|"Somewhere on the 10 Freeway"|
oil on panel, 8 x 10
This is somewhere on the 10 freeway, we were on our way to eat sushi at an all-you-can-eat sushi place in Upland. Took many reference shots that night.
I had been wanting to try out some different techniques and ideas I had been having for a while. I was busy with the work for the three November shows and didn't want to try out any time consuming experiments, I was on a very busy schedule. Once that was all over I got right to trying out these ideas that were eating my thoughts.
Most, if not all of these new ideas are aimed at producing a painting in a short amount of time, especially considering the amount of detail I like to use in my work.
I needed a break from "my method," as I called it. Though I was now able to comfortably work with the way I had become accustomed to, I still felt the need to try out something different, I love all of my work, but I was in a rut. Change is more than necessary when stuck in these moments.
To begin with, I bought different brushes from what I have now been used to for the last four years. I work primarily with small natural bristle brushes throughout most of my painting process, sizes 2 through 4, which I use from sketching in, to block-in, to finish, making covering a large area a time consuming event that would sometimes take me out of the moment while working, this is the way I taught myself to work, and the way I have always been doing it. So I bought large brushes, though I didn't go the conventional route and buy expensive large fine art brushes.
I was at Lowes not long ago, one of my favorite stores for some odd reason, and was in the paint section looking around. I walked by the brush area, and something caught my attention. I saw these natural bristle brushes used for home painting, very cheap in price, but the quality of the bristle was as good, if not better than those expensive art brushes we find at our local art supply store. I instantly had a rush of ideas, and at the very low price the brushes were priced at, I bought several different sized brushes.
The ideas were boiling in my head, but as I mentioned, I was very busy working on paintings for 3 shows I was to be part of in November, and didn't want to risk wasting time on something that perhaps would not pay off. So I set the brushes aside, and continued in my usual style, with the work for the November shows.
A few weeks went by, all the work was done and delivered, and I was at the second of three shows. It was the Red & Redder show in Valley Village, at Monet's Gardens. I was very interested in attending this show because Vadim Zanginian was going to be painting a demo from the model that night. I love seeing other artists work, it's always interesting to see their process.
I got there, said hello to few people, went in to where Vadim was working, and glued myself to the floor for the rest of the night. To my surprise, Vadim was using brushes similar to the ones I had purchased at Lowes! I was surprised by the sort-of-coincidence! I watched him develop the painting as the night progressed, and also noticed that the techniques he was using were similar to the ideas I had been thinking about! It felt as if life itself was giving me a demo of the process I had been seeing in my head since that day at Lowes, a preview of what could be done with these ideas and brushes, maybe a live payoff for all the hard work I had put in over the previous months. I couldn't wait to get home and try it out.
I set up an 8 x 10 panel. If i was to experiment and have it not work out, i wanted it to be on a small panel that i wouldn't mind wasting.
From the very start, the process felt different. These new brushes handled the paint in a much smoother way. In cliché manner, the painting felt as if it was flowing out of me. It was incredibly easy to work, the colors mixed right, there were absolutely no problems when the brush touched the surface of the panel. I was able to cover a large area with such ease. All flowed without a trace of trouble. I still used my smaller brushes for the small details, but it wasn't time consuming as it was before. All in all, a process that felt otherworldly. It felt comfortable. It felt right.
The painting you see above took me a little over an hour to complete. An incredible time difference to what I'm used to. This is the first painting in this way of "experimenting," there are many more on the way. For this being the first one, it felt great to produce. I loved the way it all worked out, the way it painted itself. Most of all I loved the way it made me feel at the end. The rut which I felt under the pressure of, is gone.
Time to paint.