Thursday, July 22, 2010

experiments with gesso and pastel

 10x11 pastel and gesso on BFK
A few of us have been hanging out and painting the last few days. Yesterday we viewed some inspirational work in a gallery. Joel Brock, pastels and gesso, beautiful. With a tonalist palette he created serious MOOD. I really liked his very painterly feeling. With that idea obsessing in my head, I bought some BFK and gesso. I decided to start with a value underpainting in sepia pastel. Next I pre-selected a palette and placed pastel on top of the sepia(see underneath jpeg). From there I alternated gesso and pastel sometimes wet, sometimes dry. It was exciting and frustrating at the same time. I did a few more paintings in this manner, but those had even worse results. I love to experiment, see possibilities. They are freeing...you just have to realize there will be dogs.
On another note, Casey is right, there was a little more to the story- I eliminated the  boat police and the bear. If you want more...let me know.

9 comments:

Donna T said...

Gorgeous painting, Loriann! I admire the way you are able to stop before cluttering up a piece with detail. You said just enough with this one. I am confused about the new gesso technique. Are you painting gesso (wet and white)over pastel or over the blank paper? I am curious to learn more about this as well as the bear and boat police!

SamArtDog said...

I have the same questions about the gesso. Is the paper stretched? Mounted? The whole ground prep frustrates me. I'm impatient enough to start painting the walls. Hey, why not?

I'm a sucker for bear bait, and it sounds like you were jail bait. Do tell!

Nika said...

I like the result, very non-nonsence and moody and the process sounds interesting. I'd like to hear more technical details when you have the time.
Of course we want to hear more of the story, do tell:)))

B Boylan said...

That first one literally has my mouth salivating! It is so beautiful! Do tell us more on your discoveries with Gesso....and more on the story now that you've hinted.

Casey Klahn said...

What a technique! Any texture in the gesso - or is it thickened at all? Very nice and subtle.

Remember I mentioned Joel Brock to you? His studio used to be a storefront right around the corner from the main street, facing city hall I guess, in La Conner.
He also shows at the Lisa Harris gallery in Seattle.

loriann said...

Hi Everyone,
Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I will address my first comment to all.
I have NO, absolutely NO idea of what I am doing. heehee. But that's always the truth....this time, even a little more true.
Here's what I did to make this one;they were all a slightly different process:
I taped BFK to a board and created a monochromatic painting. dry pastel only. I fixed it with Daler Rowney fixative (good stuff, you can put water on top)
Next, I put some color on it...not a whole lot, some. Then came the very unsure part- I mushed gesso and gesso with water into it, some thick, some thin.
I let it dry a little then more pastel...then more gesso. I rubbed and smushed- it was all process. I had no idea of what to do. I simply embraced being lost.
I will talk about the bear and boat police in my next post.

Now to answer separate comments.

Hi Donna! With this method you can't be detailed...it's too smushy.

Hi Sam,
No, the paper is just taped..with no prep...on this one. On other pieces i made a ground, but it didn't move as well on the ground. So then i switched to straight BFK.

Hi Nika!
Above are the details..I like the moodiness as well..although the process needs some refining for me to say i actually enjoyed it.

Hi Brenda!!!! Discoveries revealed above..... I think I experiment more in the studio.

Hi Casey, yes I remembered his name from our conversation. I think he now lives in Edison, at least he paints it a lot. Beautiful work. They have some in the gallery and wine and cheese store in Edison.
The gesso has water and also it's just straight. More details are above. Great meeting you!!!!!!

Brian McGurgan said...

This painting with the experimental gesso technique looks great, Loriann - I love the expressiveness in the strokes and richness of the modeled color. Joel Brock's work is beautiful - thanks for mentioning him and for your description of how you went about this piece. Enjoy your oil workshop!

Lisa McShane said...

More lovely work!

Joel's studio is in Edison, right behind the Eye gallery. All I know is there were a lot of mosquitos when I was there! He does wonderful things w/ gesso and pastel and was generous to do a little demo for a pastel artist friend and me.

It's truly amazing I remember that over the slapping of the mosquitos.

loriann said...

Hi Brian, it's good to hear from you again! I am glad you liked Joel's work. Very tonalist...very beautiful.

Hi Lisa! I will simply have to go back to Edison!. I would love to learn more about his method. Do you know more?