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View Full Version : Undercurrent . . . which way to hang


Smileawhyl
12-12-2004, 09:59 PM
I've been working on this for months just to keep my fingers creating during a time when I've only had short stretches of minutes to concentrate.

12x16 mixed media on canvas

This is the view from which it was created.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/12-Dec-2004/28371-undercurrent-top.jpg

But once I was finished, I also saw redeeming qualities in turning it upside down.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/12-Dec-2004/28371-undercurrent.jpg

Then after photographing it, I realized there were different dynamics to hanging it landscape.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/12-Dec-2004/28371-undercurrent-rt.jpg

And flipped.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/12-Dec-2004/28371-undercurrent-lft.jpg

Here's a side-by-side of smaller images. I really don't know which way to go with it.

As always, thanks for looking.

Tamana
12-12-2004, 10:14 PM
:clap: Whoo hooo!!! Nice break surprise (was for a glass of wine and now I'm typing with oily fingertips...nice patho blue keyboard here now)!!! Bring it on!! Long overdue!!!

Patty the intricacy and juxtaposition is terrfic, not to mention the colorweave and integration from one patterned area to another. There's still so many ways you can go with it or leave it as is. You must tell us what the mixed media is and what entaled creating this! I like the bottom position the best because for some reason it grounds my favorite part, which is the green and yellow (of course) weave of web. Just seems less constrictive and more uplifting.

Smileawhyl
12-12-2004, 11:14 PM
:clap: Whoo hooo!!! Nice break surprise (was for a glass of wine and now I'm typing with oily fingertips...nice patho blue keyboard here now)!!! Bring it on!! Long overdue!!!

Patty the intricacy and juxtaposition is terrfic, not to mention the colorweave and integration from one patterned area to another. There's still so many ways you can go with it or leave it as is. You must tell us what the mixed media is and what entaled creating this! I like the bottom position the best because for some reason it grounds my favorite part, which is the green and yellow (of course) weave of web. Just seems less constrictive and more uplifting.
Okay, here goes, but just remember, not many people really want to know what is in sausage.

The piece you like was my inspiration. It is a medium small square of handmade paper which I just had to buy. I spent about four months just looking at it, wanting to incorporate it into something but wanting most to do justice to it in the incorporation. It was beautiful but I knew there was a piece of it which felt the best. Finally I cut it out and affixed it to a black canvas.

I already had the title in mind — undercurrent — as the image of the paper symbolized an incredible soup of elements, each separate but mingled in flow.

I then thought about all the little passion plays we create for ourselves on the surface . . . trying to improve and refigure as though anything we can do could match the beauty of this natural undercurrent. That is where the fushia came from. Our border to separate ourselves from the natural. I tore strips of fushia tissue in semi straight lines and constructed the border.

Then I laid down the earth, taking my color suggestion from the diffuse sienna in the paper, and painted (acrylics) a generous layer of raw sienna quickly and used an alcohol resist method to draw patterns into it, revealing the black canvas beneath.

Then I took candle wax and drew randomly upon the raw sienna earth and applied a thin wash of antique white (our not-so-pure motives), but it was too stark so I used toilet paper laid upon the wash to remove all but a few crinkles. I also used the antique white to make drip patterns in the remaining black squares. Oops, too much gloop in places, so I took one of those old hair curlers (you know, the bright pink mesh over the metal coil with the round brush inside?) and started rolling it over the gloop and the entire black square areas. I liked the effect so much I rolled the curler over the earth side as well.

Next, paint straight from the tube. Party time. We're so smart. Dashes and dots. Cad red light (orange) and Cad yellow.

I stepped back and said to myself, 'this is crazy but it feels like it is working'.

I had two other features about which I was sure I wanted in the piece —copper foil, and signs for positive and negative (in the black/drippy white sections).

I thought a few weeks about placement as it related to the theme, and how the copper squares would balance in the picture. I knew I wanted purple squares inside the copper square and that I wanted the purple squares in parallel alignment whereas the copper could be askew. Why purple? Because of it's spirituality.

There was not, however, purple tissue at my disposal, so I first glued squares of deep blue, then layered them with fushia to give me the purple I desired.

Next came the black squares. I took my candle wax again and heavily embossed a plus sign in one and a minus sign in the other, then I washed the area with ultramarine blue, then a blush of quinocradone red (days between with the red wash being much thinner).

Then I too pinstriping tape and taped off the inviolable area of the undercurrent and painted over the tape and tissue with a very deep dirty blood red (deepened with ultramarine blue and livened with a bit of the cad light red) and removed the tape. I then gave the earth part a good wash and wipe in black.

