Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Beta Bird

4' x 2'
oil, acrylic, and vellum on wood

This painting is comprised of easily over 8 detailed layers.

I started off letting the patterns in the wood inspire me. I think of it as a way to alter the existing organic patterns in the wood.
I know the wood is already altered because it is compressed into this board to sell to consumers.
My first layer is usually organic imagery.

My second layer is usually more methodical in an effort to contain and compartmentalize the organic layer (nature).
I usually do this by painting white stripes. I use the color white to show that the contrived layer (man) is trying to take over and create a new clean sanitized controlled space. It it the construction layer, the structure to be built upon.

The next layer is a layer of white to continue covering the organic space and building on the man made structure. However, I usually like to leave behind evidence of each layer so the viewer can easily dive into the layers of the piece to reconstruct it.
Then to mimic what happens in the real world, I start to let the organic imagery(nature) creep back onto the contrived structures. This time the organic imagery is usually a little more contrived because it has a fresh unnatural underlying structure to grow on.

And more organic imagery, as nature starts to take over and obliterate the structure like roots taking over an abandoned building.

Then more linear imagery to push back on nature.

Purple stripes to create a more inviting space while still creating a controlled environment..

I turned the painting upside down because I felt the forms were stronger and more believable.

This is the last documented picture of the process until I was almost done painting the bird, because at some point I couldn't help but get sucked into the world I was creating.

I put blue around the forms in a very flat solid application, but after I was done doing that they seemed too stuff. So further into the process I made the space inside the blue borders less clear to give each flower form more of its own atmosphere. I also did that to give the forms more movement to make them feel more alive, so they didn't look so static.

I hope this post gives you insight into how a piece of art can be made. There are countless approaches, and even more decisions to be made throughout the creative process, and these were mine.

**edit** I just posted an 8" x 17" inch print of Beta Bird on Etsy for $35. http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=31029575

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