I decided that this entry would show the steps involved in creating one of the mixed media distressed paintings. I’ve done so in the past, though not in a very organized way. As I am a type A personality such cannot be tolerated. So, this time I present the first two “phases” in the development of these artworks. Phase I shows the first three layers, actually five layers though two shall remain nameless so as to protect the artist from easy spinoffs. Layer one is a grand sized dollop of cadmium red acrylic paint mixed with a small squirt of Titanium white. The second layer is made of type set in Adobe Photoshop, and LGBT images that I took from my life and from LGBT Websites. These are printed and the ink made impervious to water based media, then laminated onto the first layer. However, the images may be pasted into an image of the first layers of paint while in Adobe Photoshop, printed, then torn in dechriage technique and finally laminated into the phase I surface. Layer three is another layer of paint, this time tempera that is allowed to dry, and then chipped and sanded through in order to show the layers below. The development of the work is an organic process because I do not know in advance where anything will go on the painting ground. The various elements are found and arranged based on the decisions of the moment, though there are rules of development that I do keep in mind. For instance in this particular set of paintings, all are square, and toward the end of the process each will be subjected to “the rule” of the square once again.
Sometimes I look at the artwork at the end of Phase II and think that if I were really smart, I would call it finished. The painting would remain much more abstract, bordering on non-objective, allowing the viewer to read more of their own ideation into the painting. I would have much less work to do, and perhaps the artwork would be more easily sold in galleries that handle such work. However, being the Type A that I am, it is impossible for me to leave the works alone at this stage. The looseness must be manipulated, cajoled and processed through many more phases until it becomes much more of an “illustrative” artwork. And, yes, gallery personnel have criticized all my work of the various genres as being “so illustrative.” However, remaining true to myself, I work through many more manipulations before any of these paintings are finished, and the next journal entry will show phase 3 in this process for “LGBT.”