A painterly war zone

I have two artworks to complete for the end of the month. Last weekend I realised I had already said what I was doing, which was not what I had in mind, so a quick change of process and I thought it would all be good. How wrong I was! I put the initial acrylic washes down and those went well. I selected some images for the first collage items and got out the soft gel medium like I always do. Tore out the first image, stuck it down and though “yep, perfect”. As it dried a medium-sized bubble appeared in the middle so I quickly soaked and scrapped it off again. I wasn’t prepared to have the same hassle again, as I had been thinking of quite big collage pieces which are harder to get bubble-free, so changed tactic slightly. More washes, some drawing with paint, and then smaller collage. Yep, not bad.

So this afternoon I added some more light washes and then decided to work over some of it with white, to partially obscure some of the work. Something I do all the time. So why did I grab the wrong tube of paint and end up using Iridescent White instead of Titanium White? So I grabbed a palette knife and scraped off the top layer then rubbed it back with some alcohol soaked cleaning cloths and took as much paint off as I could. Now I have this shiny sheen across the bottom left hand corner – which I loathe.

Why does this happen sometimes? I know the answer if I am honest with myself. I have got all hung up on who I am exhibiting with, and who is going to see the works, and have stopped trusting myself to just get on with it. Not the first time it has happened and won’t be the last I guess. In some ways I don’t mind that these two works will end up being multi-layered war zones because they reference the time we spent in Italy last year, visiting Monte Cassino and seeing first hand the impact WWII had for the people of the Cassino region. Perhaps these need to be a war zone, after all…

(edited an hour or so later) I am starting again. Tthe current canvas can go in the ‘to be worked over’ pile. I can’t be bothered fighting it right now 😉


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