Monday, March 23, 2009

Suspension


Suspension: one thing held by another; things falling but being caught in time; suspension of disbelief; suspension of ordinary beliefs and habits.


Sold.

When I do abstracts, I like to put paint on in one layer, let it dry for at least a week, put on a whole 'nother layer, let it dry, etc. I let some of the previous layer show through each time I put more paint on, and do a little scraping too to show the previous layer in lines or patches. Usually I end up with four or five layers before I like a piece and consider it finished. A few nice things about working this way are: that I always have a still-unfinished piece around I can work on anytime, to help with the realism-painting burnout, a very interesting texture builds up, and that if I don't like it, I can just "add another layer." (The Husband will sometimes come ask me what I'm doing, and that's what I say, "just adding a layer.") It also helps take the pressure off for producing a painting that you like in a single sitting; in fact, you can go wild and put on a really UGLY layer on purpose, just for fun, knowing that the next layer will obliterate it. Negatives are that I use up a LOT of paint, and that it can be hard sometimes to wait for a layer to touch-dry.


More art on my website: jalapfaff.com

14 comments:

Samartdog said...

Nice dodge.

brian eppley said...

Jala this is beautiful. Personally I see a figure with a weighted back. Even the red and white cross makes me think of the swiss army. The suspension reads as baggage. Extra weight. Full of symbolism and intense emotion. A gem. With your ability keep exploring your depths and know you are a very talented person!

bonnieluria said...

You found the perfect antidote for whatever ailment of painterly origin you thought you had.
In fact, you just gave yourself the best advice while you explained this layering process.

You are, it turns out, your own best medicine.

Your work speaks for your skill.

And you've inspired me in the process, to play with paint and method. Gaaadds, this can get so serious and heavy handed, no?

Jala Pfaff said...

Sam - What does that mean?? I'll make an executive decision to choose to see it as a compliment.

Brian E - Thank you! What a lot of lovely meaning you've found in this painting. I can't see the figure, but now that you have found it, I can see the "swiss army" cross! (I hadn't seen it before!)

Bonnie -Hi! Thank you for the appreciation. However, I've not found any cure--there isn't one. There's only trying to work in a way that feels right that day, that moment. Indeed, it all gets so ridiculously overwhelming sometimes, it's hard to remember all we're REALLY doing is putting pigment onto a surface.

LSaeta said...

I really like this! It is wonderful to read how you paint this ... but I guess your abstracts take a lot of time to finish! Great color choice.

lostinarc said...

Hey thanks to u too for your comment on my art works...oh yur husband from Hyderabad thats great.....well i like your strokes and the subject you have painted....lovely works... am going to start my painting blog soon...
your work inspired me a lot :)

Regards
Naresh..

Kim Denise said...

Love the feeling of tension in this--that lower piece wants to fall away. I suppose we could draw some psychological analogies here, but I kinda hate deep arty talk, LOL. I can't wait to finish the pieces for my upcoming show so I can mess around and experiemnt like this. I want to try some heavy layering with pastels, using fixative different ways. Gonne have some fun! I hope you are too.

Cathyann said...

AAH! Perspective. Distance. Turning it to the wall. Letting go.
Feels good just to get a breather, huh? Remember,Jala, you are a painter, that means you paint, whatever, whenever, because that is what you are meant to do. All else will follow.This is soothing to observe, considering all the angst preceding it! I like you style and I love your insights. Thanks for sharing it and thanks for visiting my site spending time to comment on my work! And for including me on the blogroll!

Sally Shisler......... said...

Hi Jala. It's so nice to 'meet' you! Let me tell you something - your knife paintings are spectacular! To die for! The strokes tell which knife you are using. It's my personal favorite for smaller paintings, and I use larger putty knives with straight edges for larger ones. It's impossible to get the same direct application with any knife that has a rounded tip. For me, the rounder ones just lead to fussiness. (If I wanted that, I'd go back to sable hair brushes.). You have exceptional talent and I hope you continue to visit the knife method!

Also - it seems you haven't even mentioned using a knife here. Imagine that?? Maybe it's more like heaven now than hell : )

http://www.onpainting.wordpress.com said...

You have a great sense of design. I like this piece.

I let my bad layer dry then follow with another bad layer.

Laurel Daniel said...

I love the progression of colors that you got with this layering process. Nice flowing design.

Kelley Carey MacDonald said...

I always love your abstracts - glad you posted another one! And I love that you described your process a bit- I get into trouble thinking I can do it all at one sitting!

David Larson Evans said...

I like this...Note to myself make some time to read Jala's Blog.

Samartdog said...

Of course it's a compliment. It simply means, given your getting stuck, this process of abstraction is a nice alternative (dodge).