I usually begin with a sense of trepidation - what have I talked myself into this time? Will I be able to do it? Will I just produce an embarrassing mess? This has happened in the past, so it keeps me on the edge I suppose. I am certainly not complacent.
The painting above, 'Flying Trapeze' was started on the spot at a circus performance a couple of years ago. I had asked to paint there, not knowing what to expect, and had turned up with two enormous sheets of paper - and then felt completely overwhelmed. There was just so much going on and I wished I had brought smaller sheets, and that I had gessoed them. For some reason I hadn't.
So, back to the 'Flying Trapeze' experience. The circus was outdoors and the evening was typically humid. As I said before, I hadn't gessoed the paper, so the suface became extremely absorbant and the paint was soaking straight in and not flowing. I did the best I could and just drew with paint, trying to capture all the movement and excitement. I wasn't that happy with the results (but then I rarely am at the time) and put the drawings/paintings in the cupboard and forgot about them.
I found them again the other day and wondered how to work on them without losing the action in them but still allowing the paint to flow. I put a thin layer of gesso over everything so that I could still see the figures, and then used three colours of gouache; orange, yellow and blue. I wish that I had taken a 'before' photo to show you, but I do have the other sheet still untouched...........
This has a bit of every act at the circus on it, and might descend into complete confusion when I start to work on it, but it's an interesting challenge. I also have an acrobat, which was on the same sheet as the trapeze artist, so this shows you what I did on the spot.
I love to paint - and draw - and help others to discover their creative side too.....
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