Fall is in the air, and that means it is time for the Annual Nestie Halloween Photoshoot and Charity Raffle. For the past 2 years I have donated a painting to support the chosen cause. This year's charity is MOAS (Migrant Offshore Aid Station).
So of course, this year will be no different. Last year I let the winner choose the color scheme and type of pod/flower she wanted. While I liked that concept, I am better at just creating than doing commissioned pieces.
I decided to keep with my current style--see the Map Series. I am really liking this style and the possibilities of color combinations I can create. I went a little bigger this time, working on a 20"X20" square canvas. As I was spreading out the crackle paste, I was wishing I had bought that large palette knife that looked like a cake icing spatula I saw when I was in Boston this summer at MassArt.
Anyway, I am super happy with the end result. I wanted something bright, yet soft. I think I captured what I pictured in my head completely. I hope the winner has a good place to hang it. I guess I should go buy some hardware for the back before Sunday. ;)
Take a 14X18 canvas. Paint it black. Spread a layer, not too thick, of Golden Crackle Paste. Let it dry so the magic can happen. Add watercolor. It's that easy. Or is it really.
It started out as a microscopic look at alcohol, but turned out to be much more. A point came in the process where I began to no longer see the cells, but started to see a map. The way the cracks played with the layers of watercolor, it began to remind me of a shoreline. And, depending upon which orientation you held the artwork, you were either coming home from a journey or about to venture out to sea on one.
This prompted what was going to be a 3-piece series on microscopic looks at different alcoholic beverages, to a 5-piece map series. Each canvas started out the same...black acrylic paint, crackle paste, then watercolor. But, with each piece, I grew. With each piece I learned something new.
In No. 2, I experimented with color, but still keeping the soft, pale palette. In No. 3 I experimented with techniques to create a shallow underwater feel. No. 4 brought a second watercolor tray and a more intense color. And finally, No. 5 went in a new direction. I learned how to handle the crackle paste and that the major crack lines will form along the direction lines left by the palette knife. I learned how to create an intense color with both dry and moist watercolor trays. I found that it is "easy" to modify a contour line of a land mass with just some water and a paper towel.
I found inspiration from my Instagram feed. Images from photographers such as National Geographic, David Loftus, Onthere, spencer_raymond, and purposeofenvy provided my imagination with landscapes and color schemes that were food for my mind and creative spirit.
As with many pieces I do, they could be oriented in more than one direction. With lots of looking, and with some help from my facebook friends, I chose which felt most comfortable to look at. I am fascinated that my works does this. I often start with one direction in mind, but as the piece evolves, so does the direction. I am super pleased with my series. I have my favorites, and I am sure you will too. I plan on creating more pieces in this fashion. I really enjoyed creating them.