Thursday, January 3, 2013

A greener version

By green, I am referring the ecologically conscious bulb at the center of this painting. This is the second in this series with a CFL energy saving bulb- which truth be told, are not just a less-pleasant light source, but are a pain to render as they are obviously more complicated than a typical bulb. I was also surprised how warm the light appeared relative to the scene. I would typically describe a fluorescent bulb as cool, but that is not what I was seeing as I stared at the bulb for hours.

This latest basement painting is a view of the ceiling in one of our storage rooms. This is the room with where we store house hold supplies: soap, toilet paper, paper towels and light bulbs. Also on the shelves are random empty boxes- some of which are shown in the bottom right corner.
Basement Still Life- Storage Closet #2, Oil on linen, 16 x 20
©copyright Richard Luschek 2012
I tend to paint in such a way that obscures the brush strokes in my still life work. I like my paintings to look as if they are made of paint, but I don't like the focus to be on the brush stroke. This series, in our 100 year basement, lends itself to a rougher and more varied use of paint. The technique began when I decided while scraping down my palette at the end of the day to take that pile of "mud' that I normally just throw away and smear it on the canvas in gnarly piles. I needed more paint on this one so I started mixing large piles in a variety of colors, focusing on warms and cools. Was not concerned about the accuracy of the color or value too much, knowing I would fix that in subsequent passes.
I would loosely drag the paint on with a palette knife and follow up with a brush to fine tune the surface. Once that thick paint dried, I could glaze, scumble*, and dry brush over this texture.

My initial lay in was pretty thin, simple and broad:
Basement Still Life- Storage Closet #2 day one lay-in
Oil on linen, 16 x 20, ©copyright Richard Luschek 2012
Initially there was a pink phone line hanging down that I had painted in, I decided to get rid of it out as it was distracting and mucked up the composition.

Here is a close up shot of some of the initial texture scraped over the initial lay-in. Click on the image to zoom in for textury goodness:
Basement Still Life- Storage Closet #2 , Texture Detail
After the thick palette knife stage the painting looked a bit garish and out of sorts. The next step was to do what ever I could to unify and correct the overall look. Occasionally the texture was a bit much and I had to use a heavy knife to scrap back down to the canvas.
I am not sure yet how, or even if, this technique will affect my still life work, but I am excited about the possibilities.
Also, I may want to fix my basement ceiling.

*glaze- to brush on a thin transparent wash of paint. scumble- to loosely brush on an opaque layer of paint.


Clem Robins said...

really quite good.

Richard J. Luschek II said...

Thank you. That means a lot.

LS Nelson said...

Just found you via Stapleton, Boston School blogs. You're now in my list of blogs to visit on a regular basis.
Wonderful thoughtful work. Wry and personal, but appealing for anyone who notices the stuff of daily life.

Richard J. Luschek II said...

Thank you Mr. Nelson. Glad to have a new follower. Appreciate your comments.