Infrared Winter…..at least it looks cool….
Winter cannot seem to make up her mind for the Delta, she comes in bursts of coolness at night, a nocturnal winter,leaving us with unseasonably uncomfortable warmth in the day. I managed to dig out my infrared filter for my camera and shoot some palmettos in my yard, it seemed the right thing to do, shoot a shot in an effort to look cool, using infrared. My, my how I love to conjure up opposite thoughts with words.
In the studio life continues, although with all gallery work completed and there being little pressure to conform to any stringent plans for new work. I find myself in the space and time of the season. Holiday time, it means taking the time to count your blessings and reassess the year you have been given. I am foremost grateful for my family and friends. I am grateful for the long spans of work time that I have put in this year, I am grateful for all the art sales made by my galleries, and I am most of all thankful that no matter what the day or time, I still feel the urge to create art. All of this being said there is something about the no pressure that gives way to working on more personal paintings. There is a freedom to having the space and time to create just to create, to have no one pushing you other than time and the passing of it.
I am still in the weight of balance series; but this time instead of the figure balancing on a hoop in the landscape, the figure is in the act of balancing, or giving order to something external. I am dealing with the thoughts of how random things can throw our lives out of kilter; and we lose balance, and often control of our lives. The external things in our lives that are experienced and felt that move us either out of balance or back into balance.
The painting began with a 24 x 24 inch cradled wood substrate. A square surface can be a blessing and a curse for the design of a painting. It can quickly become boring and predictable. I gave the wood several coats of gesso to seal it well, and to give me a surface that was both absorbent ,white, and most importantly durable. I placed the figure near the center just to make this a problem to be solved design wise. I find that if I start by challenging myself, I will put more effort into the painting to work out the design, and in the process I become more in tune with my subject. I could have placed this to either side of the board, and made the painting much less challenging; but then again, the tension that I felt while struggling to make it work, might not have been there. There is something both comforting and attractive in the remains of a struggle. The desperate marks made while attempting to gain control of the painting are often the most beautiful. I am of the belief that for me, I need the struggle to keep me interested and prevent me from falling on any laurels from previous works. The scratching and running of the painted surface lend a great deal of excitement to the piece at this point.
This is day 4 of the process of painting this piece. I am now starting to develop a color depth with the layers. I want the painting to be cohesive and current in design, yet still I am in search of a content that feels otherworldly and almost mythical. I want this series of paintings to be more than visual.
I am now beginning to add details to the painting. I have added a balancing beam and two birds to the figure. I often put great detail into the paintings and then cover over with layers of paint. This may sound odd, but for me the character of the figure is all I really want, but I cannot achieve the result without the overly detailed beginning. The birds began as credible birds with feathers and beaks and eyes but I quickly melded the sky and landscape over them with squeegees and brush work until all that remained was the vaguely recognizable bird forms balancing on the beam. I am also reworking the figure and the landscape together, I will continue to do this over and over in layers. I am starting to get a sense of the emotion in the painting. FYI I am using and old windshield wiper from my car as a squeegee. I could not bring myself to throw the wiper away and I thought I would give it a new use. Recycle when you can!
This is a bit more detail of the birds and the figure.
When working on a cradled panel, the sides are important to remember. I work the sides and top of the piece as I paint the front but the bottom is always dealt with near the end. I have at this point added more line work and detail to the figure.
Detail of the figure..
The finished piece, Weight of Balance Two Peaces by Cathy Hegman. I will keep it in the studio for a while to see if I decide it needs more but for today it feels complete.
I hope everyone will have a joyous and blessed Christmas. Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. I hope it has in some small way been an asset to your art journey.
*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.my blog.