Thursday, 29 January 2015

A Blank Page (or Art That Isn't There Yet)

Now I've completed my goal of creating 52 paintings in a year, let me tell you: I've spent hours staring at blank pages, knowing there is an image there.
Art involves a lot of invisibility, starting with a blank page (and sometimes a totally blank imagination, argh!)

Very rarely do I have a precise idea of how the finished piece will look.
I may have decided to include certain elements or colours, or wanted to evoke a particular emotion, but that's it.

Eventually I put on some music and get on with it.
Last time it was asobius, so here's their music video, 'Starlight'. It's bouncy and happy.

Music always helps to jog my brain into creativity.

Soon enough, by putting pencil to paper (gasp!), the 'Invisible Art' starts to appear...

Nabokov called a blank page miraculous:
The pages are still blank, but there is a miraculous feeling of the words being there, written in invisible ink and clamoring to become visible.
~ Vladimir Nabokov
Though he was referring to words rather than images, he didn't mention how daunting a blank page can be!

Picking up the pen, pencil or brush is the hardest thing. 
Usually I end up rubbing out the first few attempts at drawing anything, and am thankful for the invention of putty rubbers, which work better than regular erasers at making mistakes disappear ;)

Then I get out the masking fluid! 
Masking fluid is a 'colourless' liquid that, when applied to the paper and left to dry, masks watercolour paint from that part of the page. It's fantastic for protecting little details, and saves a lot of hassle in painting around foreground objects when I'm painting in a background. This is where more invisibility comes in, as it dries clear. Sometimes I forget where I put it on the page, until I try to paint there!

Finally I can start painting, and this is where I feel I'm getting somewhere. 
As soon as I have colour on the page, the image becomes real. 
No more lineart or partial imaginings, but after what could be minutes or hours, a visible, completed painting...

Forest Shaman, January 2015
The blank page is no longer blank, the invisible art is no longer invisible.
(I blogged about this painting yesterday, with regards meaning and inspiration.)

Until the next sheet of blank paper...

I have one more painting to post in relation to my painting goal (#55). It's different to the others, and I'll post it soon! 

Meanwhile you can see all my paintings on the 55 tag.

Linking up here:
MultiMEDIA Splice #9

1 comment:

  1. I love your take on “invisible”! It’s really fascinating to a non-artist like I am, and I loved seeing your painting evolve. I’d never heard of masking fluid. It sounds like a lot of fun to use, especially when there are parts that you forgot you'd applied it to.

    Thanks for linking up to MultiMEDIA Splice!