I’ve been working for a couple of weeks now on a couple of long-term fascinations of mine — painting with a limited palette in a grid, and my wife’s beautiful face ! I suppose this latest endeavor was inspired (in part) by the needlepoint stockings my wife and I are making for a niece and nephew. Linda designed the stockings, we painted them together, and in bed each night for the past (GAWD, seems like forEVER) several months, we work on our respective needle point stockings and she criticizes me for not following the ‘rules’ and I remind her that MINE is almost done now!
I started making gridded paintings in 1992, first painting ‘visually’, as if from a still life, the colors of very simple bitmap images of my family. As I continued, I began to abstract the images into ‘paint by numbers’ monochromatic portraits in squares (each number representing a value). Later, I learned how to calculate an image using any palette of paint colors I liked — usually white, black, cadmium red, alizarine crimson, ultramarine blue, cerulean blue, cadmium yellow medium, and sometimes cadmium lemon or pale (the limited palette I’d used as a student at the Kansas City Art Institute under Wilbur Niewald).
“Linda” painting underway
The acrylic paints I used (from ETAC are, except for the white, trasparent pigments. The overspray from the darks really ate up the lights, and the overspray from the white ate up the darks, so there’s a huge variation in dot size and in color which I didn’t intend.
In order to get this to look ANYthing like the (wonderful) intensity of the ‘plan’ (don’t you just LOVE tiny bitmaps?), I’m going to have to knuckle down and paint the 216,000 dots by hand. Any idea how long THAT might take? Couple of weeks, I suppose… But how COOL will it be with so many little Hershey’s kisses paint dollops? Cool, I think. And I want to see that badly enough to just DO it!
So… Enough Golden fluid acrylics (so I can apply by syringe, I hope) should arrive any day now and I can get started with some more needlepoint work (now that my stocking is done) in paint instead of yarn… I’m kinda dreading this, but I WANT this painting to be ‘right’! Hopefully a GORGEOUS canvas full of bright intense colored dots will eventually become ‘real. Maybe.