Hello friends. For those who follow me on instagram you will have gotten several sneak peeks at my latest painting. I titled it Pales and Gold, Modern 1 & 2.
This has actually been a project I have been planning since 2002. I was in college at the time and we were given a color assignment. We had to draw two colors out of a hat and then make some sort of art out of it. Earlier that week I had sketched out some ideas for future paintings.
I thought I would some of those sketches for the assigned project. You can see where I starred the sketches I decided on for the assignment. I drew hideous colors and it turned out ok. But I was unsatisfied with the assigned colors, as well as the small (5"x5") finished product.
It just didn't turn out the way I had imagined. I have always been of the mind of "go big or go home" when it comes to art. The Pales and Gold, Modern 1 & 2 (PG1&2 for the sake of typing) are actually the smallest paintings I have created in the last five years. At 36"x36" they still create quite the presence! Anyway the above product always bothered me as something that just didn't work out. Further more, now I had those ugly assigned colors stuck in my head I felt blocked as to how to fix it. So I just shelved the idea.
Fast forward to 2013. I finally had a house with a real art studio. While in the process of setting up the studio I unpacked all my old sketch books etc. and came across the original sketches and assignment for PAG1&2, of course it wasn't called that at the time. In my head I always just called it The Modern Stuff I Never Completed and Just Didn't Work. I decided to leave the above photo out in the studio to bother me. And it did a very good job bothering me. Every time I looked at it I was reminded of my own failure to achieve what was in my head. You see the original intent was to create a simple yet beautiful piece about unity. I wanted to use the simpleness of line and shape to create two unique paintings that still fit together. Something that felt calming to look at, to re-emphasise that idea of unity and harmony. The pieces could be whole, even in their individuality. The reality of what was created in 2002, in my opinion, had the opposite effect. They kind of worked together, but it seemed forced. It was not a natural joining. The colors were not peaceful and did not convey that sense of togetherness that I was looking for. It mostly emphasized their individuality. The smallness of the original piece was also a problem. It did not draw you in and was easily looked over.
However, I still felt locked into those colors. I just couldn't get my mind around them. I guess it was sort of like writers block. It was created in those colors, so I couldn't see them in any other color. It is silly to be blocked by something like that, but nevertheless I was blocked. So I let the two paintings stare at me and harass me for a year.
It is funny how if you stop thinking about something and move on, then that is when the ideas come! I follow a really fun artist on Instagram names Elaine Biss, she is an amazing fashion illustrator. I had begun to give up on the piece when one day she gave a short little video of one of her paintings using gold. As soon as I saw that a "Ding" went right off in my head. The Modern Stuff I Never Completed and Just Didn't Work needed gold! (at this point I had started referring to them as Modern 1 and Modern 2.) Once that seed planted in my head I couldn't wait to gather my supplies. I finally saw the whole thing come together. It needed to be BIG, it needed GOLD, it needed me to get BUSY!
Because of the size I was planning (times two!) and the expense of the supplies, I wanted to do a test run. I had been waiting so long to get this thing out of my head there was no way I was leaving room for error. So I made two test prints, one to keep for myself (I wanted something to remember this thing by after it sold) and the other to sell to someone that is not able to afford a full original. I had two color schemes in my brain. The plan was to complete both schemes on a smaller scale. That way I could move forward confidently on the larger. My insane urge to control everything perfectly had kicked in at this point, so I just accepted that I was now going to be creating this piece two more times before I actually did the final.
I printed out the two versions. One I called Blue and Ivory and the other Pales and Gold. I attached the Modern 1 & 2 for 'ol times sake and a nod to the long journey this had taken. I printed these out on my Epson Velvet Fine Art paper (super fancy paper for those who don't know paper) so I could paint the gold right on it.
The prints turned out so beautiful I had a really hard time deciding which to keep for myself as well as which should go one the canvas. Ultimately I kept the Blue and Ivory for my personal collection and it found the perfect spot in my home.
I decided on the Pales and Gold for the final piece for a few reasons. One, my husband felt the blue added a feminine aspect to the work, which was interesting to hear. I don't really mind it being feminine (I am a girl!), but to keep the piece consistent with the original intent, I wanted it to appeal to a more general audience. Two, I felt the Pales and Gold created that sense of peace a little stronger then the Blue and Ivory. And Three, I just really like that one. So sometimes you just do something because it is what you like.
Once the decision was made, I went for it. I purchased the materials I needed and got to work.
The hardest part was the taping for the Gold leaf paint. It was really challenging to scale the piece up to the size it needed to be. It required a lot of math and angels and geometry. Something I was never that great at in school. Needless to say, I had a HUGE headache by the time it was ready for the gold paint.
Working with two large pieces like this made it really crowded in my little studio.
But I worked around it, and patted myself on the back for having wheels on everything in the studio. After many, many, MANY coats for gold they were finally ready to be sprayed with the UV Archival Finish.
So that brings you to now. The paintings are completed and now available through the website. I am so please with how it turned out. I feel like I could just stare at it forever.
This is definitely one of those pieces I will be sad to see go. However I am so happy to finally, after all this time, see my original plan come to life! I love the peacefulness it radiates. I love how it comes together so completely, yet each piece could stand on it's own. It reminds me of how life should ideally be. Each of us standing as our own unique selfs, yet living in harmony with those around us. Our spouse, our children, our parents, our friends. Any relationship that has the potential of harmony, I see it manifested in this art. A symbol of how things should be, created by the simple use of line and shape.