Tag Archives: Old Masters

The Journal of Dreams 01/27/2010

I started painting the white background on the custom canvases-64 square feet (4-4 foot canvases).  The brush I am using is 1″ and it is clear that I should have used a roller!  This is an absolutely huge painting that gives a lot of time to think about things as you work on it.  I like to keep tabs on what I think about when painting certain things.  Painting is therapy and the huge white canvas(es) are waiting for the artist to spill their thoughts upon it.

Today I imagined the Old Masters and their thoughts while painting some of their best works.  Also, I wondered how much background noises had to do with their thoughts.  In the 1600’s there were probably bird sounds and carriages pulled by horses.  The click-clack of their feet in motion may have kept a beat used to stroke the painting at a certain pace, or maybe the noises threw off the artist’ concentration when trying to do intricate work.

Did the artist paint in solitude or was there an audience watching?  Imagination is a wonderful thing which can take a person into a different realm of existence.  I could turn into someone else while painting, I could find myself hanging by strings like a puppet while I paint, I could go as  far as my imagination would carry me, or that I let it.  In the medical field, an experience like that would be termed psychosis.  I once read that artist view life differently.

What I have noticed is that art and critical care or emergency nursing could complement one another but do not go well together.  There are too many extenuating circumstances that get in the way.  There are too many details that I see which overwhelms me so I try not to see anything beyond the issues at hand.  If time slows down for some reason, it can be an asset, otherwise getting caught up in the details will often get you behind.

A good example is high blood pressure.  A person may come to the emergency room for a completely different ailment.  But as soon as the person walks in they may have a certain tone of color which changes from the neck up, a darker appearance to the skin.  Although the blood pressure may be elevated, if it is not in the danger zone, it is not addressed as rigorously.  The change in skin tone indicates a prolonged battle with high blood pressure sometimes known, sometimes not known.

Most people would not pick up on that subtle change but an artist can see it right away such as in the paleness of lips or especially the lower eyelid that reveals itself in anemia.  It may prove useful for medical students to take classes in painting the human face and becoming aware of the natural colors of the skin when they are not related to diseases and when they are.  Often times things are missed just because someone thinks it is a natural color.

Advertisements

The Journal of Dreams 01/14/2010

Golden acrylics are one of the most expensive paints to paint with, so much so that I will have to find another way to create the rich texture of the sky.  I want it to rise up from the canvas at least 2mm-3mm, even 4mm of possible.  Upon working on it, it was with rapid realization that I noticed the sky requires too much paint to achieve that deep texture.  My favorite art supply store is Michaels where just about everything I need for the painting can be found there and if it is not, it can be custom ordered.  The other evening I was there, exploring my options and saw texture building mediums.  Tonight I will go there and see what I can find to build texture.

The plan is to use Van Gogh’s Starry Night technique but to an extreme.  I had read that when Van Gogh made that painting his sight was so deteriorated that the painting reflected how he had come to actually see things due to exposure from the toxic elements of the paint and pigments he used.  Paint in modern times is supposed to be free of those life altering toxins which is imperative for artist’ like me who have a very real habit of licking their paint brushes.  Further research revealed to me that the Old Master’s often times licked their brushes too.  No reason for it was found in my research but I know why I lick my brushes and probably why they did to.

Often times when painting, an artist mixes a custom color that is difficult to duplicate.  I find myself adding saliva to the brush to fade the last remaining color away.  I used the technique as a shadowing effect, especially with darker colors leaving the same color as mixed, just fading away.  I am unsure if the Old Master’s used the technique for any other purpose other than the reason I use it.  I am unsure when I started doing it, finding myself with a colored tongue is what brought it to my attention, then I realized exactly when and why I do it.

A while back I had run across an old art store going out of business.  They had some powdered pigments in the brightest oranges and yellows.  I bought them for a substantial discount.  Somehow I had looked right past the skull and crossbones on their labels as I focused on the vibrant colors.  That was about 10 years ago and I haven’t ever opened them, afraid of forgetting and licking them as it has become second nature for me.  They sit on a shelf where I admire them but am unsure of myself in the middle of painting to remember they are poison.