Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Glazing is scary.....

I started this painting in March. For nine months I have been researching the art market, fashion, and other luxury objects. I have photographed and gathered visuals for props and figures, taken characters out and added new figures at various stages in the painting, adjusted colors and values, and painted faces in painstaking detail with tiny brushes.
I am thrilled with the way it is looking, and that can only mean one thing: now is the time to start at one end of this 79 x 116" canvas, and cover the surface with a transparent, grey/green sticky mixture that cannot be removed. (I make lists of all the things that need to be done up to this point because they cannot be changed once the glaze goes down.) As many times as I have done this, it still makes my heart stop the first time I put the initial brushstroke of glaze on. I usually set up my brushes and fuss around the studio for an hour before starting, just getting my courage up to start.

But as terrifying as the process is, the effect is always magical, enveloping an entire space in the same mood. In this particular painting, I wanted the yucky atmosphere of a shopping mall... a dark, dead-light sort of interior space. I wanted the environment to be filled with a kind of toxic green gas that envelops everything, with the paintings on the wall glowing like they are the only redemptive objects in the space... as if they are in the space, but belong someplace else.

When Van Gogh painted his Night Cafe (one of my favorites), he said that he wanted to depict "the kind of place where a man might go mad". I go mad in shopping malls.

Before and After Glazing:

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