This is the second of two paintings made from sketches based on the sculptural works of Lee Bontecou. For this one, I decided I needed more room to move on the canvas, so I moved up from a 24″ x 24″ canvas for the first one — “Energy Renewal” — to a 36″ x 36″ canvas for this one. I initially intended to stick much closer to the sketch and the colors from the sketch on this painting as well. However, the demands of the painting as I worked on it led to a much more simplified image and an overall cooler palette.
I also decided to work with a palette knife using cold wax medium. I’ve probably only done less than half-a-dozen previous studies and paintings working that way, so it felt like a learning process all over again. This is a very fun way to work, as due to the wax medium, I can push the paint around, scratch through it, add to it endlessly, and work on every day without running into that tacky state where you have to let it dry before tackling the canvas again.
I spent about three or four weeks working on this, off and on (while other stuff was tearing me away), which gave me some extra time for reflection while engaged with this painting. I think, in this case, the time spent staring at and contemplating this work while doing other (non-painting) work was beneficial to the overall process and result.
If you’re interested in viewing the transformation of this painting from sketch through all the interim stages to completion, I have documented the process in an album on G+: Sun Rose, from concept to completion. There are also a few detail shots of the beautiful pound of paint I used in this painting.
I am so pleased, also, that this painting sold the minute it was completed — and to another very talented artist, which is a great compliment!