I admit it. I'm an idea person. I constantly have a long list of things to try - and it's not just with painting. However, I do try to focus most of my energy on the ideas related to painting, and toss out unnecessary distractions, but it's not easy. And it's often my husband who has to remind me to keep focused, although I am getting better as I age... kinda like cheese, I guess.
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Anyway, I had a new idea. Not a new idea, just a slightly different twist to what I've seen done before. My inspiration? Two artists who graciously helped me launch my art career: Ben Mann and Brett Varney. When I was just starting out, these two gents were already out there doing the art thing in the town of Bellingham, WA, back when I too was a resident there, not doing the art thing. Their art is especially unique for the styles they have employed. They both use a black line to hold together their vivid, colorful imagery.
Brett works in oil pastel on black paper. It's this black paper, peeking out between lines and shapes, that make his imagery stand out. Although lately, he's been moving to having the shapes and lines define themselves more and doing an amazing job incorporating gold leaf work as well. They are quite stunning. Still, his traditional style with the black paper lines are what originally struck me when I first was introduced to his work. You can see for yourself HERE.
Ben also uses black lines to accentuate the elements in his work, however he's working in acrylics, as do I. His background is in design, and you and definitely see his expertise at work in his colorful and whimsical paintings. Ben uses a black gesso as his base and then draws his imagery with chalk lines first. Once drawn, he then uses color to further define the shapes and movements, leaving the chalk lines intact (for the most part). When his painting is dry, he can then wipe away the chalk with a damp cloth, leaving the black lines. You can still find Ben's studio in Bellingham (Fairhaven, that is), and out and about painting the town. If you can't make it to Bellingham, check out his work HERE.
Now, back to my little thought...
I often start my paintings with an abstract scraping of multiple colors of paint. I prefer to use old library cards, or such, with acrylics instead of palette knifes. As I was preparing such a painting I thought, what if I used the chalk technique but instead of on black, use it on this colorful background. Hmmmm.
I prepped 3 canvases. Chalked up 3 canvases. I had planned on a nice little vineyard triptych. As is often the case with my painting, each canvas took on a life of it's own, and this is what's left. The last painting (also shown above) actually shows the style I was attempting. The other two... well... I don't argue with the canvas. I just do what it tells me.
10 x 10 x 1.5 inch
"One Summer Day"
10 x 10 x 1.5 inch
"Memories of a Valley View"
based on the landscapes looking toward Chuckanut Drive
And as for the people who always ask, "where do you come up with your ideas when you paint?", I still have many more to get back to INCLUDING these!
Rocks and Minerals (previous blog post)
My Southwest Trip, and Grand Canyon
Image Transfers of Photgraphs depicting people
Posted by Jennifer Lommers at 11:38 AM