Sunday, July 11, 2010

Travelling Discernment

Travelling Discernment
36" x 36"
Mixed Media on Canvas

I recently finished a 36" x 36" mixed media piece. I fell in love with the process.

First I collaged lots of old antique book papers to the canvas using Mod Podge. I then let it dry overnight.

The next day I started to add layers upon layers of stuff after brushing on a light black wash. The only thing I had determined I wanted in this piece were the colours ....I wanted blood red and forest green. At least that's what I was thinking!!!

Anyways....back to the layering!....this is where you just have to let loose, throw your inhibitions aside and just let the painting unfold as it's meant too. I found pictures that spoke to me and laid them done with some more Mod Podge. I chose some appealing words cut from magazines and books. I scrunched up some tissue paper and adhered that to the canvas with Golden Regular Gel Medium. I've always liked the fine weave of cheesecloth so I rolled that and applied it too. Anything goes right? Ok wait....I'm not done!

I found some strips of beat up sandpaper and stuck them to the canvas. I added some weaved rubber squares, the stuff you use to stop from slipping on your floor mats. I tore little squares of paper but laid them aside for later....I just didn't know what to do with them at this stage! Then I started to play with Tri-Art's Nepheline Coarse Gel, it's like large stoned gravel....I had never used this stuff before so it was fun to play's best to apply it with a palette knife because it is so coarse. You're literally scraping the stuff onto the canvas.

Now remember I started with no particular direction in mind! So at this stage it was time to step away from the painting so that I could return to it with a fresh set of eyes to discover the answer to "what's next?" Once I returned, I started to add the acrylic paint. I simply brushed helter skelter some red paint. Then after spraying with alcohol here and there, I started to rub and rub and rub and rub. This is the labour intensive part of the process.....but fun because now my painting was starting to reveal itself to me. I started to see things like words about religion, drugs, and whoops? what was that?.....oh oh... bits and pieces of men!!! ahem!!.....ahem!!....(what's with that?!!) ok let's not go mother could be reading this!!....I may need to repaint those areas! .....let's move on!!!

At this stage of the game, it was time to start bringing all the pieces together. When designing a piece, one must think of such things as harmony, unity, line, balance, proportion etc. So once again it was time to stand back for a review. there's what I can do with those little squares of paper I tore.....use them to lead the viewer into the painting. I added some found objects to the a "V" and a "6" and a "1"...carved out a D or maybe it's an O...anyways....the painting was still not coming together for me. Yeah ok....try this.....dribble a thin wash of black down from the top of the canvas. Still needs something more so I glued down three small silver squares on the left of the painting. The painting still wasn't singing to me. Then I thought of it....I dried brushed some gold flecks to the tops of some areas of the painting thus providing the contrast I needed to offset the silver squares.

I stood back for my final appraisal. was complete now!

I never did get to include my forest green!!!!


  1. Thank you so much for describing your journey in creating this piece. I love the finished result!

  2. Maer, I love your painting. It's got such wonderful rich texture and color. Forget the forest green! It looks beautiful the way it is.

    and by the way, when I leave comments on blogs, I don't expect a reply. Sometimes people come over to my blog and comment but I don't expect them to. And trust me, I don't think your case is a case of people feeling ignored because you're not replying! We're artists, we don't get mad at silly things like that :-)

  3. Now I see the comments. The only way I get people to my blog (except for one or two die-hards) is to post on the groups I am in when I have something new. We forget to use our readers. I wish they were more convenient but so far they aren't. I don't expect any comment to my comments either unless I ask a question and then I'll come back to see if it was answered in the comment section.
    I love your title for this piece. It captures your explanation of your process.