Thursday, February 13, 2014

Fly By

Enamel on heavy, gesso-coated paper, 60" x 72"
$6300. Free shipping in U.S.
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Work in the studio continues on these large paintings in my stone series. I love the creative freedom this type of work affords me. The process is almost diametrically opposed to the controlled, goal-oriented approach of my realist paintings. I begin without a goal in mind, just applying paint very freely and intuitively with large house painting brushes. Instead of imposing an image, I try to discover one by developing an ongoing dialogue with the painting, letting it tell me what it wants to become.

At some point the shapes of the stones suggest themselves in the marks I've made, and I begin to more or less define the forms. The rock forms give me a malleable structure for the paintings that provides an anchor, or focus for the paint. I'm happiest when the final result is a balance of representational and abstract.

Many changes occur. Traces of previous colors and shapes show through succeeding layers of paint in the search for something that feels resolved. In the painting--as in life--yesterdays affect tomorrows.

So much of the impact of an original painting, especially if it is large, is lost in reproduction. I'm including this studio shot to give a sense of scale.


Reid baker said...

I am very curious about the paper that you use. Can you explain your process?

Don Gray said...

Reid--This is a very heavy white industrial grade roll paper, 63" wide, with a matte polyester film coating on one side. I paint on the uncoated side, after giving it two coats of acrylic gesso to isolate the paper from the bulletin enamel paint I'm using. The poly film, along with the paper's thickness, makes for a very tough, tear-resistant surface.