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Sunday, April 08, 2018

Giving Painting New Life

'The Wonders of Life'      12x16           pastel      ©Karen Margulis
available $165
 Sometimes it is fun to paint without a plan! When I teach I always stress the importance of planning. It is important. It helps to have an idea of your concept, your composition, your values and color palette. But sometimes it is also fun to just paint and see what happens. Today was one of those days.

I took out an old painting that was never really finished to my satisfaction. It was done on a Pastelbord which is a hard surface. It would be easy to repurpose this board. The first thing I did was to tape up the board sideways. I didn't want to be influenced by the previous painting.

I turned an old BAD painting sideways
 Next I brushed off some of the pastel so it wouldn't get gummy in the next step. I decided to do an alcohol wash with rubbing alcohol. I brushed in the alcohol letting it drip. I also used a spray bottle with alcohol to move some of the wet pastel around. I was left with a dark and mysterious underpainting. Now I had to figure out what to paint! What did this underpainting suggest?

the dried underpainting
 To me I was a meadow filled with wildflowers on a sunny blue sky day. I wanted a high horizon. I thought about putting a barn in the top right dark corner. I used a Nupastel to draw my main shapes.

I blocked in my darks and went to work on the meadow and that is when things got interesting! Instead of the blue sky that I was planning.And I started to see a glow on the horizon.I started to see the dark shapes as trees and not a barn. The pink shape in the underpainitng suggested the glow of light.  It wanted to be a different painting. So I listened. I enhanced the glow and worked with my new mood and time of day. The painting then took on a life of its own and I just responded. Sometimes it is liberating to paint without a plan.

enhancing the glow on the horizon

1 comment:

robertsloan2art said...

This one is wonderful! I love the way you listened to the painting at every stage, and turned it sideways so that it wouldn't just be a riff off the old composition. This one is much livelier, and has a very soft, eerie feeling. The light streaming through it is glorious and the color very rich and appealing. It's one of your best. You're still growing and evolving! Yay for unplanned serendipity!