Monday, September 5, 2011

Great Highway


I love the name, “Great Highway”.  It is such picturesque and romantic name and it is a “great highway”.  So, here I go with another painting of the city heading toward abstraction.  It is quite large for me, the same size as “45th Avenue”, 30”x 40”.  I am starting out with thinner paint, in an effort to avoid old dried paint that creates unrelated bumps and brushstrokes in the finished surface.  So I am going to try painting thinner, at least in the beginning.  In “45th Avenue” I put a thick layer of paint down relatively early on and it was a considerable problem that affected the three consecutive layers of paint that finally made up the sky.  I figured I had maybe three methods I could use to keep painting on top of the heavy texture and still keep it fresh.  First, I could apply the new paint strokes in the same direction as the old paint strokes.  Second, I could use a power sander and sand the bumps down first.  Or third and my personal favorite, I could just apply a s--t load of new paint on top and use a palette knife to spackle over the old grooves.  I used the first and the third techniques and I am pleased with the results.  The painting has gained a nice heavy quality, my homage to Jay Defeo , who was not afraid to throw some paint.  Her painting "The Rose" ended up weighing 3,000 pounds.
Jay Defeo painting "The Rose"

"The Rose" detail
Back to the Great Highway, I want the “sky” to be vast and smooth.  The light posts and signals thin and barely there, like something that is gazed at through a long distance, a tunnel of air which wavers and disappears.  It is not easy to paint air.  The real question is can I paint air abstractly, or will my ambivalence finally get the best of me and I will have to choose?  Well that is my dilemma and intent.  We will see. 

day two

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