Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Cracking the Code - Day 24 of the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge

"Cracking the Code" - 18" x 24" acrylic on paper - $295 includes free shipping

This piece took FOREVER to finish!  I began by laying down two thin coats of gesso onto the 140# watercolor paper; then added a 3rd coat of black gesso to give it a solid black look.  Afterwards I used a yardstick to draw 1" squares all over the paper with a white pencil; then used my masking fluid to "paint" various designs in the squares.  I wanted a planned yet random look, and originally began with the double "ss" and "x" marks in a pattern.  Then I expanded the patterned look to include the six dot squares and the small circles, then began filling in the empty squares with random marks including the triangles, horizontal and vertical lines and mini dots.  

After the masking fluid dried, I got a can of moss green acrylic paint and sprayed it over the sheet. Once it dried, I rolled on two light coats of white paint then gently added some umber; sienna; ochre and Golden's Payne's Gray (which is Navy Blue in my eyes!) with a brush.  (you have to work lightly when using masking fluid because it's easy to remove the gummy substance when using a brayer or paint brush).

The fun really began once I started removing the dried masking fluid with my rubber cement eraser. Because of all the layers of paint on top of the designs, it took a long time to remove the paint, and some areas removed more layers, exposing some of the moss green paint.  I decided to let the scrapes and scratches remain which wasn't easy because I wanted to go in and make each mark perfect, but I forced myself to walk away and left it to dry overnight.

I'm glad I did - I absolutely love the finished, rough organic look.  What do all the lines and patterns mean?  To me, it's a life's code type of thing, and each person can read into it whatever they wish.  I haven't determined my meaning of the piece yet, and I probably never will.