Here is one of the new paintings I've been working on...this one doesn't have a title yet. It's 50"x30," oil on board.
A couple of weeks ago in my post "ruts and grooves" I said I felt I was in a color rut. Since then I've been working with two strategies, one of which is evident in this painting. That idea is to have more colors and brighter colors working together in certain panels, getting away from my tendency to stick with closely related or monochromatic colors. I like the effect in this painting of the various colors appearing in bits and pieces. My friend Sally commented that this is how bright color often appears in nature. Like a flower, a fallen leaf on a rock, or bits of sky seen through branches. Below is a detail of the color/texture of the middle panel.
The other idea I've been working with is to build up my color layers in a more deliberate way. If I anticipate a dark color as the final state of a panel, I'm deliberately applying several layers of intense color first, then selectively scratching, gouging and rubbing through--a bit like a scratch board technique. This has enlivened some of the earthier color panels I was getting frustrated with in my earlier post.
In a way it's nothing new for me--my work has involved lots of interaction between paint layers for quite a while now. But it's usually been more the result of trial and error than forethought. It feels good to take control of a technique that I've been using rather unconsciously--seems like the best way to push and develop it. At the same time, I want to avoid a formulaic approach--surprise and experimentation are part of what keep me in the studio.