March 30, 2011


ink, acrylic, gouache on clayboard

So this work took me a long-ass time. I never had a real plan with it, other than inserting a figure, reminiscent of works like Hathor or Ossoluta into an environment like Willow in a more natural (asymmetrical) fashion.

As the piece developed over the months, I was particularly pleased with the buzz between the relatively complimentarily relation of colors, in conjunction with the similarly valued foreground (with a majority of the ink applied), doubling the retinal tension.

The funny thing is that up throughout this time, I still had not yet thought to apply white ink (or gouache). Every white region on the piece was going to be carved out by remaining, naked clayboard. I'll tell you now, it's just a whole lot simpler and smarter to keep some white Rapidograph ink or gouache handy. I literally built up the background "growth" that you can see in the final work as the really dark forms spindling out from the central, lighter figure with teeny, tiny mechanical pen. I brought it all to a near black over a course of months... only to be frustrated by how fairly underdrawn the forms were.

My final moves were to frisket out all of the color and the frontal figure/mask and airbrush more black over these "growth" forms and then go over that with white ink. It really gave a strange, wet, Saran-wrap look to these portions of the picture which can be seen a bit more clearly in the detail below.

The strangest thing is the work ended up pretty close to some o f the earliest thoughts of what I would want a work, such as this, to end up appearing like. The surprise element that normally arise in making artwork, which I feed off of in steering the creative boat towards completion, was tamed a more than usual... but that's pleasing once in a while. It feels like a I've earned myself a bigger bull to ride.

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