A blog in which I write about Art, my art, and making art in the following areas
1) Pastel drawings
3) Digital montages with a gay male theme, and
4) A blog titled Isaac Stolzfuts' Journal.I also write about my political and religious views, and I always create my own artwork, illustrations and graphics for every journal entry.
After 4 more layers the painting is now dominated by red-violet lavender instead of orange, though that is still prominent. The four layers are the following; 1) ultraviolet light resistant varnish, 2) laminated images, 3) wax, 4) lavender paint. After those 4 layers I subjected the paint to scraping, with various instruments, and finally sprayed lightly with fixative.* I have laminated a smaller image of the Madonna and Child by Ambrogio Bergognone (known as Borgognone) over the first, as I shall do again for the Forth State in an attempt to telescope that image. I don't know if that technique will work because the mixed media distressed process may cover all but the final image completely. But, then again, it may not. That is what makes working with this technique so much fun. It creates its own mystery and history. It is like an archeological dig of an ancient historical sight in reverse, each layer of detritus reveals and/or obscures various epochs. However, instead of cutting back through the ground, I'm building it one layer at a time.
*Laminate - to fasten two flat surfaces together with a continuous layer of mastic or glue.
fixative - varnish, usually aerosolized.
I promised to post the artwork as it progresses. Here is the panel with 4 more layers. It is now predominantly orange, but that will change. I know I want to telescope the Madonna and Child by Ambrogio Bergognone (known as Borgognone) so that the final image appears to be moving forward, however slightly that might be. Because the larger images will be buried in layers of paint, my desires for the painting may be lost in the process. As we must relinquish complete control over our lives more often than we would wish, so the mixed media distressed painting process mimics life.
The next time I post an image of the artwork it will include the following; 1) this digital photo will have been printed at the exact size of the painting/collage, 2) it will have been torn to pieces randomly, and some of these will have been laminated back into the painting either before or after l include a smaller image of the Bergognone, 3) Then the whole will possibly be covered in a shade of muted green, though I’m not sure about that color yet.* I haven’t thought beyond that state, and will not until the actual physical object has caught up to my imaginings. Ah, the mystery of it all is so much fun!
* laminate - in collage/montage, a layer of glue is spread on the artwork itself and another on the back of the torn/cut paper to be glued in place. the new piece is carefully smoothed into place, rubbing from the center to the edges in order to remove trapped air.
I’ve been working on the next art card, “harmony.” At first I used colors that looked more like “Blitzkrieg!” So I moved on to cooler colors blues and greens. I still wasn’t happy, so I toned the colors and movement down more. The wavy lines are meant to represent tones. I doubled lengths so that the tones represented might be harmonious. However, it was necessary to keep all at low amplitude (no big zigzagging up and down curves) so as to keep everything harmonious visually. In the third image I added type, and the word "harmony" using 72 pt. bold Century Gothic font.
“I – Yah-e – Yah-e -eye!” The active voice begins to sound so egotistical! But, to write from a passive perspective is too weak, so I’ll stop being a literary critic and keep on with the analysis of the process involved in problem solving the representation of “harmony.”
"Toned Down Harmony"
I like to hide things in the art card images, as I also do in mixed media distressed painting. So various definitions of the word harmony are layered into the artwork and the words fade in and out of colors and the wavy lines.
The best "Harmony" so far
It will be necessary to have two sides to the card, and I’ve only begun to think about a second side. However, I’m not sure I’ve found the right image for the first side. Perhaps I’ll move on to the second side and my concerns about the first will have been resolved subconsciously when I return to the first.
This year’s Christmas card - yes, it is the end of March 2016. So, why am I working on a Christmas card now? Because I’m doing a mixed media distressed painting that involves perhaps as many as 50 or 60 layers before it is finished, and I can sandwich these layered steps between working on other art works including other mixed media distressed paintings. The process involves two different kinds of paint, glue, polyurethane, digital photography, Adobe Photoshop, oil crayon, and collage and dechirage, all mixed up together in a concoction that is sort of like a complicated soup. It is a process that I enjoy doing tremendously.*
At this stage I have 10 layers in the painting, and I like the dominant color, and the images that peak through the distressed layers of paint. However, it looks nothing like the final painting because this stage will be hidden beneath 40 to 50 more layers. That is part of what makes the process so much fun. Images appear, disappear and reappear entirely or in bits and pieces creating a sense of mystery and history, at least for me, the artist. I am depending on the acuity of viewers to pick up on that sense of mystery and/or history, and I know that may not always happen.
Never the less, the process is what makes mixed media distressed painting so enjoyable. I will continue to post photos of the painting at various stages of development up to the final image for the card, which will be posted as a Christmas greeting at the end of the year.
*Déchirage -I include here a link to Wikipedia entry on decollage which includes a definition of déchirage.
It’s over a month since I’ve added a post to my Art Blog!!!
Finally I have an image of Harrison ford (manqué) ready to enlarge for a 3 by 4 foot painting, the last in the series for our Goddaughter’s restaurant in Lancaster, PA.* However, this is one of two images. The other is of Will Smith. Our Goddaughter will decide which she wants for her restaurant.
I will send the two images among others I have worked on. But I’m happiest with this Harrison Ford image because I think it is a departure from what I’ve been doing with the images for Windows on Queen, the banquet facility at Characters.
This will be the last of the over-sized portraits for Characters.
* manqué - Artist's model. Sculptors have used the term traditionally when making a small model before creating a larger work. I've appropriated the word for my small sketches and Photoshop experiments made in preparation for larger 2-dimensional paintings.
In January I decided to make a new 32" by 40" pastel wave painting. So this week I searched through my photo morgue to find candidates for the painting. *
New Wave Photo #1
I searched through several hundred photographs taken over the past 10 years. I have at least two thousand more, though I won't search through them all. I can use them for future wave paintings, and I will also shoot more photos of waves during the next several months.
New Wave Photo #2
I’m showing two of my choices here including one set of photos that zoom in closer and closer to isolate a small portion of the breaking wave. Now I just have to make a decision as to which photo I will use.
Wave #2, close up #1
The viewer could help by voting here or on Facebook for the photo of his/her choice.
Wave #2, close up #2
I will provide a hint as to my thoughts on the matter - the closer, the better!
* A "morgue" is an artists file of photographs to be used as aids in drawing and painting. My morgue is made up of all photographs I have taken myself.
I conceived the wave paintings as an experiment in photo realism with one caveat. I wanted my process (the way I use the pastels) to be visible.
The first two wave paintings were done in 2012 and 13. It’s time I got back to that series. I have taken hundreds, perhaps more than a thousand photos of breaking waves over the years. I will begin the search through my morgue for new photos to work from this weekend. * The two paintings shown here are 30 by 40 inches and 32 by 40 inches respectively. I cropped the original photos, looking for a small section that was in perfect focus in order to freeze the water’s motion completely. These were then copied meticulously, but still using my direct application technique with the pastels rather than rubbing, blending and smearing as most pastel artists do. *1 Because of that technique, the paintings appear to be photographic upon first examination, but break down into individual chunks and strokes of color upon the viewer’s closer approach. I use the pastels themselves to blend one color into another. That makes the color lie on the paper surface allowing the white paper to show through rather than turning the white paper itself into a darker color.
* Morgue – a visual artist’s file of photographs used as an aid to drawing, painting and/or sculpting.
*1 Experts have told me that I use a contrary and actually improper technique. Too bad! I achieve a depth and intensity of color that it is impossible to achieve by rubbing, smearing and blending, the traditional pastel technique. That is why I call my large pastels, paintings!