Tuesday, October 4, 2011

A Sneak Peek Into The Homeless Finch Studio

I'm in the studio today.  No appointments, no distractions just me, my doggies, my finch and my paints.  Oh! and my laptop.  I am writing this after taking a break for lunch. I needed to let the paint dry on the three canvases that I am working.  Working is the word.  Not sure exactly where I am going with these three.  It's exciting, but frustrating as well.  I work an area wondering if, in the finished product, it will even be visible.  That has become my process.  I just let some things happen.

Along the way, I snap quick images to document where I have been.  I like to do this and then go back and analyze my choices and re-address the direction the painting is taking.  Sometimes, I see things in the flat presentation that a photograph supplies that gives me insight into new ideas.  I have decided to show you the series that has developed.  What the heck, right?!!
The canvases are 20 X 20 each.  This is the first few layers of paint that I put down.  I combined Mars Black with White in varying combinations to create a few different hues.  I also watered down a few to create washes.  I felt like starting with something that would loosely feel like a landscape.  Here are a few details.
I allow some of the washes to drip and run on the canvas.  I don't try and control this because I like the visual texture that they can lend later on in the process.  I let this dry, took a look at the images and decided to play a little bit with some of the areas with solid coverage of paint color.  Here is what I got.
My son saw these in this stage and said, "Oh, mountains!"  I thought, "Maybe."  I don't like to label anything as I go. In fact, I avoid labeling things because I find it restrictive.  I am not always successful in that endeavor. 

So, I get sick of all the grey.  Without much thought (I seriously mean this) I painted a few colors straight out of the tube onto the painting.  I mixed a wash of Alizarin and wiped it with a paper towel across the top and allow some to smear in other areas. 
I take a look at the image above and decided that I hate the dang wavy lines that I put in the grey-blue area above my sons "mountains"  They had to go.  They 'felt' wrong.  I decided to use blue tape to mask off the bottom of the paintings like this...
I took the leftover blue-grey mixed colors and spread them across that area with 5 brushes in my hand all at once.  Crazy? Yes. I know.  Every painting has an experimentation phase.  I was in it.  It produced a horrible muddy mess in that quarter of the painting and I knew I needed to take a serious break before I made a dumb decision that ruined the paintings.  I let that layer dry. 

Giveaway item. Cute!
This is the point when I check the blogs.  I need a good distraction from my canvases as the paint dries.  I actually found an awesome solution for my master bath windows on this break.  I will show you that in another post.  I also entered in a giveaway on my friend Deneen's blog, dreamingincolor.  Fingers crossed. I might win.  What is it that I want to win? Well, go to the link and find out! (wink)

Okay. That aside... I decided that I had a good base of color on the canvas and I want to use it as an the under-painting.  I took down the paintings from the wall and grab my gesso.  I proceeded to use a brush and my hands to cover all the canvas in a destructive and fun manner.  The first time my kids saw me do this, they screamed, "No! You are ruining your painting!"  I then sprayed water on them to moisten them and covered them with grocery bags, pressing down as I went.
After letting them sit like this for 15 minutes, I grabbed up the bags and pulled them off the paintings.  I threw them wildly at the door.  I did.  See here is the pile filled with gesso that I am sure got on my floors too.  I'll clean them up later.  Maybe. 
This is what they look like right now. I consider this the first stage in the process. 

I like the texture that the baggy gesso gives the surface.  The gesso takes well to glazing too.  I will let these dry all afternoon and attack them again in the morning when I am fresh.  I realize that the above image is hard to see, so here are a few details.

Hope you enjoyed the little sneak peek into my studio time today.  Coco did.



-The End-
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27 comments:

Twice Nice said...

I am fascinated by your work process! Thanks for sharing it. Can't wait to see how the paintings turn out. I have to say though that when I first read through this and you said your kids screamed, "No, you're ruining...", in my mind I read the next sentence as, "I then sprayed water on them..." as in hosed the kids down. I was laughing so hard and then I read it again and saw you meant the paintings...I think.;-) Deb

Penny @ The Comforts of Home/Flea Market Makeovers said...

As an artist - though in a different medium (mosaics), I found this soooo fascinating! I loved seeing the process you go through.
Penny
p.s. your dog is adorable.

