Tag Archives: texture

The Journal of Dreams 01/15/2010

I worked all night on the sky and Martin Luther on the horse.  At the art supply store, the best thing I found was YES paste.  It has a thickness, is archival and does not yellow after time which does not make a significance difference in the painting because I mixed it with liquid acrylics to create a relatively stable color.

The blow dryer ran for hours last night as I worked feverishly to surprise the Police Officer next door.  It was he who suggested the sky be done in that way.  I told him that I had considered doing it in that technique but when he said to consider it, it sealed the plan.  He will be surprised the next time I call him over to see the painting.

Using a plastic spoon, I scooped out 3 heaping teaspoons in a metal mixing cup then added an estimated 2 tablespoons of liquid acrylic color.  Mixing it in my hand, I found the warmth of my hand against the metal cup allowed the YES paint to soften to a little thicker consistency than honey, then let it stiffen at room temperature.

I applied “globs” and “globs” to the painting then when through them with the brush to create trails swirling around.  It was more difficult than I imagined.  It is not easy to swirl designs and make them look light and airy.  I let the sky travel on to Martin Luther’s cheek and face to make him become one with the sky, as he is now.

After drying the paste and paint to a solid enough surface to lightly brush, I initially and very lightly brushed pastel colors over the ridges of texture.  The effect was unacceptable as it is too small of an area (believe it or not) to go from light to the dark of the accompanying Locust on the right side, so I darkened the sky.

Using bold colors mimicking the backdrop of the television show Who’s Line Is It Anyway, made from bold, bright colors I dried them and highlighted the sky in white for uniformity.  The bold color showed modestly in the deep texture and the white is on the protruding texture followed by Interference Blue to blend in the Locust.

I wrote backwards above Martin Luther’s head:  PROFOUND INSPIRATION which will only be visible via X-ray, and maybe not even then since this section of the painting is on a custom, wood (Birch) canvas.  It was my thank you to him for his sacrifice to make the world better for all of us, a private message…

When I went to Michael’s, I custom ordered the last 5 gallery wrap canvases needed for the painting.  I have 4 wooden canvases coming and that will be finally, after 12 years, the entire 30 canvases I need to complete the painting.  The gallery wraps are around $110.00 a piece and they were on sale…what a lucky find!

Actually I needed one extra canvas because I used one years ago painting gigantic red blood cells.  That canvas will be used in the painting and painted over.  Just know that the blood of life is pulsating under this painting as blood pulsates under our skin keeping us alive.  A beautiful thought, a beautiful vision!

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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.

The Journal of Dreams 01/07/2010

The black swirls are dry enough to highlight with Interference Blue but I can not find it.  Interference Blue is a white powder that when disturbed turns metallic blue.  For me it seems a color associated with heaven.  Tonight my daughter and I are heading to the craft store, I will look for it there.  In the interim, I will apply the human or synthetic hair to the black horse.  I can’t find that either…frustrating.  Out into the great wide open to find what I need…

We are back after roaming the entire city!  I found a synthetic black hair with silver in it, 18″ in length.  The human hair at that place was outrageous!  When applying synthetic hair you always have to be aware of heat applied.  I usually blow-dry the hair after applying sealer.  The distance is critical or the hair will try to turn into an afro as it shrinks.  I bought human red and blond hair for the red and pale horses.  They are in the distance and the hair can be much shorter.

This hair is different from what I am used to working with.  Usually I work with hair on a track,  This hair is one continuous 36″ piece that requires cutting in the middle.  It is crazy because I absolutely cannot stand for the hair to get stuck to my hands.  It sets off a panic within me as my fingers become intertwined with the binding hair.  After I work on this, I will write more this evening.  It is snowing out, so it is a perfect time to work on inside things.

The hair is in its place but I used far more than I wanted.  It covers the riders chest that I worked so hard on to make it look muscular and in correct anatomy…it was indeed a “pretty” chest.  The swirls within the horse’s body were created by mixing Yes paste (a thick, professional grade glue) and black acrylic paint.  I sealed them with hard wood floor polymer.  I suppose the evaporation of moisture from the glue made them shrink.  I would have liked the swirls to maintain their deep texture.

John, the carpenter said something very inspiring.  I was talking about the small army of black horses under the current horse and he said: “when they x-ray the painting, they will see all of those.  They always x-ray famous paintings”.  He must have been impressed.  I felt my cheeks flush up reminding me of the shyness I used to have before I grew distant and cold in my heart after becoming a nurse.  I should have done art all along, it is my true love.

I worked on the official website some more.  Updating the event board and coloring it is more appealing.  I placed clues to mysteries on some pages.  People keep calling me Sir, I suppose most people think I am a man and leaving it that way might just get me further faster.  The website allows 5 pages, so I purchased 5 extra for 10 total to make a store for prints and associated items.  I saw mugs, hats, t-shirts and all kinds of stuff which can be made.

Well, I work the next two days.  What it feels like is when you start to get the flu or a cold, when you feel achy and a little dizzy.  I’ve felt this way hundreds of times and know I am not getting sick, I am just tired.  This job ends on the 28th.  Twenty days and 12 shifts.  Imagine working a job where you count down the days until you leave several times a year, for years and years.  The gypsy in me misses the freeway I’ve traveled so many times.

I stand outside at work in the middle of the night smoking and listening to the freeway sounds and see the headlights calling me.  Sometimes I feel like just walking away and never looking back, then I stomp out my cigarette, take a deep breath and turn toward the door.  I pulled my shoulders back and say:  “One more year, just one more year.”  When I step through the doors and smell the “hospital smell”, I forget about my dreams…I am a dedicated little soldier.