Life is a circle... One of my favorite sayings, and it is true...... really... Looking at canvases in various stages of completion I decided to adopt a color theme.. at least for the next few pieces. Blues, grays, reds, ochre, sienna and black, lots of black... As a young art student one of the first things taught to me was NEVER USE BLACK straight out of the tube... make your own black with other colors, it will look more natural.. That's all well and good for learning how to paint portraits and traditional landscapes, and it is a very useful approach for such things, but for me I really like black, the blacker the better.. I admit that my blacks are often a combo of Paynes Gray and Mars Black or Graphite Gray and Black, yet in the end am left with various shades of black. The canvases already had several layers of color and I went in and gave them all a shades of gray block out followed by a white wash that was rubbed into the gray, washed off and scraped off. This is the fun part because some areas will come off easier than others and some will not come off at all. The end result is often not up to me entirely, unless I opt to go back in and build up more layers of paint. I do this sometimes, but most of the time am happy with my initial choices. It is never 1, 2, 3... and we are done. There are always decisions to be made, even in a heated moment, or trying to scrape down a particular section of a large painting before the paint dries too much. Action painting...literally!!
So today I finished a smallish piece 24x18 and found myself back in circle mode. As I have mentioned before, circles have been in my work from the beginning. Not in every piece, but in a great many of them. I thought it would be fun to show a comparison. Two paintings with circles painted twenty years apart. One in acrylic, the other in oil. One on cotton canvas, the other on linen..