While I Paint Just a Kiss
Occasionally I do a series of painting in process photos. To me it is enjoyable to see how something goes from an idea in my mind’s eye to converting plain white canvas into layers of paint wrought with meaning.
I find it hard to talk about the why of the painting. For me painting is a wordless activity. I am lost in a world of light, color, shapes, sometimes sounds, but not words. Sometimes short musical segments play endlessly looping in my head as the brush moves the paint around the canvas. Whether I am painting a bird or an abstraction during the process there is no “bird” nor “word” nor line nor figure. There is only color, hue, light, darkness, texture, the sound of brush and paint moving across the canvas. Sometimes there is music.
I begin this painting having seen an image of a rather intricate crop circle on Facebook. It strikes me that I might be able to create one of my knots, with an asymmetric element to see what kinds of symmetries result from repetition and rotation. I select six canvases 12 x 16 inches in size and then sketch my knot. My decision to use multiple canvases is pure whimsy, even as I impose my order on chaos; I invite the viewer to destroy it by purposefully arranging it in another way. I put my knot together and two pleasing braids appeared along with interlocking cardioids (heart shapes).
The hearts get me thinking about summer heat, passion and colors. I decided on the colors of sunset, pale violet, warm pink, orange, red and yellow. Since my knot is composed of golden spirals, a gold golden spiral is obvious. The knot is an intricate affair so I spend some time printing out 16 sheets of paper, chopping and taping them back together to create the image map for the six individual canvases I plan on linking together to make the whole. All of this planning happens before I ever touch a brush to canvas. Now all that is required is to let my design become.
I like to use chalk pastels to block out my under paintings, because chalk is pure pigment that can blend in with the paint I am applying. Then I paint the first layer of color. For me it is very important to establish where your light areas will go, so the luminosity of the canvas can keep the light where you want it. It is also important to cover every square inch with color so when you build up shades and tones with subsequent layers there will not be halos or missed spots. I also find it painterly that some base colors show through subsequent layers.I work the entire under painting over, excepting my established light areas of yellow, with a pale pink, lightening it up a bit.
Then I glaze the pink over with warm orange and red to blend and unify the background.
I transfer the knot design. I employ the chalk trick again, this time applying white chalk to the back of my design so I can transfer the pattern to my canvas. I paint the chalk lines over with light pink.
I use glazes to push the lines of the knot into the background, creating a screened effect. The final steps involve working the whole thing over with a sponge, using multiple layers and colors. I add detail to the background, integrating the knot, and I soften the edges of my golden spiral so I can create the effect of a golden spray with the final layer of paint.
Having finished my painting I must name it. I did not name it before, because words do not matter while I am painting. However, when I introduce my work to the world words matter because communication matters. My thoughts of summer romance, hearts, and fire got draw me to music relating to those kinds of emotions. I selected the title from a few bars of the Lady Antebellum song.
Just a kiss on your lips in the moonlight
Just a touch of the fire burning so bright
Just A Kiss, by Jake Beckman, is about the romance of a summer night. The background is the warm colors of a summer sunset fading into violet hues; it features interlocking Fibonacci spirals in pale rose tones, which form heart-like shapes and intricate braids on the canvas-implying unseen connections, intrigue and love perhaps. One spiral is highlighted in a fiery spray of ignited passion. This work is for sale of course. If you are interested contact me.
Yours in art,
Jake, Artist, AKAJake.com Come Experience the Art!
The artist has federally copyrighted all the artwork in this blog. The artist retains all reproduction and publishing copyrights. You may not copy, re-distribute, imitate, derive OR otherwise use these images in any form without the explicit written permission of the artist.