Saturday, May 17, 2008
Most of today was spent doing "other" things but I finally stole a few hours and started a new painting entitled "Jackson's Trip to Heaven". I do not have a preconceived image of what this painting is. Unlike some artists who have a painting in mind in its entirety when they start, this painting started with only the smallest "thumbnail" drawing of Jackson's face. I had forgotten to check paints before I started and was somewhat limited to paint supplies. On the first layer I used a warm blue acrylic mixed with a cool green for the outline. I started with Jackson's head transferring what I had drawn with pencil in a thumbnail sketch to paint on a canvas. The head was not translating into shapes that felt correct. Additionally, the head was low and at a weird angle so when I added a body it looked cartoony and wrong. I turned the canvas to the right and started layer two with black acrylic painting a close-up of his head. A dribble of paint came down from one eye which I decided reflect the sadness Jackson would have felt (as well as my sadness) leaving his family. I was unhappy with this layer. I felt this painting should have more sub-stories so I could tell a more involved story about Jackson's trip to heaven and not simple show emotion as I would in a close-up painting of his head. I then turned the canvas once more to the right and roughed painted a dog in the upper right, some clouds, and trash can with brown paint. Because of the two layers of earlier lines I had opportunity for happy accidents. One line became a leash, there are mountains from those lines and a faucet with running water from layer two. Every painting that I do does not always start in the same manner. Some start with a more comprehensive pen or ink drawing, some paintings are compositional figured out in the first layer and some like this one, take a while to get where they need to go.