Certain motifs captivate (or haunt) me. Bright blue days in late spring and early summer are an example. This is the season when everything seems to be reflected in the pond, and it’s a joy to walk the perimeter and take it all in – the sounds, the temperature, and of course the visual feast. Each walk proffers its own delight, and demands its own painting. July Slides By is the newest addition to the series, a gentle meditation on floating, as if one could swim and float into the sky and stay there for as long as one wished. Details from July Slides By are below, along with earlier paintings in the series and a photograph showing one of the days on which the series is based. Enjoy.
Technical painting notes: All of the paintings in the series were begun by rolling a layer of dark, fairly neutral-colored oil paint onto the surface of the primed wood panel. I deliberately apply the roller with a skipping and staggered motion, to create a staccato rhythm of marks. I next use a mixture of oil and solvent on a plastic bag to push the paint around and loosen it up, again trying for an interesting pattern of marks and streaks. Solvent is spattered onto the panel, and more rolling is done to soften the marks and redistribute some of the paint. When this layer is dry, glazes are applied and some definition of the subject begins. Each day I add more glazes and try to define the subject without losing the abstract gestures in the underpainting. Sometimes I add layers of paint spatter in various colors, either to soften an edge or to suggest the pollen on the surface.
Each painting in the series looks at a different aspect of the subject, or explores a different approach. The process teaches me to look more deeply, and to let my imagination run free.
Below is a photograph from the pond, followed by other paintings in the series.