Roland’s journal entries and photos detailing his aesthetic and painterly objectives, observations and summations regarding creating this painting.
Start: July 29, 2022
Finish: August 1, 2022
16 x 20 inches oil on cotton canvas
The canvas was primed with acrylic gesso tinted with brown latex house paint.
This is the first painting where I start giving myself specific objectives/goals. Working out ahead of time what directions I want to go for my finished result. Remembering the goals and checking them as I go and against the finished product will be a very good reality check.
As with others in this series I started with a vine charcoal drawing, this time erasing many efforts which I thought were haphazard and random. I decided not draw just any gesture design that comes to me but put more effort and thought into the sketch. I wanted a composition I felt was good.
I rubbed and diffused some of the charcoal lines with a cloth which lost all of their sharpness and ended up doing it to all the lines because I liked the look of it.
I am making an effort to have larger spaces in the drawing for more breathing room from the energetic line movement. Also I’m trying to have rounds shapes as a reoccurring motif among fairly straight and angular lines.
For stability I have sort of a horizon line on the bottom a quarter way up and mountain peaks or triangles higher up on the left side.
I have painted over most of the charcoal lines with gray.
I am trying to make the left side recede with the cooler dark blue vertical lines on the top left. The middle I am using a warmer gray line and warmer colors. The right side I’m not sure if I will use cooler or warmer colors. All the colors are muted, not much saturation, from a limited pallet following my goals.
To me the painting has religious quality. Pilgrims on a journey. Not my intent. On the top left, the round shapes I think of as heads of figures and in the middle there is a cross at the top and below that cross, down on the bottom there are two more. I will most likely lose the one on the top, which will make the two below unimportant.
I added color shapes behind the “figures” in the top left which gives them more presence lessening the strong pull of the the dark horizonal (horizon) line below it in the bottom half.
During this session I tried to get background colors painted in.
The upper left hand blue line work was too dark for me drawing too much attention so I brought the value down and I realized that I wanted all of the line work to have the same tone. My reasoning for this aesthetic choice is that I wanted the piece to be easily read from all points. Meaning not having one area jump out too strongly. This may flatten the piece some what, and that’s fine. I’m at the stage now where I just want to finish it and move on to my next piece.
I am applying the paint thinly and I would say timidly, partly because I am being economical with the paint. Penny wise pound foolish I think. When I apply the paint the first stroke is fresh and vibrant and I wish that I could continue that freshness but I don’t have that skill level, yet. I think if I get close to this approach I would be using much more paint and would be much more confident where and when I apply paint. In the perfect painting session each first stroke would be the last. My approach now has been as a beginner painter. Putting down thin layers until I’m comfortable with the color scheme then painting the area again with the final color. I’m losing freshness that I described because I’m not using the exact color again because the moment has moved on and cannot be repeated as when I first lay down that first color I liked so much.
I do like to play with perspective in these lined abstract drawings/paintings . Giving the viewer more than one way to visualize the three dimensional illusion that the painting offers. I am thinking this is more of a cubist approach which is fine but I need to own it and realize that’s what I’m doing. Control it. Do it when I want to do it or not.
In my opinion this painting has two main elements, the line work and the color in between the line work. The lines are thicker than the previous pieces and they are more muted which makes the piece appear not as colorful. I could talk a long time regarding all the sections of the piece but I will mention the upper left behind the blue figures I feel is distinctive, and I spent a bit time making it so, hopefully for the better. The piece wants strong lighting to look it’s best. In general I’m happy with a piece I just need to sign it.
Mousing over and off the video, when it is playing, makes the controls appear or disappear.