|Micro-Micro Paintings in Progress (Yes, that's my kid's train table)|
It's been so long since I've worked that it's taking some time to get back into it, to really feel like it's flowing. Today I started working with acrylic paint on canvas. The last time I worked in this medium was about 3 years ago. Yikes! Initially, it felt really forced and uncomfortable. It was missing the natural flow of watercolor that I love so much. As I continued, I thickened the paint and filled my mind with images of my imagined microbes and their movements and interactions. It started. I finally felt that flow with the paint, with the problem solving, the shapes and lines, it felt natural. The thick paint helped immeasurably. Honestly, I've always felt uncomfortable using thick paint because it's so expensive. My frugality gets in the way. But I stopped myself and just let it happen. I used a big brush and some heavy body acrylic and allowed the paint to guide me. The thickness of the paint made it feel more fluid. It's the spontaneity of the fluidity of the paint that makes acrylics so much more fun.
After working for awhile, I realized that I'm finally feeling some influence from my Grandmother Rosemary. She loved black paint and big brushes, and thick paint. One of her favorite artists was Robert Motherwell. It's those big, black marks on a white surface that she was so interested in. The contrast, the simplicity; ideas simmered till they became a perfect, rich sauce. As I was painting I was thinking of her and how she worked, with her big brush and her circles and weirdly perfect compositions. She could compose the strangest shapes together in the most harmonious way. Someday I'll do a post of her work. It will be obvious that she's had a huge impact on me and my work.