If you've been following my blog, you know I started a big (for me) painting project a couple of weeks ago. I normally paint on the smallish side, most comfortable in the 12" x 18" and smaller realm. This acrylic painting I started the other week, however, is 20" x 44", so pretty big for me. And also, this time I'm trying using a sand and Gesso prep, something else very new for me.
step one - sand and Gesso prep
After letting the prep dry and cure for two weeks, this past weekend I applied the background. I used a wide soft brush, twisting and turning the bristles, to scrub the paint across the peaks and into the valleys created by the sand prep.
step two - background
I let this dry for a few days while I mulled over the various ideas in my head about the direction I wanted to take with this canvas. Then last night, the finished painting came to me in a dream. What I saw in that dream probably broke all the rules of painting - composition, color theory and mixing, everything. But the image brought me such a sense of peace and happiness, who was I to question it? So this evening, I began brushing the acrylics onto the canvas. It was almost like my dream was guiding my hand, selecting the colors and brushes almost without my conscious decision - these colors with this brush, those with the other, until the work felt finished. I can't really explain why I made the choices I made or stopped when I did, and I know this painting may not fit the rules and guidelines of proper painting, but it matches what I dreamed, and to me it just feels complete. Unfortunately when I took a photo of it, the camera tended to flatten the image, muting the subtle variations in tone and depths of color somewhat in addition to making it difficult to see the brush strokes on the sanded texture very well, so this painting definitely is more expressive in person, at least to me. :-)