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Recovery Paintings; hand-painted, geometric

Four weeks out from my heart surgery,  I dove into acrylic and watercolor work on paper. I was still a month or two away from returning to work, but my energy was increasing. The previous paintings I worked on were all on the iPad, and didn’t require and setup, paper or real paint. I didn’t get as far with these hand-painted pieces, but the one I did finish gave me a great sense of balance and satisfaction (scroll to the bottom for that).

Just as I started the digital paintings with carefully laid out patterns, I chose to start these with a geometric grid. A former mentor of mine named George Walker taught me the technique of drawing transparent paint on with custom brushes and guides.  I used the ruler on my drafting table to get the background lines painted on.

Work in progress. Here the lines are all horizontal, pushing me to think of this piece as a land/sea scape.
Work in progress. This time I added some vertical red to add energy and a more engaging overall compositions. This is where I stalled out.

Simplicity is a great place to start from, but also easily crosses into complication. These paintings became slow moving after a pretty vigorous start. In other words, still in progress. Work that is geometric in nature seems to require a bit more consideration in the finishing stages as any small move stands out. This is opposed to more gesture and color-rich work which often can be finished in a creative storm.

I managed to finish one painting and put the rest of the project into hibernation…

Sketchbook drawing for the painting that helped me figure out the final compositions. Notice the 2 sets of eyes and smiles?


Here is the finished piece. As you can see, there are some circular elements that add some charm and break the grid. tap or click to enlarge

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