•Small work process

My nine completed paintings, waiting for the art exchange.

My nine completed paintings, waiting for the art exchange.

In my last post, I shared with you the art exchange I did with my local art group.  It was an event I hosted at my home, and nine of us artists gave and received nine original works of art.  So cool, right?

My studio in December of 2012.  Many works in progress.

My studio in December of 2012. Many works in progress.

Anyway, since my paintings are so layered, and take a long time to complete, I was a bit mystified as to how to approach the project.  I was tempted to give a photograph- that would definitely make creating nine originals much simpler.  Right?

But I decided to challenge myself, to get out of my comfort zone, and to figure out how to re-create my painting style in a smaller format, and in a manner that was feasible.  You see, creating a smaller version of one of my larger pieces is not as simple as it sounds.  It is important that I stand when I paint, as it keeps me moving and loose, which makes for a more fluid brushstroke.  Once I sit, everything about my movement changes.  I grasp the brush differently, I tighten up.

My 9 small paintings all lined up before the 2012 Wellesley Women Artisans art exchange, as well as glimpse of my dining room decked out for Christmas.

My 9 small paintings all lined up before the 2012 Wellesley Women Artisans art exchange, as well as glimpse of my dining room decked out for Christmas.

I also had a tough time getting my head wrapped around how to paint nine individual pieces in a reasonable time frame.  I knew that I would have to work on them all together, but how exactly I wondered?  And on what surface?  And would I paint one large piece and then cut it up into individual paintings, or develop 9 paintings as separate entities?

My first thought was to try painting on some large sheets of thick paper taped together in the back, but once I taped it to a large canvas and hung it on the wall, the tape would eventually give out within a day or so…

Taped up sheets of very thick paper.  First (failed) attempt to create multiple paintings as one piece.

Taped up sheets of very thick paper. First (failed) attempt to create multiple paintings as one piece.

I also realized that I did not prefer painting on paper, as I like to be more physical during the painting process and felt I had to be much more delicate with the paper. So, I came up with the idea of mounting several small canvases on plywood.  That way, I did not have to put a ton of screw holes in my wall.

The nine paintings hung on plywood and about half way completed.

The nine paintings hung on plywood and about half way completed.

Once I had my process down, I just went for it.  It was a little different painting on nine small canvases rather than one large one, but much of my method stayed the same.  I used the same colors on each canvas, but vary the composition and mark making.  Because I worked on every piece each time I added a layer, they came together in a cohesive fashion.  I did try to work a little smaller (tighter marks) so that each piece became a mini version of a larger painting, rather than a cropped version of a larger piece.  Make sense?

The other great benefit to working on these pieces is they became opportunities to try out some of the ideas that have been floating around in my head for a while.  For instance, my 5 year old son loves robots, and I have been wanting to make him a robot painting for his room.  I now have a better idea of what I would like to do with that robot painting.  I also know that Jase loved the smaller version, which makes me more excited to get started on his painting.  Additionally, I had a lot of fun developing this new process, and creating 9 original paintings to give to my fellow art friends.

Here is the result of my labor.

Since I had so little room on the 6x6" canvas, I signed them each on the side.

Since I had so little room on the 6×6″ canvas, I signed them each on the side.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s