Tuesday, November 16, 2010

New, Darker Paintings

"underflow"

"not again"

"sugarcoated"

"overkill"

"used to be me"

"crybaby"

"dying inside"

"afterthought"

"underlings"

"can I stay here tonight?"

"buzzkill"

"party girl"

"wallflower"

"drama queen"

This summer I was in a real funk with my art. My flat, bright colors and little creatures just weren't doing it for me anymore. Also, I've been painting mostly small paintings so with that limited canvas size I felt like I had pretty much done all I could do. So, I decided to shake things up a bit. I really wanted to get back to the darker work that I started out doing. I felt like I was "cuted out". I missed painting my sad flowers.

And...I discovered BLACK. In all of my color classes the one thing that was consistently taught was that adding black to a color was the quickest way to suck all the life out of it. Well, in my experience that has been true. Every time I've tried to add black to darken a color it immediately lost the spark. So, I avoided it like the plague. In fact my tube of carbon black looked like it was brand new before I started this series. I'm still not using black in my mixes but I'm using straight up black. And I love it. It's so harsh and dark. So unlike what I have been doing. And that was exactly what I was looking for.

I also discovered glazes. With most of my previous work I used very flat colors. Not much blending at all. One day I was talking about how frustrated I was with painting to my dear friend Cathy and I told her that I could envision what I wanted to paint but I didn't know how. I wanted to paint colors that blended together. And she suggested glazes. Well, I had a few color glazes and started painting with them and I absolutely loved it (thanks Cathy!). They are VERY slow drying and for me that took some getting used to. I use a hair dryer with fast-drying acrylics! So, it was almost painful for me to let something sit overnight before I could fix it or add to it. But overall a great exercise in patience for me.

I might get back to doing my little creatures at some point but for now this feels good. Every time I would show one of my new paintings to my 3-year-old son Sam he would tell me that it needed a creature. So I put some ghostly creatures on a couple of them. But I think the fact that he recognized that there weren't creatures in these tells me that it was time to shake things up a bit. It has been a long time since I painted anything without them.

It was so wonderful to love painting again. Ideas were flowing. I couldn't wait to paint when I woke up in the morning. And when I was painting with glazes I didn't really know what it was going to look like. Challenging, but very rewarding. I hope you like them.

Prints are available of all paintings.

Click here to purchase paintings.

8 comments:

The Hungry Crafter said...

Wonderful. I love it. The glazes are stunning, and I love the intrigue of the darker work. "Overkill" would make the most amazing band/show poster!

Rebekah Leigh said...

I love them, I love the names, I love the images, I love the black..sometimes darkness is good :-)

Dyche Designs said...

I love these . .. I gravitate towards darker things so these really resonate with me. It's funny how most people start with a white base and create art from there. I always find myself painting my canvases black before I can begin. Beautiful work.

outi harma said...

Melissa!!!!
I love your new work!! I love black!
I love the blending! I love the darker side! I love the titles!!
I have been doing black backgrounds in my paintings lately which I thought I would never do. Yeah! You go girl!!
xoxo

Marisa and Creative Thursday said...

Love them!!! so happy you've found a new style that's inspiring you!!! xo

Little Brown Rabbit said...

I am loving the glazes!! These are very atmospheric- love them.

Jason Riedy said...

Finally had a chance to look at these. Wonderful! I definitely enjoy the black as core and accent. Underlings makes me all happy, believe it or not.

amandamonkey said...

My husband bought "Overkill" for me as a Christmas gift. I LOVE it - the digital photos don't do it justice as the colors are even more vibrant and layered in real life. Thanks for all you do.