KAT said...

wow...my head is whirling...But I really liked reading your post. I love the gesso texture thing you did with the bags. wonderful to be in on the process. I am very interested !

- KAT -

Teresa@oursoutherncountryhomeandfarm said...

Wow, how talented you are! I wish I was talented enough to paint something recognizable. Coco is a true sweetie!

Deneen@dreaming-n-color said...

Thanks for the shout out! I wish we lived closer so we could have a paint day together!

Rosemary@villabarnes said...

I love all the layering Lesley. I also love your moment of wild abandon. lol

Amy @MaisonDecor said...

Love seeing the creative genius process! So interesting to me...thanks for your very fun comment today on my blog. I know what you mean when you say that "I got so excited by your sink and I don't even KNOW you"!! Isn't that the best thing about blogging?? I think it might be that interest we generate and how it comes back like a boomerang.

Jen T said...

Lesley - I just love seeing art created! Thank you for this..it's fascinating how each step adds something new to the end piece, whether it's texture or color and how it all adds depth and interest. Thank you for coming by my dusty old blog today and I ALWAYS LOVE hearing from you, so let me just say in CAPS. YOU CAN EMAIL ME ANYTIME! You're such a super lady!!! (that's a line from Fargo and you can watch it on youtube I'm sure, if you don't know what I'm talking about.) I'm derailing, just know..this is great - keep it up and keep blogging b/c you are fascinating! jen

Carolyn@SweetChaos said...

As someone who can barely draw a stick figure, I find your creative process fascinating :)

Pointy Pix said...

Your thought process is fascinating. I love how relaxed and flip you are with your work as you go along - not labelling anything. The gesso/bag thing is genious as I love texture on paintings. I'll enjoy popping back to see how these progress.
Your dog is adorable!

ArtMuseDog and Carol said...

Love the process of your painting and the results of the 'trash bags' ~ very creative and daring ~ best way to paint I think! ~ thanks ~Happy PPF ~ namaste, Carol ^_^ (Share the Creative Journey)

Phoenix Peacock said...

your process is intriguing. I cant wait to see it develop more.

Joni Nickrent said...

WOW! What an adventure in your studio! Exciting, fun and creatively awesome! Loving the progress of your paintings...I do believe those mountains are lost, but still a memory of the journey. AWESOME STUFF!POP ART MINIS

Yvonne said...

Very fun and interesting work. Love how it is turning out. I have used saran wrap but now will use plastic bags, especially for a bigger piece. I've been wanting to paint a diptych or triptych also and just need to decide on how to get started. Happy PPF.

Gloria said...

Wow, what an interesting process!! It was fun visiting in your studio and watching the different steps. Great job, Thanks for sharing!

Christine said...

really enjoyed seeing your process evolve into that beautiful piece!

carlarey said...

Wow, you really have gone 360 degrees with these paintings. It's so great to see your whole process. Can't wait to see the final versions.

SHERI C said...

LOVED the step-by-step photos of what you are up to in your studio. Can't wait to see where all this goes!!! Happy PPF!

JKW said...

I love that you tell the techniques. You take a picture and put it on the computer to see what needs to be done? I do that to, it shows up the imperfections and where I need to touch up or change altogether. We live pretty close to each other. Although I didn't attend FAU, I did get my degree later and felt self-confidence for the first time, go figure. Blessings, Janet

EVA said...

Fascinating! Looking forward to seeing where these go next (and where they end up)!

Mandy said...

fantastic, i love the drip effect and the plastic bags have given them a wondeful texture...xxx

Tracey Fletcher King said...

It is always great seeing someone's process. We rarely get time to paint with others and it is that little slice of art school heaven back for me every time I see how someone gets to the end of their work. Thanks for sharing xx

Geckostone said...

Wow, what a fascinating process! And each step of the way it just kept getting better and better and better!!!Absolutely AMAZING ( as Huell Howser would say!)Beautiful work! Deb

Kristin Dudish said...

It is so great to get a peek into your process - the texture is wonderful and I can't wait to see what's next :)

xo
Kristin

creatingme said...

I love the texture that these bags made!

Fallingladies said...

Great texture, and such an interesting process!

iamrushmore said...

hmmm.... I have a few works in progress that are pissing me off right now. Might have to try your bag technique! love seeing all your steps along the way. great to see the "missteps" too. It's a journey!