I have a secret...
Two of my most recent paintings aren’t really mine!
Okay that's not exactly true...
These two paintings are actually the “extra paint” canvases from my oil painting classes. After each class everyone who has paint left on their palette scoops it up with a palette knife and smears it on one of several canvases. (It's fun to do, and we end up throwing away a lot less paint with this closing ceremony!)
Normally I just let whatever happens happen with the "extra paint" canvases. Which is easy to do because most of my classes use acrylic paints - acrylics dry very quickly, so it's east to leave alone.
But oils… Well that’s another story. Oil paint dries very slowly, especially when applied so thickly.
So here’s my secret: after my oil painting students have smeared their extra paint and have gone home, I grab a brush and start playing with the piles of paint!
I can’t resist getting in there and moving that luscious, wet oil paint around. I do this in part because I just want to play, but honestly a bigger part is me wanting to make sense of the mess on the canvas; to bring order to the entropy. But not too much order… that’s one of the challenges with art; having enough tension between chaos and calm.
I suppose that's life too, right? We want enough going on to keep things interesting, and periods of rest to recharge and reflect.
And when I think about it, these paintings are also about making the best of what you've got. I added no new colors to these paintings - I just used what was left for me.
Life hands you chaos? Put it in order! To much order? Go shake it up a bit!