Behind the scenes – studio action

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Aerfeldt palette oils

There’s always action in the studio so this post is to show what you would see if you could get a foot through the door. (I am super private when at work and LOCK myself inside so that NO ONE gets to disturb me.)

There are three parts to my studio – the actual painting area, a clean office area, and a storage room for my collection of painting props, packing materials, spare stretchers and works that have been temporarily put aside. It all sounds bigger than it is but it is really quite small – too small for the large works I am making as I can’t stand back far enough – so I have been on the lookout for a new studio for a while. I won’t get started on that topic apart from saying that I have looked and looked and not found anything yet, but I haven’t given up.

Aerfeldt cloud sprayer oil painting progress

Aerfeldt work in progress detail cloud sprayer

Aerfeldt face detail cloud sprayer oil painting

I have been working on and off on this painting (above) for months and this week gave it a radical makeover. For a start the background colour was too strong and secondly the whole thing was too tentative and tight. It looked a bit like colouring in, which is a look that I hate in my own work. It is always a risk but if it isn’t working there’s no point just looking at it hopefully and pretending that all is well. The risk paid off and it is better. 

This situation happens with me so often that I wish I could just be more daring from the start, but there’s a learning process that takes place whilst painting the first layers and finding the shapes, tones and colours. This learning enables the final layer to have more freedom as muscle memory and intuition come into play. As an ex tennis player (purely amateur) I see a lot of parallels with playing a match. Often the first set or two are slightly tentative and the more brilliant and daring moves come towards the end. 

In this painting I was trying to get across the feeling of actually spraying the surface of the painting with the bottle of ‘chemical’ cleaner so had to take risks and get messy and destroy the beautiful clouds that were there before to better convey the idea.

I’ve also been playing with my glue gun making various props, something I do on and off. It’s a way to get ideas into a more solid and visual form. Then the props sit in my office area for a while and I think about them.

Aerfeldt Spiked cups props

Aerfeldt painting props with spikes

And finally, this week, I brushed past one of my doll props and she fell flat on her face and this is the result. Is it serendipity or just too creepy? I am thinking about making a painting of her but am still unsure. I posted this image on my facebook page and people were encouraging me to paint it, but I am trying to think of a way to make it a bit more comic and less gory…

Aerfeldt broken doll

So that’s this week. 



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