My "sculptural" paintings took a bit of a turn this last couple weeks when I decided to grow the relief images on the surface of my hardboards and actually make the sculptural parts...well, really sculptural. I spent some time in the back studio, wadding Skratch into a mold I'd made years ago of a small head on one of my existing ceramic sculptures, "David Finds His Soul", which still stands in Art On The Boulevard gallery in Vancouver, WA. A face that bears more than a small resemblance to my deceased husband, Neil.
I was able to adhere the resulting head to an acrylic and modeling paste painting I'd set aside a few weeks ago, that I was uninspired to finish until now. Using drywall mud on the surface, the Skratch head stuck nicely. The organic patterns I had planned, that were to trail out from his shoulders, refused to be anything but architectural. Arches grew. And as no title has since come to mind for this piece, I'll just use the name Jim came up with, Archie.
It took a few days to "see" that there needed to be a hand, and that the hand held a tree, so I promptly painted one, before the image in my mind shifted again. It's like that. Sometimes the image stays for a few days, or a few weeks, waiting for me to put it down on the painting, and sometimes it shifts. Now and again the next image is better, and often it isn't. It can certainly dessert me, and leave me with, "I have no idea what to put there!"
"Archie" has some deep meaning for me, and maybe one day I'll be able to verbalize it. I'll let you know, just as soon as I understand it myself.
I spent the afternoon yesterday with my sweet friend, Linda Tennant, and she pointed out to me how very nice silver Gilder's Paste would work rubbed on the edges of the painting. It brought it all together, giving Archie an added dimensional glow. It's subtle, but dramatic in it's way. Sadly, the edges were cropped for this photo Jim took with his Lumix, so you'll have to take my word for it.