House paint on wood
32" W x 62" H
2020 - Available for purchase
One day I got a particular notion in my head about a possible experiment in applying color (specifically paint washes) to a painting in a fresh, new way. I thought, "what if I created a gradient on an actual painting stretcher of all the colors that I wanted to apply as washes on a different painting, then I situated the two paintings side by side and used a garden hose with a spray nozzle to forcefully splash the colors from one painting onto the adjacent painting?"
Why on earth would I do that? Well, I try to push myself in how I apply paint, preferring to avoid traditional brushes. So this seemed like a novel experiment that could get some unforeseen, interesting results. So I went for it. I set up one painting (which was to be my focus) that I thought was progressing well, and right beside it, I set up a blank stretcher onto which I created a yellow-orange-brown gradient. Next, I grabbed my hose, turned it on full power, and used the powerful spray to splash the gradient's color onto the top of the focus painting.
After all was said and done, the painting that I was focusing on didn't turn out very interesting. But the surface I used to create the "splash" gradient really caught my eye. It seemed like something I could work into a finished piece. That was where the central gradient of this painting originated. I later did a few things to work the edges, including creating the contrasting stroke gradients, and then finishing the sides with solid black and white.
This sort of thing captures one of the reasons why I love to paint. I love surprise, I love experimentation, and I love the tension of using hard-to-control, physical processes to create interactions of color and texture.