Linda Halcomb's Blog

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March 27, 2017 March 28, 2017

As I walk at Ft Benjamin Harrison State Park I see the first signs of spring. The grays and browns are now accented by a froth of light green rolling over the landscape. The bushes are leafing out and lighting up the undergrowth with a gentle color and a clean fragrance. The skies are bluer and the breezes invigorate. As you may remember I tried a small color field painting using the winter colors I saw on my walks (here). I painted with my new acrylics and didn’t like the look of the canvas underneath. That painting was very small and I learned a lot about acrylics as I worked on it. I decided to create a new Ft Ben color field painting using burnt sienna to represent the leaf covered earth, a mix of light greens to represent the budding bushes, winter white to represent the sky and burnt umber to represent the trees. I started out by thinking about three blocks of color and a blue background. Then I decided to split the large upper block into three with white spaces between to represent the large, white sycamore trees that grow throughout the park. That was my starting point as  I worked on this painting.

The most important decision I made was to choose Strathmore Aquarius II paper as my surface. I soaked the paper until it was wet all the way through and then painted with my acrylics on very wet paper. I wanted blurry edges (the acrylics did run a little) and a soft look to the surface. My painting is 11 inches by 15 inches and, as you can see I further developed the idea of trees as I saw the painting develop.  I’m finding ways to love the Indiana winter!

 

Ft Ben Color Field 2 03262017

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March 24, 2017 March 24, 2017

After I completed my post yesterday I realized that I had never posted the completion of my third “Zone” painting. I completed Green Zone earlier in the week and it was sitting on my mantle undergoing continual scrutiny. This painting went through only one round of revision while the Red and Blue paintings went through many more as I continued to learn. This painting was completed entirely with a palette knife and I like the effect created by the broad swipes. This painting completes the series of “Zone” paintings inspired by the three abstracts in Penny’s apartment on the TV show Big Bang Theory (see more here). I like the spontaneous approach and have now started a new watercolor abstract that uses what I have always called my splash-splash technique (because I paint REALLY wet).  This process is also spontaneous and responds continually to the way the watercolor is behaving…not always predictable!

 

Green Zone 03202017

 

 

 

March 19, 2017 March 21, 2017

Filed under: Abstract,Acrylics,Daily Post — lindahalcombfineart @ 6:33 am
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I have been working on my Green Zone painting and as I worked I decided that I was not happy with Blue Zone (published recently). This style is very new to me as is painting with acrylics. I am learning as I paint and am finding that I need several days of looking at and “living with” a painting before I see and have thought through how to deal with basic problems. I have now updated Blue Zone and think that it is finished. It is at the paint that I am saying to myself “Do not ruin it by continuing to tweak…don’t over work it!” With abstracts that is very hard to do – a squiggle here, a dot there. When is enough, enough? I hope you enjoy Blue Zone redux!

Just a note: Ruth, a fellow blogger, had asked if I had purples included in the painting and complimented the use of purple so I increased the use of different shades of purple. You can visit Ruth here. For Blue Zone I used the analogous color scheme of green, blue and purple and for Red Zone I used red, yellow and orange.

 

Blue Zone Update 03192017

 

March 15, 2017 March 16, 2017

I wanted to continue to work on the creation of a series of three paintings inspired by but not replicating the red, blue and green abstracts shown in Penny’s apartment on Big Bang Theory. I posted my Red Zone painting a few days ago and now I have completed my Blue Zone painting. It is a 12 inch by 12 inch acrylic painting done on canvas. I focused on using spontaneous, swirling brush strokes. I also used a palette knife and toothpicks to create the painting. I used the toothpicks to swirl colors together rather like chefs do when making a marbled cake or cupcakes. The little white flecks are intentional. I was listening to an old 78 recording of Blues standards and the white flecks represent the crackling sound I heard as I painted. Painting like this is fun…you can just let go and play. And with this type of painting all accidents are happy!

 

Blue Zone 03102017

Blue Zone, Acrylic on Canvas, 12″ X 12″, 2017

 

 

 

March 13, 2017 March 13, 2017

Filed under: Abstract,Acrylics,Daily Post — lindahalcombfineart @ 1:36 pm
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When artists have a painting that doesn’t feel right they will frequently turn their painting upside down and that will help them find the problem. With my abstracts I frequently try sitting them on each of the four sides to be sure the composition is balanced.

When I saw the photograph of Red Zone (posted a few days ago) I did not like what I saw. In the photo the areas around the outside of the painting looked bare, flat and uninteresting. Face to face the actual painting didn’t look quite so bad but it did have a problem. I decided to “tweak” the painting to increase the texture and color variety around the edges. To do that I actually worked my way around the painting always painting on the bottom side. I would rotate it 90 degrees as I moved from side to side. I do think it is a better painting now. In the future I will think of my photographs as a way to see my paintings through the eyes of an unbiased observer. Showing the good, the bad and the ugly!

 

Red Zone Update 03132017

Red Zone, 12″ X 12″ Acrylic on Canvas, 2017

 

March 10, 2017 March 11, 2017

Filed under: Abstract,Acrylics,Daily Post — lindahalcombfineart @ 7:55 pm
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Have you ever heard the expression “in the zone”? The Urban Dictionary defines “in the zone” as “Being completely unaware of what’s going on around you as you are so extremely into what’s going on right in front of your face”. In other words you are totally unaware of time or activities going on around you. When I draw or paint I am usually in the zone.

So why do I bring this up? Well, the path I followed to get to my latest painting is rather disconnected and a little weird but I wound up in the zone. I bought three 12 inch square canvases when my daughter closed her shop and I was trying to decide what to do with them. I love color and normally like to work with clear, crisp colors – like the primary colors.  Thinking about the primary colors led me to remember that I had often noticed three abstract paintings in Penny’s apartment on the Big Bang Theory television show. They attracted me and I thought they were lively and interesting.

I have never been able to see the paintings clearly but the idea of doing a lively square abstract in red sounded like fun. I would be able to work in acrylics which would be a good learning experience and I could use a process that was spontaneous to create texture. This led to the creation of The Red Zone. This is a play on words since I am usually “in the zone” or totally focused when I paint. As you can probably see, I built up the paint in three layers. Acrylics dry really quickly so I had to stop painting when the paint became tacky. When the paint was completely dry I would paint another layer building up different layers of color.

 

Red Zone 03092017

 

Here is Penny’s apartment with the blue, red and green abstracts on the wall at the right side of the photograph. What an explosion of color!