Free expression on large format.

Busy with my people’s project, I just wanted  to do something different. Something completely free and unrestrained. Taking large formats of paper and canvas, I put down the brushes and used only my hands and rolled towel paper. even though it feels a bit like first grade finger painting, there is a liberating feeling that results from “playful” and experimenting occasions like these.

1.Tilleul tree in gouache on paper.  For the first tree, I shaped the thick trunk with a large brush and for the leaves, added gouache pigment with my fingers, sometimes very wet so the color runs and sometimes I dotted only dry splotches. Not a very significant result, but it did loosen me up, like all these free, expressive exercises always do. this one really looks like a first grader “picture”!

1…tilleul tree in gouache on paper, 65x50cm…

1…detail…

2. Prune tree in oil on canvas. For the second tree, I used a large canvas, primed it with a layer of thin gesso,  “shaped” the tree trunks and branches with modelling paste and painting knifes, and finished off with a last coat of thinned gesso. After leaving it to dry overnight, I built up the tree trunk with layers of  oil pigment, using a rag to wipe and build up up the layers. The leaves were all added with crumpled toweling paper and lastly spatters of oil pigment with a large brush.

2…prune tree in oil on linen, 92x73cm…

2…detail…

3. Apple tree in charcoal: Again on large format and loose application of pressed charcoal, I only made marks and got in there with the fingers to suggest the folage loosely.

3…apple tree in charcoal on paper, 65x50cml…

3…detail…

To do excercises like this:

  • Use large sheets of paper or canvas or cartons. Off cuts from boxes can work as well
  • Wear old clothes.
  • Work where you have enough room/space…even outside on the lawn, or go to the park.
  • Choose something around you like large shrubs, trees, flowerbeds.
  • Use only big tools…big brushes, pieces of rag, knifes, twigs, and of course, hands(You can treat them afterwards with some good creams!)
  • Work on the WHOLE paper, even if you run off the page.
  • Stand back, up often and look at your creation from a distance. Don’t consider right or wrong or any painting rules.
  • Consider only marks, color, texture, shapes.
  • When finished with one, put it aside and immediately start another…with another bush another scene.. don’t go back to a previous painting, rather start another one.
  • Don’t think, just do.