From the Studio

thoughts on art and process in action from a contemporary artist

three hour painting

with one comment

I’m taking a ground-up painting class this semester.  There are certain holes in my painting (like how to build a good stretcher) that I want to fill. Today we kicked off the painting part of the course with a “show up with a photo to work from and a prepared surface, finish something by the end of class”.  The studio part of the class is from 1-3:45 and we spent the last half hour (running over to 4) discussing them.  The actual painting was pretty much free-painting with little commentary- basically the professor getting to see where we were all starting from.  I took another half hour after class to touch up, and I’d like to touch up some more, but I like what came out of this.

I took the image from a library of congress photo by Alfred Palmer of a woman building a B52 bomber.  I cropped it, desaturated it and mucked with contrast and shadows before using it as a source.  The original photo is full color.

My thought was that if I was supposed to work from a photo was that I wanted to get some of the qualities of photography into the painting and black and white helped do that.  At the same time I decided to use three blacks (warm, neutral, cold), so it’s not exactly a monochrome painting.  Knowing I would have only 3 hours and have to cart it back wet to the studio I worked small.

It felt good to work wet-on wet on a neutral grey background.  I’ve never done it before.  With representational painting I have been working more in layers.  I also really enjoyed diving into Flake White- much more silky and less chalky than titanium white, but more opaque than zinc white- a good match for the photo feel I thought.  It’s not done but I’d like to finish this one.  I like the circle of machine surrounding the woman- organic, mechanical…  it was a good painting session.

I’m so often pushing the edge with new processes and materials that I forget how easily things come now when it’s just paint.

Written by Mary Corey March

September 8, 2012 at 7:28 am

One Response

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Dude, you did that painting in 3 hours? *boggle*


    September 10, 2012 at 5:52 am

Leave a Reply

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

You are commenting using your 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: