Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Painting on a rainy day


Taped off unstretched primed canvas on board. Ready to rock it!



Initial sketch with orange water soluble crayon.
Bottom left shows just the sketch, the other two have a layer of acrylic varnish that has smeared some of the color.



Tools of the moment.


Outlining with a dark gray to see how that looks.

Everything could have ended right here.


Using a rag to wipe away brights.


Decide after filling in negative space that things are too controlled.
Get a little loose in the bottom right painting.



Now they're all moving in a more free form direction that makes me happy.
It began to not be fun. I decided fun must be included in the process.

Bringing in some sgraffito techniques as well.


Palette, techniques and lessons learned are brought into the larger piece.



Many layers of varnish, paint, water soluble crayon and oil pastel later...



I really enjoyed this way of working today. A mix between small studies and one larger panel that was informed by the lessons and techniques learned in the sketches. In this moment I'm feeling the wonderful relief that there are limitless paintings to create and not enough time on Earth to paint them all. I've experienced a little bit of I've done this before, this isn't anything new lately that didn't sit well with me at all. The "limitless paintings" mantra has served me well through the last decade plus, so when a voice of doubt snickered Maybe that's so, but maybe you can dry up too I think it snapped me awake with fear and desperate acts to prove myself wrong. It's working for me.

I've been embracing the unique atmosphere of our current weather pattern. The frequency of sudden and powerful thunderstorms has been intense and it looks like we should get used to it for the rest of the week. We lost power for over 8 hours on Saturday night and it led to a great evening hanging out with friends by candle light in the porch of the studio as well as a faux camping experience sleeping out there for the night. Summer is alive and well in New England and the wet, heavy, humid or pouring rain (as it was today) condition affects my painting by creating more wet on wet conditions. Acrylics can dry in a heart beat in dry heat, but in this weather, things are different - I'm relating back to my days of oils with this weather and it's fun, it's a different kind of challenge.

The three study paintings are finished after some final layers of drawing and I'll share them soon.

5 comments:

Sally Veach said...

Thank you for sharing your process Jessica! I am constantly amazed at the amount of art you and others produce. Do you say you paint close to 8 hours per day, or is it less? I am wanting to start painting again full time, but find I can't make myself actually do it, after doing nothing for decades! Have you always produced so much? How did you get started? So many questions!!! LOL

Anonymous said...

I love the way you are working here and it's obviously working for you! Great paintings! Really drawn to the circles and layers and the palette of these. Your description of the NE summer weather complete with thunderstorms makes me want to be there, standing outside in the heat and pouring rain getting soaked (but not struck by lightening). Thanks for sharing with us!

Jessica Torrant said...

Hi Sally! I love your questions. :) First off, I don't think I have painted that much in a day in a while. I USED to paint for mad 8 to 12 to 24 hour long sessions and then take days off for a break. Lately (only this year in fact) I've been making a habit of painting daily for reasonable doses of time so I don't get burned out. It can be anywhere from 3 to 6 hours, sometimes more, sometimes less. If I could force myself to quit being a night owl, I think I'd paint more. Ideally two 3 to 4 hour sessions a day. But this is a lifelong struggle against my inner nature, my desire to have the quiet of the night to myself. I often get a lot of things accomplished in the wee hours, but painting isn't one of them. I'd say I work about 9 or more hours a day but a lot of it is computer/technical/writing/sketching/planning.

As for you getting the ball rolling again after time away, my advice is to ease into it. Setting daily goals helped me get into this current groove of daily painting - I highly recommend it! It's more of a "one day at a time" approach instead of expecting everything all at once. I feel like I've always been pretty prolific cranking out new art, but right now is probably the most productive time of my life and career. I've got the motivation and drive to make this happen now more than ever. And from what you've shared it sounds like you are committed to making this happen for yourself as well. That's the ticket - having something to motivate you and push you towards doing it is the first and most important element. You've got it!

Hello my anonymous friend! Thanks for stopping by, I appreciate it! At this point after a week of schizophrenic weather, I'd gladly pass it along your way. One moment the sun is out, the next it's threatening to dump buckets. Gah!

Sally Veach said...

Just saw your reply Jessica. Thank you! Your advice is so appreciated. :-) :-)

clippingimages said...

beautiful bronze textures!!