Lastly, and I thought a long time before doing this, I used silver to reline the box around the undercurrent. I can't think of any other reason I did that than to have the major metals of my life, gold, copper and silver, incorporated into the piece.

And that's how sausage is made :D

MountainSong
12-12-2004, 11:29 PM
Hey! I know that paper!! Have you seen the one in purple and turquoise with gold stirred through it?
One thing I'm sure that happened in this process is that you had FUN! I feel it leaking out and oozing into the whole composition. You really enjoyed making this didn't you?!
Something about mixed media and collage work is so freeing and liberating....gotta love it.
It's rather amazing how you got such disparagent(sp?) colors to behave so well together! Kudos to you on that.
The orientation that reads best to me is either no. 1 or 2.
No. 1 probably. Thanks for describing how the sausage was made. LOL! :D

Smileawhyl
12-13-2004, 12:30 AM
Hey! I know that paper!! Have you seen the one in purple and turquoise with gold stirred through it?
One thing I'm sure that happened in this process is that you had FUN! I feel it leaking out and oozing into the whole composition. You really enjoyed making this didn't you?!
Something about mixed media and collage work is so freeing and liberating....gotta love it.
It's rather amazing how you got such disparagent(sp?) colors to behave so well together! Kudos to you on that.
The orientation that reads best to me is either no. 1 or 2.
No. 1 probably. Thanks for describing how the sausage was made. LOL! :D
I don't think I've seen the purple and turquoise. I don't need another piece of paper to haunt me, so it's good I'm unaware of it.

Actually, it wasn't so much fun as compulsion. I would come home bone tired and stare at it . . . you KNOW you want to work on it . . . you KNOW it will take time from much needed sleep. But I think the time in between sessions was good. My office just completed a move this weekend (300 people moving in one weekend) and I think the tension of that move and everything leading up to it was the driving force.

Thanks for weighing in on the orientation!

SanDL
12-13-2004, 03:45 AM
I like the landscape orientation. I also think it calls for multiples. When you lined them up you could see the story fleshing out. Keep it ouf the sun, some of the materials you used fade easily. :wave:

Tamana
12-13-2004, 08:09 AM
Okay, here goes, but just remember, not many people really want to know what is in sausage.

Well, I'm a vegetarian so it doesn't phase me. ;) For the most part, that is. I do enjoy meat on occassion just not often (looks over shoulder for the vegetarian police...).

Appreciate you taking the time to share your process with us. Always interesting to see how other artist's minds function during the creative process. Interesting useage of materials too - I've used candle wax and haven't had a problem with it thus far, but I did seal it too. Bee's (by the block & shaven) is best for durability. Left several pieces I'd done in the Fall of 2003 out of my terrace (old apartment) ALL SUMMER of 2004, even where the direct sun would hit them in the afternoon and they barely even broke a sweat. That was pretty amazing to me - of course, I melted mine with other *things* too, shall we say? So I'm unsure if that has any bearing or not on the overall setting of wax.

I do agree though about the multiples...when I first saw the thumbnails I thought the first two looked like a great diptych or coupling.

ordie4
12-13-2004, 09:39 AM
a dyptich sure would
look nice in this theme.
if we have one picture
only - i'm going with
either the first or last
hanging, regardless -
it's cool however you
decide it goes.

o4

somerset
12-13-2004, 10:07 AM
A triumph, Patty.
Thanks for letting us know what goes into the sausage; I felt I was right there watching you create. As some else (ITSALLART?) stated in another thread, the process itself has value. The result is not an independent entity.

WeiQi
12-13-2004, 03:11 PM
I keep looking and looking...
#1 is my favorite.
Thanks for sharing the process, it's fascinating!

Smileawhyl
12-13-2004, 07:36 PM
SanDL Thanks and thanks a lot! I never thought about the idea of making two at one time, but now I have it in mind. Of course I'm seeing it impossibly big and need impossible room, but at least the seed has been planted. Great reminder about sunlight with this one. Is there such a thing as UVA rated acrylic sealer?

Tam, thanks for asking about the process. I didn't melt wax onto this, I just used it like a crayon, same as with the alcohol. I don't know about different types of wax in the process but with a bit of blow dryer it buffs beautifully.

Thank you Ordie. I've missed your exciting posts and the bravery I've seen in your work.

WooHoo Michael! This is the first time I've not had to send you details. All it took was how many paragraph? I couldn't agree with you more about process. This took so long that I had lots of time to study the elements and relationships. Too often I put up my failures, but I think that is important as well, at least in a forum like this. I just happen to have been very happy with these results.

WeiQi, thanks! I've found so many generous artists in WC who have helped me extend my interest and range in discussing their techniques. It was a pleasure to have something to share.