Sunday, June 1, 2014

Grid Painting

In my last post, I introduced some new paintings using a new-to-me technique: grids.  I came to using grids for two reasons.  One, I want (and have wanted for some time) the focus of my painting to be about the process and two, I want the viewer to be able to see, at least somewhat, that process.

The idea for my process is to have a clear set of ideas, or rules, at the start and to follow and see where that leads me with the painting.  I actually started this idea, still using a grid (though as I was playing around I didn't strictly follow the grid yet), with dots:

In Progress
To start, I couldn't think of anything more process-oriented than dots.  My hope, too, was that the viewer standing back would not necessarily see the dots.  Then coming closer, they would come into view.  I like the idea of the optical trickery.  However, I had not yet finished a painting using the dots and with a show, Pulse, quickly approaching I decided to go to what I planned to try eventually, which was brushstrokes in the grid instead.

First, I photocopied a vintage photograph making it larger and easier to work from.  I ended up doing a color copy as it made these lovely greenish-blue colors rather than the sepia tones in the original photograph.  Then, once I knew what sort of grid I would use on the panel I drew it out on the copied photograph and then on the panel.  I selected particular paints to use and began one square at a time never painting squares next to each other in single painting sessions.

Each time I started a new group the paints used were mixed slightly differently so that each square was like its own little painting:

And here is, as you saw in the previous post, the final painting:

The first of these paintings, I had to start with it turned upside down to stop myself from moving from one square to the next automatically.  Over time, I was used to it and could paint with it upright.

I still need to finish the dot painting, but I have many more ideas for these grid paintings including trying it with landscape, still life, different ways to try out the portraits, ...  Just need more time...