My return to painting, part II

A step in the right direction

It was back on June 24 that I posted I was going to jump back into the fray and begin painting again.

Here it is, the middle of September and this is all I have to show for it.

One very small canvas that looks like it may have been done by a 4th grader.

I had such grand ambitions.

Instead, I was saddled with a canvas that measures 9″ x 12″.

I felt like such a hack.

I used to air brush my skies, trying my best to create Magritte-style cloud formations. But currently, my downstairs office space is not set up for any air brush work. So it was all acrylic and brush work for me as I tried to jump back in to the painting game.

Some people might wonder why there’s a painting of a ladder in a field with a few tree branches jutting out from the side.

I do, too.

All of my paintings always start off as mini sketches. This one began as a ladder leaning against a brick wall. I even went out and took some photos of an old wooden ladder leaning against a wall and thought I was good to go. But the subject matter didn’t do a whole lot for me. It had no mystery to it.

Remove the wall the ladder was leaning against and suddenly, it became a little more interesting.

Figuring out how to make this happen from my limited skill set proved to be almost comical.

It all began with a return visit to Art Mart, a place I hadn’t set foot in for 16 years. Tom Jr. had bought me my tiny canvas, some brushes, a drawing pad and some paint for Father’s Day but I felt that I needed more supplies. I was determined to do something – anything to get back into it. I used to mask off quite a bit with my airbrush work and figured I could do the same with this painting, covering up the tree branches and ladder while I filled in the sky and the ground around it.

My sales rep at Art Mart said they no longer made the kind of 3M tape that I used to use all the time for my masking work so I bought some type of frisket or something that refused to stick to the canvas and was very tough to cut with an X-acto knife. I was stumped. So the canvas sat partially covered in frisket that was peeling up from the canvas for several weeks before I finally decided I could work without a net. I pulled up the frisket and began painting the sky, doing my best not to fill in the ladder. The clouds are abysmal.

But at least you know they are clouds.

So then I moved to the ground and I actually kind of liked what I did with it, crude though it is. The ladder was next and though far from perfect, if asked what it was, you would identify it as a ladder.

And if you have the benefit of seeing the sides of the painting (not shown here) you can tell the branches are part of a bare tree.

So all in all, I guess you know what this is.

You just may never know why it is.

But that’s why they call it art.

As to the title of this one?

A step in the right direction.



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