Monday, September 28, 2009


Here are 2 more versions of the "Captured Muse" paintings...I'm making a series!
I love the technique I am is sooo forgiving and gives me a lot of freedom to experiment. When I took DJ Pettitt's painting class, I watched her paint with abandon, adding avant garde splashes of color and then drawing and painting over part of her work to create depth and texture. Often she will take a painting and play with it in photoshop giving it new background or a twist of the colors. This is a great way to see your vision and play with ideas without wasting paint or possibly losing something you really liked.
I also took a class with Jesse Reno - and although his style is very different, Jesse loves to paint over any part of a painting that isn't working for him and turn that portion into something else, letting the painting dictate what it wants to become. He does this over and over again...and when he is done, his painting too, has layers of depth and texture and nuance.
OK. So I WANT DEPTH. and TEXTURE... and NUANCE.! ...or at least the illusion....
....but I am a big chicken.
So, I took a picture I hated and painted it into something I liked a bit better, using Jesse's principles of drawing black outlines around forms and shapes in a painting that your imagination sees. Then you paint out parts AROUND your drawing, to make your drawing POP!....whew! I am so rigid and afraid to wreck things.... Then I took the painting and I scanned it using my best matte photo paper. I put the painting aside, and I painted ON THE SCAN. I also used colored pencils and ink. I drew in things I saw in the colors. I painted out parts i didn't like. I added squiggles and dots and smears, like DJ likes to do.
When the paper wouldn't take any more paint, I let it dry and I SCANNED IT AGAIN. Then I painted on the NEW SCAN. If I didn't like where it was going, then I just scanned the previous scan again, and I started all over.
I LOVE this layering technique. Everytime I scan the newest paper painting, I get a new FLAT surface to paint on, draw on, to shade smoothly. Because the 3-d parts of the paper painting have all been flattened by the scanner, the colors and shading and shapes subtly change in the new scanning. I can never make a mistake, because I can either scan the paper painting I am working on now and then paint out the mistake on the new flat surface, or I can start over from the previous scan and take the painting in a new direction.
As lines become faded, or whites go dull, I re add them back in each time.
For "Captured Muse" I went off in several directions, but all began with the initial painting.
I probably did about 10 or so scans to make these one point I took the original canvas and painted/drew in all of my favorite "discoveries" from the painted paper scans. Then I scanned that painting and came up with these 2 new paintings. Usually, when doing a conventional painting, I get frustrated and the paint gets too deep, or it takes too long to dry, or I ruin a part of the painting i liked. THIS method I am now using allows me to experiment all I want . OK. So the finished product is actually a PRINT...sort of...I mean you can't call it a digital painting, because it isn't...but like digital art there really isn't ONE ORIGINAL.
Are you following all of this? Does any of this make sense?
..OH! I found that for some reason, with my scanner (Epson Stylus RX500 All-In-One) scanning the paper painting in"mirror" layout, INTENSIFIED the colors. I only use Epson Matte Premium Presentation Paper.
In any case, I love doing my art this's like sketching many versions, taking pieces of this and that to come up with a concept...
...and it works for me!

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Marilyn Rock said...

This all makes perfect sense to me. And; this process is incredibly brilliant! Great treasure box by the way :) Best always - Marilyn

kathy mc said...

Oh Connie, this is amazing. Loved reading about your process. I have always wanted to paint one of my photographs. I may have to try this. I never thought of scanning your work and painting over it. This is brilliant. Thanks for sharing. I love it!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I am definitely going to have to try this technique (well, in my timid, wan way, not with your exuberance). Your Muses are wonderful! They are full of power and magic.

Joanne Huffman said...

Connie, I wrote the above comment and have no idea why I was labeled as some strange number/letter combination.


fran said...

Connie, These are fabulous. I have used a similar technique when I'm not sure what to do next. I print out a scan and then I doodle my ideas onto it until I come to one that works for me. From there, I go to the original and it always morphs a bit, but I go to that point of the painting with more confidence. I'm so glad you're using this method and it's really working for you. These are fantastic! I can't wait to see what you do next! xo, Fran

jackie said...

What an innovative technique!! Thank you for sharing the steps involved - your final outcome pieces are divine!!