Oregon writer, Rain Trueax, and Oregon painter, Diane, co-author Rainy Day Thought, where they write about experiences, ideas, nature, creativity, and culture. The latter might appear at times political, but we will try to avoid partisanship to speak to the broader issues that impact a culture. This is just too important a time not to sometimes speak to problems that impact society. As she and I do, readers will find we often disagree and have for over 50 years-- still able to be close friends. You can do that if you can be agreeable that we share more than not despite the difference.

Diane posts on Wednesdays and Rain on Saturdays. There may be extra days or changes as situations warrant. Comments, relating to the topic, are welcome as it turns an article into a discussion, but must be in English, with no profanity, hate-filled comments, or links (unless pre-approved).

Fantasy, the painting by Diane Widler Wenzel, cropped a little to fit the needs of a banner.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Composing a series of paintings

One of the challenges that I have set for myself, as my readers know, is to make permanent watercolors that do not need to be covered with glass. Reason : I do not want to be surrounded by wall to wall of glass as more and more of my work is on every wall of our home. Glass reflects so the pictures are more visible without glass.

I am opening myself up to failure especially because I am trying in addition to make a hanging solution that does not require a picture frame. This new presentation on 14 x 11 inch panels are hung from a support glued to the back that holds the painting a half an inch out from the wall. In this new presentation of my work I have naturally gravitated to painting in series.

 My birch tree series didn’t work at first because the third one I painted (pictured at far right on the bottom) was painted crazy, busy. When a painting is restless all over without a resting place for the eye, a big mat and frame helps. My rule is the busier the composition the bigger the plain mat.

 Wishing to stay with my original challenge of making a more permanent watercolor, I added a thin border but it looked tacky like i surrounded the tree with surgical tape.  So I painted over the border with watercolor washes.
Looking longer I saw another way the third painting in the series. The luminosity of watercolors in the first two was covered by thick heavy body acrylics.  So I poured hot water over the thickest acrylic and attempted to peel. The multi layered watercolor mixed with gloss medium resisted peeling so I kept chipping it away with a pallet knife. This tortured  created a patterned surface I found to be a happy accident. The pattern  is in character with peeling birch tree bark.  Plus from a little distance the third painting fits with the others because all whites glow jewel-like in the other paintings.

A large pile of peeled paint cut with a relatively blunt palette knife
so as to not cut through the canvas glued to the board.
Detail shows actively patterned areas against restful areas.

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