Man. I’m not even a week in to this project and this morning I considered faceplanting into a pile of paint and slapping a piece of paper onto it for today’s artwork. The Rorschach method for tired, lazy artists. 🙂 I’m sure that some talented art critic could make it sound really meaningful and fabulous with the right spin…
“Long has it been stated that a piece of the artist is within each work, that the effort and anguish and joys of the process are visible to the discerning viewer. Never before has this been so apparent as with the ‘faceplant method’ developed by Marianne Bland. To the naïve and uninformed, it may seem this idea was borne of an accident. There are rumors that one day Marianne passed out on some fresh paint, then rolled over in her sleep onto a piece of Bristol paper, but clearly this is poppycock…”
This evening I unwrapped an 8×10″ canvas, rifled around through my pile of reference photos, and found a blurry night picture I took from the car. I did a quick sketch with some watercolor pencils (this is a great way to make sure your lines will blend away instead of stand out like graphite), then dropped some watercolor ink into some clear acrylic medium to block in the sky. I’d never tried that before. It dries oddly and started giving me some nice brush marks. I painted in the light circles and repainted them and repainted them. It didn’t look quite right until I added the final bit, some washes of sienna/orange.
I really enjoy the finished product of the nightscapes I’ve done (see mariannebland.com, paintings, older work gallery for more), but the process always freaks me out. When I was a teenager, I had a nightmare that I was taking the garbage out from my job at night, and a man who had stolen a turkey rounded the corner and ran past me, and cops were chasing him and yelling for him to stop and shot at him, but I was in the way and took a bullet to the head. In my dream, I could feel myself slipping away, so sad for how short my life had been. I remember the fear and panic and helplessness of that nightmare, but also the orange sodium lights that the parking lot was bathed in. So orange lights at night have always freaked me out, and I decided awhile ago to try to paint night scenes with that orange light, but to do it beautifully, thinking that having those pretty paintings to look at might change my feelings about being out at night.
It didn’t, but I got some good paintings out of the deal. 😉 Here’s what it looks like straight on: