Process on Panel

panel prep 1.jpg

If you know my work from twenty or more years back you will remember all of the highly textured works. The Tacit Series, The Word Paintings, The Grid Paintings, etc... As the weather changes I am hoping to get into my art storage to gather some of the best pieces to photograph and sell. Many of the pieces within these series were sold through my gallery representations, so bits and pieces of these series are what I have left. In my new work I am returning somewhat to that textural feel and surface prep in my work. I wanted to move in a different direction, at least for now and see where it leads me. I have always worked in series, so this new work is much more spontaneous and emotive. I am painting on both canvas and panel, and each have distinct as well as subtle differences. I am also using a lot more variety in my color choices. IN the past you could count on my palette to be in the earth tones with very little primary color. I am still drawn to this palette, but have also found a new love for blues and reds. These panels in the photographs show my process for preparation. I first glue 1/2 inch strips to the back of the masonite panels, and gesso prime them. For these in particular I have painted them in a solid layer of cobalt blue. Next I take a single sheet of 10gram Awagami Tengucho (kozo) paper (also known as restoration paper) and seal it to the surface of the panel with acrylic matte medium. Gel Medium can also be used, but it dries shiny and I like the matte surface. I pull and layer the paper as I brush it down creating folds and lines in the surface. This will present as a slight textural element when painted over. I tend to apply paint in layers and scrape it down to reveal variations in the color. By doing this the area where the paper is folded will appear as white lines. These lines can be washed over in transparent paint to highlight them, or it can be highlighted by hand. There are many ways to do this, depending on the subject matter of the piece. If it is a non objective piece the lines can serves as part of the design. If it is more representational the lines can serve as points of interest where the areas can be magnified by scraping down the paint or as a textural element that is painted over.

panel prep 2.jpg

Once the paper dries to the panel it is very resilient and can take a lot of abuse. Other pieces in my current collection were created this way. Bound By Desire and Happy New Year both have a paper wrap, but where Bound By Desire has a flat appearance, Happy New Year has layers of transparent color creating a more painterly finished piece. The paper comes in sheets measuring 25x38 and can be layered for larger paintings. The one I am currently working on measures 48x32. Applying at an angel on larger pieces is a good idea, otherwise there is a horizon line running through the piece. Perfect if you are working from a horizon line, nos so much if the piece has a more organic feel.