Orange/Red Flight – peacefully resting on the wings of the Death Angel

I always wonder what affects our mood and our well being. Sometimes, for no particular reason, you might feel like, I don’t know, just weird and then the next minute something switches and you are back being yourself again. Yesterday was one of those days when the switch suddenly switched me back from a weird mood to what I was experiencing the day before. I don’t know, maybe because I just went for a run and got outside for some air? That might be it, because after my run I was able to focus on my next canvas creating this flying swimmer, who is carrying a bunch of characters on his wings. Also, one of the lines under his chin creates this illusion as if he is resting his head on a hand with long fingers.

A detail from The Orange/Red/Turquoise Flight, a large face as if resting on or pulled by a hand and a bunch of little characters are seen in white area.

While working on the new canvas I realized just how important it is for me to not only put lines on a canvas but also remove them from there leaving just enough information for our eyes to establish some kind of silhouettes, figures and forms. It is a lot of fun and I do believe my lines are becoming cleaner and cleaner with each new work. Putting away my previous work from my walls proved to be good for me. I was fully focused on the painting in front of me.

This morning I had a feeling that I want to start another painting, but I know that this feeling is provoked by the situation I have with this one, the big decisions I have to make regarding the color choices. Every time I am like this I have to remind myself that there are no mistakes, there are always opportunities and solutions to everything. It is good that I don’t see my other paintings in front of me. When I have other paintings around, my mind starts wondering about how to connect each piece. That usually brings me into the overthinking state of mind.

Originally written on 12-7-17


Yesterday I found myself debating if I should be painting my next canvas with oils. The smell of oil paint brought a lot of memories. It almost made me switch from acrylics to oils on the canvas I work on now.

An unfinished/untitled painting (oil on canvas) from ~1997 in my photo archives weirdly looks finished now.

I went with my decision to use orange and red. There is a thought to also use yellow. I am not sure if I like the effect I am getting right now. Because of the orange the flying figure became very stationery. I know for sure that there is going to be some color explosion on this canvas and I already can see how this painting might develop with thousands of little faces burning in the red flight. Maybe that is what my starting point should be? How we all burn during our lives, but then this angel of death takes us somewhere peaceful and then there is this line of characters watching how these little faces in flight are disappearing in flames while they peacefully rest on the wings of the death angel.

I am not sure if I want to call this angel “the death angel” because he is rescuing these characters which sit on his wings. I keep thinking about the fires in California. At the moment these fires do look like something from a horror film, like an end of the world. I would not be surprised if it is.

I should say that these descriptions I started giving to my paintings are really helping me to decide what needs to be done next on this canvas. I am going to see how this orange reacts with the rest after I put faces in the red area. I know that the painting from now on is going to evolve by itself. I just need to be patient and keep working. Of course there is always this thought that I might mess something up, but it has proven to be just a needless worry.

I do like my initial steps I make in every new development of my painting process. That is probably why it becomes harder for me to change something I am fond of. But change is a part of the process, a part of my work. I know I am going to have a hard time deciding on what colors to use on the angel’s face, because right now what works for me are the plain lines which define the face on the white surface of the canvas.

The red area at the top left is waiting for characters to appear while the sketched characters in the white areas are waiting for my color choices/decisions to be made and to be painted.

It is “funny” how I caught myself on a thought that I am missing some colors in my color pallet. I probably do, but that is because I am using “unmixed” paint, meaning, I don’t really mix colors for the purpose of creating new ones. Whatever comes in a tube or a jar stays (mostly) the same on the canvas, usually a color mixed with the white. I still remember E. saying to me that I should start mixing colors for the purpose of creating new ones. I don’t feel I should mix two colors for the purpose of creating another one at this stage of my game. I am still listening to the initial energies of each color I work with, what they communicate to me in the state they come.

I am working with soft bodied acrylics on this canvas. Mixing soft bodied paint is a bit different than mixing heavy bodied and the oils. The soft body don’t have the same thickness needed for another pigment to stay on top with only a little bit of a brush push/mix. With the soft body paint it really becomes more about creating a brand new pigment, fully mixed. This brings another can of worms. Consistency is one of them. Of course I would get interesting effects with inconsistent paint, but at the moment it is not my goal. My goal is to have colors interact with each other through forms and surfaces they occupy and through characters these forms and surfaces create on the canvas.

On another note, it is just amazing how the right music can help me develop my characters I paint on my canvases. I need to look closer into what I have already created and write stories to the paintings, write plays, extend that what it is in my head.

Originally written on 12-8-17

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