August 03, 2017

Surfaces 4 fine art

Surfaces for fine art 


I recently began a series of pieces for the new group exhibit in our area for which colour is the theme. Imibala is the word for colour in Xhosa, and the name of the gallery group also, so this will be a great joy to be a part of. Dianne the curator in charge liked my digital paintings and so I had to figure out a way of presenting these, as 'fine art'. This is my quest and learning curb of late. And I'm happy to share a bit about it.. 

Two things I've been grappling with and wrangling the essential truths from, I can now begin to topic and expound more on in the future too. These are: surfaces and transparency vs opaque media. How exciting. 

Before having the opportunity at Imibala my attention was quite absorbed in watercolours and also as it functions for me wanting to paint on location, en plein air and as this understandably is the exciting part of making pictures, landscapes probably most often but however the subject is found. Because I'm there in the hot seat or cold, icy. And anyway that's another topic but I maintain it in itself, being there, is almost the whole and best part of it, and then just painting! 

So really understanding my mediums is critical on a practical level and obviously in  the traditional application as it were. But having the digital option also frees me up to less of the hassles (and serious considerations) of traditional painting on location, and straight back into a traditional means perhaps of displaying and presenting the digital painting. This becomes a giclée, which I try not to say out aloud too often but is a print without too much hassle over definition, a print sold as fine art more precisely. 

4 boxed and primed wooden panels

What I opted for was to build boxes for the print transfer and this implies preparing a surface, and that is the whole chestnut! 

A surface to an artist is like the actual instrument to a musician perhaps, it is the pure potential and free expression. I'm speculating here of course but I recon it's one of the top best things ever! So, let me elaborate. In case your still reading, that is. 

My surfaces are made from a standard white glossy coated Masonite you buy at any old hardware place, and pine or similar  strips to box the edges, so that the pieces form a nice 'canvas' which is easily displayed. I glue and clamp my sides and it's a question of accurate measuring, cutting and then sanding, then priming and resanding and finally painting. The end product is evidence of the effort put in. 

1st coat oil paint
2nd coat oil paint close up

Along the way I was struck by the sublimity of this process, also conscious of other types of surfaces (i.e. water colour papers) or those for opaque media, the similarities and differences but almost finding a deeper knowledge of the whole bigger creative act. It's bonkers I know and so AWSOME! If you haven't ever dragged a brush loaded with oil paint over a primed surface and then sat to think about the next step, I highly recommend it. 

You have to make the materials yours, and eventually settle on the result, it is actually so wonderful how they all interact and then that is just the begining, thats just the beautifully textured and vibrant surface. What next? Well, a photo and perhaps photoshop? In this case my surfaces had to be pristine, and thus requiring the intensive covering but I still ended up with lovely texture and edges as you can see.

The finished surface of a single panel

I keep up to date on the technical front and have noticed the improvement in painting apps, Adobes new products are a whizz to feel after trying my share of different types. Frankly I invested in my iPad at the time expecting the gap in the market to close and be breached between the unhappy idea of pen-mouse options and on the opposite end professional and very expensive Cintique touch screen devices. 

Anyway I've been hearing allot about brushes, what about surfaces? I am uploading a variety of surfaces I have captured and edited for anyone to have and will also put them in the sidebar (link below).  

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