259: Failure=Experimentation

AS I WAIT for my new studio to be completed I decided to reconfigure my old studio  for painting experimentation. I removed my couch and added a set of four fluorescent lights to create an area for painting abstracts on the floor. I have since made acrylic pours onto a plastic drop cloth. I created complex textures by adding a variety of thickeners to the acrylic pours. So far I have experimented with plaster of parischalk, and aluminum hydrate.

I initially worked on one basic composition but made multiple pours, peeling up the acrylic skins, and reapplying them to the main composition. In some cases I would crack brittle applications and reassemble them simultaneously soaking the application in acrylic binder to reinforce the integrity of the lamination. In between laminations I would glaze, sand, and scumble the underlying surface.

The process was lengthy but I slowly built up a rich patina of texture and color. Eventually I had a painting worthy of exhibition so decided to add a final coat of acrylic medium to increase the film integrity and give a uniform finish.

When the final coat of acrylic medium dried I discovered I had made a bad choice–the dried brush strokes created a conflicting pattern with the previous harmony of texture and color of the unvarnished surface.

After spending so much time creating the painting it was discouraging to destroy it with the final varnish. I decided it would have been better to coat the painting in a layer of Golden Clear Tar Gel that would have dried more like a layer of resin. But I wasn’t positive that would have been the best solution. Just like with the acrylic varnish I wouldn’t know for sure until I actually try it.

I decided it is better to adjust my thinking and allow everything to be an experient–one step toward a creative solution–than waste valuable energy berating myself for wasting time in so-called failure.

I may see if I can salvage the painting by applying a thinner coat of Clear Tar Gel, thereby softening the painting’s busy brushstrokes in a layer of resin-like gel. But whether or not the painting is salvaged it will not be a failure–just another step forward in the creative process.

Brad Teare –December 2015

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Updated: 13th July 2024
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