Tuesday, January 29, 2013

A Painting Makeover

This is a followup of my recent post about taking apart frames, unearthing paintings, and general reorganization of my old art. Thanks to a nudge from a couple of my readers, I decided to take an old painting and give it a makeover. This painting looked like this about a year ago. Kind of nice, and I was trying new things, so it was a true learning piece, but I didn't love it.

Posted by Picasa

More learning--this stuff I tried to improve the painting with didn't work!

Posted by Picasa

I'd heard of "gesso soup" which award winning artist Kathleen Conover uses. Then a recipe for it was published in the WSO Watermark newsletter, so I was handed a new way to have fun with this piece of paper. (Ask me and I'll share the simple recipe.) With a few tools and a batch of "soup" I was good to go.

Posted by Picasa

Here's what it looked like after my application of "soup."  I left a couple of areas from the original, but mostly just slathered it on. I also lifted some of the goop with stamps.

Posted by Picasa

I had not been thrilled by my original color choices--too cool and too reminiscent of the Southwest colors. 
So part of the makeover was to warm it up with colors inspired by the Columbia River Basin where the petroglyph of tsagaglalal--She Who Watches-- was carved. The new surface took on the watercolor paint in a surprising way and I began to see a wonderful weathered and ancient look to the surface. 

Posted by Picasa

By scraping a bit in the soupy stage, using watercolor pencils, enhancing patterns and lines with paint, and using more stamping (If one reflection is good, why not three?) and warming the entire painting, I've given this painting quite a makeover. 

As always, I love comments!

Posted by Picasa
Columbia Basin Reflections,  mixed media, 22" x 15"


Ruth Armitage said...

Wow! what a transformation! I love what the "Gesso Juice" did... and the warm colors are so cool layered over everything, with just a pentimento of the cool showing through :)

Anonymous said...

I think Kathleen C. calls it gesso juice. I like the soup name. You did a super job of using it. Way to go!