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Progress in the Studio

June 18, 2010

This is a picture of six of my panels, taken out in the sun. I put them out there to help cure the self-leveling clear gel and thick paint. I’ll have a lot more layers over some of these, but I sometimes like layers of clear between layers of color and texture. The ones that are shiny and milky are the ones with the wet gel.

The one on the bottom right may be good as is. I will put clear gel over it and look at it again.

The other three are nothing to look at yet.

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. June 19, 2010 4:57 pm

    Does all gel medium level smoothly if you dry it in the sun??? Imagine and Live in Peace, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart

  2. June 19, 2010 5:19 pm

    Great question, Mary Helen. No, it doesn’t if you have as much on there as I do. If I want it to be smooth, I have to put it down in thinner layers and definitely let them dry completely between coats, preferably overnight per coat.

    I love its addition to my final texture.

  3. donna baek permalink
    June 20, 2010 3:52 pm

    dear martha,

    i never thought of using painter’s tape to keep the sides clean. i used to like the drips but don’t any longer. i tend to paint my sides black but even though i wipe down the sides as i go along, i inevitably end up with drips, usually clear ones from the polymer medium i use so much. or else the GAC 100 i use to seal the panels will adhere to the plastic lined table top and when after they’ve dried and i go to pick them up there’s a rim of GAC adhering the panel to the table top. any idea how to get this off once they’ve dried? scraping doesn’t work. i was thinking about getting a little dremel to see if that might sand them off.

    i think everyone loves to see your works in progress all lined up. i find other artists’ work technique to be fascinating and really valuable. thnkas for sharing with us.

    dona in snohomish

    • June 20, 2010 4:46 pm

      Donna, I am pretty careful about not getting too many drips and globs going down the sides. it inevitably happens sometimes, though. I don’t worry too much about getting every single bit of them off. I just paint over them with black or whatever color I’m painting the sides. However, you can use tin snips or powerful scissors to cut the offending pieces of GAC, etc. off the bottom edges. And to keep them from sticking to your table, freezer paper is wonderful! Tape it to your table shiny side up.

  4. June 21, 2010 11:49 am

    Martha,
    I really enjoyed the you tube tour of New York Art.
    That’s one way to stay up to date.

    • June 21, 2010 12:02 pm

      Glad you liked it, Candy! There are a few similar ones on YouTube. I try to share them when I find them.

  5. donna baek permalink
    July 5, 2010 7:28 pm

    dear martha,

    i have a problem maybe you can advise me on. you’ve mentioned this in your posts sometimes. my work is similar to yours in technique and general, overall style. i have found i need to work very spontaneously with almost no preplanning. i sometimes have a kind of idea of a color scheme or collage papers i’d like to use but that’s about it. if i try and plan or even draw my work becomes stitled and cartoonish. ifi iwant a somewaht recognizable element i hand print it instead of drawing it or else everything becomes stiff and frozen looking.

    the problem is that sometimes i’ll finish a piece which is not very successful overall but it has some great sections which if i isolate/crop them out would make a great peice enlarged. but i can’t seem to use the cropped section as a study for another piece becasue now i’ve lost the spontaneity and it doesn’t work. especially when one works with textures and drips and splatters.. that can’t really be replicated much at all. so i guess my question is how does an artist who does spontaneous , layered, textural abstracts use a cropped section of a previous peice as the basis for a new piece and still keep it alive? as i try to work larger and larger, i find blowing up a section helps me to see bigger. working larger is challenging for me but something i’d really like to get comfortbale with. my work lends itself to a bigger format. but getting ther eis a slow process for me. sorry for the length of this post.

    donna in snohomish, wa

    • July 10, 2010 4:50 pm

      Donna, I apologize for the slow response. When I read your question I knew it would require some thought.

      Your question is a difficult one to answer, because I think you’re onto something when you say that the spontaneity can easily get lost. But when I first read this, I thought about a conversation I had with an artist friend who has wonderful credentials and background, and I said I loved so-and-so’s work because it is so spontaneous and almost random looking. She laughed a little bit and said she didn’t think that was the case. She said she thought the artist had managed to “simulate randomness.”

      I have done some of this in the past. I always look for little snippets of possible compositions that I think will look good in a large format and have been known to blow up something that’s a inch square onto a 36″ canvas. It’s still just a starting point, and I’m not bound to the outcome. If I want spatters and drips and smears, I have to just get myself in a groove with some music or something and go for it. I may tape or mask off sections so that I can be free in areas of the painting without ruining another area. The idea is to stay loose and not too attached to the end result. Sometimes you get surprises that are better than what you were going for.

      This is a rambling answer. I hope some of this makes sense. Let me know — we could keep a dialogue going!

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