Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Ctrl Z, Ctrl Y

If you paint long enough, you are going to have stacks of paintings that are of no use to anyone. They need to be destroyed somehow. I suppose an option is to toss them in the garbage making sure no one gets their hands on them.
I decided I would do a total redo. Someone gave me a few old cans of oil priming white. Each can weighs a few pounds. It is dense stuff, and perfect for covering and making work go away.
So, what's under this painting?
Caffeine Bagged with Cream, 16X20, oil on textured canvas, © 2016 Richard J. Luschek II
The above painting is part of a series I started of coffee cups painted over old paintings with textured surfaces. I love what heavy texture does to the paint, forcing one to work almost like one would doing a pastel picture. It minimized details, which I like, as my tendency is to push paintings to a fine finish. I still do this, but the surface does force me to keep things broad and loose.
As the subject is of items destined for the trash, the surface seems to play into that mood for me by being rough and untidy. The goal for me is to always make a pleasing and beautiful arrangement of shapes and colors that uplift the 'common', causing us to stop and really look at a bag of stuff on the table in a way me may not do otherwise. I personally am more offended by a badly designed painting of a Ming Vase full of flowers than I am of a well design picture of garbage. I caught some flack on the social medias for belittling my heritage by painting trash. While I insist a painting be pleasing, the subject does not have to be. If that were true, war scenes, some historical events and many religious subjects would not be appropriate for representing.  I totally accept this picture is not for everyone, but I believe it is worth painting.

So, as I said before, what's under the cup painting?
A not so hot 2 hour figure painting I did in one session in my studio about 10 years ago. I did not want it, but the canvas was good.

Ctrl Z*- We will cover this up with oil priming white and fix everything.
Wow, much improved.
I palette knife it on and then brush it around till I like the texture I sometimes would push rags into the paint to get a texture and them smooth it out. 
A fresh white canvas. Doesn't this look inviting?
While the priming white is a fast drier, this stuff is on thick, so I let it set up for at least two weeks to dry before going on top with anything.

Ctrl Y- After two days I get it laid in.

So really, you are buying two paintings for one price. There is history to the canvas which was saved from the trash. The bag of cups has a history too- documenting my serious addiction to coffee.

You can see this painting and others from the series hanging at:
Rottinghaus Gallery.

1983 Madison Rd
Cincinnati, OH 45208
(513) 871-3662

*for those who may not get my hilarious, computer savvy joke, Ctrl Z, is the undo command on your computer. Ctrl Y is redo. If you don't already, start using them and improve your life.