As artists, we all should experiment a little. Or a lot if you want.
My previous painting was an experiment in darks, contrast, and color. It was also an experiment with a relatively new product for me: cold wax medium.
When my wife and I were in Santa Fe, gallery hopping along Canyon Road, I was admiring a palette knife painting. I think it was in Casweck Gallery, and the artist may have been Lorraine Alexander. The gallery staff told me that this artist used wax in her paint to give them body with a translucent effect.
That sounded neat. So I looked into it.
It isn’t unheard of for artists to melt wax and mix it with their paints. Alternately, there’s cold wax medium, which is a soft waxy substance you can mix with your paint.
The shadows and dark areas around the tree in the painting above are transparent colors mixed with cold wax medium and applied thickly. See how they glow?
That piece, you may recall, will be entered into a juried show in Taos, NM. I’m happy with it, and I’ve moved on to creating my second piece to enter.
Then I tried to squeeze and squish the foreground colors around the dark shapes. Dumb! It was a mess! How did I think I was going to get the grass, shrubs and dirt around that agave? I hated it, so I scraped it off.
Never keep what isn’t working. Scrape it off. Wipe it away. Don’t waste time trying to shine a turd.
I scraped off just the foreground. The rest I still love. I got as much off as I could. Then I wiped it off with paint thinner. Then I applied a thick layer of titanium white over my goof, followed by a bit of color. Now it looks like this:
Once this dries, I plan to apply some shaded areas with color and cold wax, similar to the tree painting. I’m going to approach it like I would a watercolor; working in layers from light to dark.
I’m hoping it’s ready by the weekend! Stay tuned…