Integrated System – Oil on Kraft Paper

The first stage begins with a free-form, dance of line. I use soft, vine charcoal on a large (42″ x 54″) sheet of kraft paper tacked up on the wall with push pins. At this point I critically view the drawing from about fifteen feet away to check the flow of the line, the rhythm of the forms and the overall composition. I use a tissue or paper towel to eliminate unnecessary and awkward lines. I draw, eliminate and redraw until I am satisfied that the drawing is strong enough to support the painting. In order to begin painting, the drawing must have a spark of its own energy and life that I can nurture and develop with paint.

I decide on my color palette. For “Integrated System” I chose venetian red, cadmium yellow pale, yellow ochre, cadmium red medium, raw sienna, pthalo turquoise, pthalo blue and viridian. On occasion I will do a few value sketches. In this case I do not. I begin laying in color, basing each decision of color and value of color on the effect of the previous application and staying in touch with the developing personality and movement of the painting.

Everything goes fairly smoothly until it becomes clear that the large shape on the right side of the painting is not going to work. The left side of the painting is not balanced by the right side. The shape on the right is awkward and stops the movement of line across the two dimensional plane and prevents the viewer from entering into the dark space beyond the forms.

The final resolution was the large dark hole in the awkward shape.

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