I hadn’t intended to create the effect of looking through windows in my new painting. I originally imagined the piece would have a looser feel using splatters and drips. I wanted to explore the color blue in this painting, and while I expected the result to have a quieter mood surrounding it, I wasn’t entirely prepared for the astonishing surprise viewed through the windows.
I started with a light tone of blue and red for the under painting and then moved right away to the fun part- drips! The canvas was tilted while I applied darker blue to one end. I manipulated a few running drips here and there, but for the most part, let them be.
Once the drips had set, I returned to the painting and felt it needed an emphasis on line. The way in which I wanted to do that was to apply painter’s tape to a couple of areas. I chose a corner of the canvas and crossed two pieces of tape one over the other in that section.
I applied some blue with gloss medium closest to the tape and a little white in the open areas to create opacity. I had an idea that the layer underneath the tape might appear more clear and transparent than the areas I left untaped. When I pulled the tape up once the paint was dry, I was pleasantly surprised.
It was like peeking into another world.
I enhanced a few areas that had been under the tape with India ink and white paint. I loved the effect so much that I took a smaller piece of tape and repeated the experiment in a different area of the painting. The result in that area is less dramatic, but it works to pull the painting’s composition together. Finally, I added a few hints of red here and there. Every painting needs a little red.
While I was doing a write up for this painting, I thought a little bit more about the technique I used to create the vibrant blue sky. I am so inspired by this blue of Colorado as I am today, an early Spring day. I had briefly described the painting as a soft pastel done on black sanded paper. This is true enough, and there is not much more I could do to elaborate on that.
It occurred to me, however, as I was relaxing outside this afternoon in the sun that not only was this description true for my painting, but it was true for the sky as well. That is to say, that behind that stunning blue veil is the truth of the matter. The foundation of the blue sky is the black depth of the universe, just as the foundation for my blue sky in the above painting is the black paper.
Sometimes I strive to paint the truth, and sometimes it just happens.
Which is better?