Sunday, January 3, 2016

Black Coat - a pivotal piece

"Black Coat"  (pastel, 32x32 inches)  $5100

I recently discovered that this, one of my favorite paintings, that has made the circuit of galleries and shows over the years and has yet to find the right buyer, has never been blogged or Facebooked by me! I don't know how that happened. Possibly because I painted it in 2009, two years before my sudden increase in social media marketing.

Secretly, I'm pleased this one has never sold, because if ever there was a work that deserves to be in a retrospective exhibit of my work twenty years from now, this one is it! Aside from being the first daringly different composition in my then fledgling cow series, it's also the first painting that I used various colors of pastel primers to create somewhat of an 'underpainting' for the pastel -- something I do now with all of my work as a much more developed technique, and it all began with this one.

The base coat was the Art Spectrum pastel primer in terra cotta, which I had been using as my favorite surface under all my work for a couple of years. But when faced with such a very white calf, and such a very black calf, my innate 'lazyness' kick-started my brain into finding a way to avoid building up those extreme values with only the pastel...
So after drawing the basic outlines, I brushed on the black and the white primers (also Art Spectrum brand) over the areas that would be primarily the brightest white and darkest black in the painting.

 When I discovered how well this simplified my pastel application in the painting process, I was hooked for good!!

As an aside, the composition of my most recent large cow painting, "Castor and Pollux" from October 2015, was rather largely influenced by my enjoyment of Black Coat, even after all these years. (...It's my preferred opinion that Black Coat was ahead of it's time...)

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