked it across the room, sighed, picked it up and poured green all over it....I would have chosen orange but, no difference, green is like that, it might turn into something, ummmm, green or not-I can't wait to see this, one way or the other ...

and those cats are to become the next one(s)? best laid plans of mice and men you know.....grin..
they might be purple before you're done, at this rate! that's an interesting cat don't you think? ... left brain goes tilt and right brain has taken the wheel...I should go tend to my own mess...I need to buy some more watercolor and so am wondering, should I try the lukas brand?I'm not too partial to any one brand at this point excepting I love the Quniacridone colors and need some rose. I'll check back later to see if you've checked in here.

have fun..

Steve Emery said...

Linda - tomorrow morning you'll see what is emerging from the mess. AND the next steps on the cat painting, which is separate, of course.

As for LUKAS, I love the intensity of them, and the colors suit me. I don't know if they have the quinacridones... I like those, too (violet, especially) but I'm not using them lately.

linda said...

thanks steve, I am off to hunt the lukas watercolors and see what colors they have...I can always get some daniel smith, which I like alot...

looking forward to the cats and the green paper :)

Leah said...

ha! i love the way you scared that left brain away!!

Jul said...

What a fun series of work-in-progress photos. I, too, love the way you scared the left brain away. Reminds me of crazy purple lines I added to the sky of a cityscape recently - I think I must have been trying to accomplish the same thing!

And interesting note about the brushes - I didn't know that acrylics ruined it for the watercolors like that. I am so bad abut keeping brushes separate, but I'm sure I could benefit from a little discipline in that area.

Steve Emery said...

Linda - I hope you found what you were looking for - and I hope that tower of crayons came!

Leah - That scare-off seems to have kept it at bay long enough for me to accomplish the Cats and Sunshine piece - I could never have done that with the left brain in control.

Jul - Welcome, and Thanks! I'm glad if anything here helps anyone. And it seems to clarify my own path to "think out loud" on my blog.

And I'll be over your way shortly to tell you what I really like about your paintings. Of course that's me talking - the guy who likes and creates what you see over here... So keep that in mind ;-) .

Rowena said...

Your right brain is very sophisticated.

I love this exercise, and the way you dive right into it.

Scaring the left brain is right.