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Finding Inspiration in Unlikely Places

September 9, 2013
Haiku 86 - Acrylic on Cradled Panel, 8x8x2 inches

Haiku 86 – Acrylic on Cradled Panel, 8x8x2 inches

This is another of the paintings I recently sent to Michael Murphy Gallery in Tampa.

As I began  this painting, I wanted as much spontaneity and freshness as possible. After an underpainting with gesso, then came some washes in faint gold and red oxide, then the marks with an ebony pencil, and then some large strokes of a mixture of black and yellow, thinned with acrylic medium for maximum stroke definition.  Last was the application of the dark texture in the bottom right hand corner. After all of that dried again, I applied an overall coat of self-leveling clear gel. I like how it unifies the painting’s surface. The painting was dried completely in between all of these steps. That’s why they take so long to do sometimes!

In this photograph you are seeing a lot of reflected sunlight. It was photographed outside like several of the others in that series. These photographs are mainly for my own documentation, and at these times I don’t go to a lot of trouble with the lighting. But with the sunlight, you can see all of the little blips and imperfections in all the layers. If you click on this image, I think you’ll find it’s pretty large and will show a lot of detail.

My inspiration for this painting came from a very unlikely source, but I’ll bet if you look you can find similar inspirations for paintings or collage. One day not long ago I was creating some new collage papers using the Citra Solv technique on some pages of an old National Geographic magazine. Suddenly I began to see paintings everywhere in these finished sheets. Take a look:

Citra Solv 13


I’m feeling inspired right now, and am hoping to get out to the studio for a little while before tonight’s painting students arrive.

I hope you’re finding inspiration in your world today.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. September 9, 2013 4:57 pm

    These are just wonderful. At last I understand the value of the moment in your spontaneous movements on the canvas. Sounds funny, but to me, this has never been as obvious as in these two.

  2. September 10, 2013 8:21 am

    Appreciate the movement and then sun’s play in this piece – lovely

  3. September 12, 2013 3:00 am

    I love the dichotomy in the work; made with grimey colours to produce something that wouldn’t look out of place in a cathedral.
    I can imagine these on windows in an arty hotel or cafe

    • September 12, 2013 4:24 pm

      Thanks, Barnaby. I do like grimey colors — good description. I sometimes refer to them as muddy or even “ugly” colors. It’s fun to see what can be done with them.

  4. September 12, 2013 10:48 am

    i love it martha, thank you for sharing “Art is the only way to run away without leaving home.” ~Twyla Tharp


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