>Texture of Summer’s Feathers of August and beginning of September 2009

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Summer’s Feather
by Cathy Hegman
20 x 16 inches

The beauty is in the texture for me this summer. I have become familiar and reacquainted with oil paint these last few months. I have always been intrigued with the application and manipulation of pigment and the respective binder. I find an unending mystery in this facet of my life in painting. When I view a painting, I am most drawn to the application and surface texture of the paint,and the means by which it was achieved. The texture can affect not only the tactile quality of the paint but also affects the intensity, pattern, and value of the paint. I am finding more and more that the texture can give the painting an “otherworldly and mysterious” quality that tends to make the painting more intriguing for the viewer. The edges of shapes and lines can be either soft or hard, giving different ways to achieve their dominance or non-dominance in the painting. All of these in essence add to the texture of the painting as a whole.

This painting began with a sheet of gatorboard and some raw canvas. I adhered the canvas to the gatorboard with matte medium and let it dry thoroughly. I then applied several coats of gesso to the canvas covered board. I let this dry and then sanded it a bit. The next step was to get out a jar of String or Tar Gel, I applied it with a stick to let it drip and meander on the surface. After the gel dried, I base coated the board with Napthal Red Acrylic. I inspected my work and decided the string gel was too prominent in the piece and looked a bit contrived, so I took out some modeling paste made by Golden Paints and the largest knife I could find and covered the whole board with modeling paste. This served two purposes, it leveled out the string gel and filled in the holes made from the stringy lines of gel and also it gave it a somewhat stucco looking texture which I liked. Well now that I had a really interesting surface, I had better decide what this painting would be about. I flipped through some doodles I had done on an old statement on my desk. I often doodle while on the phone, waiting for the internet, talking to my hubby, and just killing time. I do wish there was a market for these as I seem to always be doodling on something.
My doodle( everything looks better with a doodle on it!)

Well, this one caught my attention as I remembered thinking while doodling these birds,that these were an amalgamation of several birds that I love to paint and draw. I like creating my own species of animals and birds in my art. These birds somehow fit nicely with this surface, that much like the doodle were created by layering and reinventing the surface. I might add that it was a cool surface to sketch my birds on as well as it was like rough concrete and hyper absorbent. I really began to have fun when I started painting as it was a bit of a struggle to get the paint to stay where you would wanted it to, the interesting thing about this surface was no matter how tight I tried to get my edges refused to get a hard line about them. When you have a surface like this that is unpredictable, it adds a good bit of joy to the actual process of painting, as every stroke is somewhat of an experiment. I painted this in acrylic and tried to give it the same feeling that my oil paintings have had all summer. I did not achieve that goal but I am pleased with the results none the less. There just may be no way for me to garner the feeling of cold waxed oils using my acrylic paint , but I still love acrylics for their own merits. In short they dry fast!


Early stages of paint

Detail of early stages of paint. Note the charcoal redefining the edge of the bird and tree limb, these will intermix with the paint layers that come later.

At the onset the paint seemed rather raw so I went back with vine charcoal and redefined the shapes and lines and then as I painted around them and through them the charcoal mixed with the paint, giving the piece a nice feel. I kept layering paint and charcoal and finally came to what I felt was the finished piece! you know while writing this I was thinking I wonder if the painting would have been as rich without the red underpainting which is virtually not noticeable at this point. If you look closely you will see bits of red in most of the painting although it does not show up well in the photos. For anyone local who might like to see this painting. It is being exhibited in the One Blu Wall Gallery in the Fondren Bldg. in Jackson, Ms.

I hope you will have a great month! Keep Painting!

Take care,

Cathy Hegman

All artwork and text included in this blog is copyright protected by Cathy Hegman and should not be reproduced in any form or fashion or used without the written permission of Cathy Hegman. All text and artwork included in this blog are solely the thoughts and original art of the artist, Cathy Hegman, unless otherwise noted, and are meant only to be guidelines and thoughts for others to read.

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About Cathy S. Hegman

Art, much like a road links people together both visually and mentally. One can attain a glimpse inside the artist’s soul by studying the artist’s work, and perhaps find something that links them to the artist and the art. A work of art has the ability to resonate and touch the emotions without regard to age, gender, race, or religion through the application of pigment to canvas or paper. Art can be the voice that cries out without limits, or sometimes whispers the thoughts of the creator. Art speaks silently, yet conjures up feelings and gives satisfaction that is undeniable, and yet intrinsic. It validates our need to learn about ourselves, and gives us freedom to search for our own identities. The road is long and often dusty, but always renewing the spirit with inspiration. It is my hope in this lifetime to give a part of what I have learned through and on my journey with others. The deepest form of us is revealed in our thoughts and my art is the translation of my thoughts to paper and canvas. I paint layers of color and line to create a history of marks that will guide the viewer into my world of thought and engage them in the process. I embed personal symbols throughout my art to give it deeper meaning. I encourage you to think about life in a visual way and to contemplate our connections with each other and the world we share.
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4 Responses to >Texture of Summer’s Feathers of August and beginning of September 2009

  1. >Oh WOW, Oh WOW, OH WOW, You just keep out doing youself! Absolutely Beautiful.

  2. CMC says:

    >yeah…I really like this one. Funny…Napthol Red is one of my favorite underpainting colors, too. Especially great since I paint so many landscape oriented works. Also, I like that use of the charcoal and use it in the same way you did here although I'm painting abstractly.Just now saw the cold wax thing…so you were using the cold wax medium with your oils. Does it help them dry faster or about the same. I have some but have never used it.

  3. Cathy Hegman says:

    >Hey Cheryl, Yes the wax does dry most oil colors overnight, which is really nice. It varies on the percent of wax to oil paint too. More wax tends to dry faster.It does take the white a bit longer sometimes. I like the way it feels and looks. I usually use red-orange more than napthol but I used the Napthol in this one. I seem to have bought a lot of that color so I need to use it. I like reds, oranges and yellows it seems by the looks of my supplies. 🙂

  4. CMC says:

    >oh my gosh…I did the same thing the first time I used Napthol. I had a quart of the stuff. Finally got to the bottom not long ago.

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