Thursday, November 3, 2011

Thinking Warm Thoughts

Western Mass was hit with an epic snowstorm this past week, leaving almost every home in the area without power and, more importantly, without heat. In the past few months, my family has had to endure more bizarre natural disasters than any land-locked New England family should ever expect to endure. We didn’t choose this climate for its tornadoes or its debilitating storms. If we’d wanted that kind of weather, we’d live in tornado country. My mother, who is usually the strongest and most impenetrable force known to man, finally lost it with this one. “Can we go back to Rome now?” she pleaded. While I can’t bring her back to Rome, I figured I could at least post some more Italy paintings to remind her of how beautiful, sunny, and warm it was at the villa. Hopefully that will make her feel better and not worse! 

Oil on canvas paper. Joa Stenning, Sept. 2011.

Oil on gesso-ed mat board. Joa Stenning, Sept. 2011.

I made the picture above by mushing layer upon layer of thick paint onto gesso-ed mat board, and then wiping away the excess with a cloth. The trees and roughage were also added by dipping a corner of the cloth into some paint/liquin mixture and, for lack of a better term, "smushing it in." I like the foggy, soft effects created by that process, and I'd love to try it again. Maybe for an ocean scene? 

Oil on gesso-ed mat board. Joa Stenning, Sept. 2011.

This last painting was one of the very first that I made on a bright red canvas. That's another one of Will McCarthy's secrets (see "chippies" in this post), painting on a red canvas or canvas board. It's extremely frustrating at first because the paint doesn't soak in quite as well, but it punches the colors up a bit and can create some really great texture. 

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