Aethereal Tsunami

48 x 72" acrylic, ink, holographic glitter, and plastic gems on canvas

There's a lot going on in this painting. This actually represents an instance where I thought I was done with a composition, put it aside for a few weeks, and then decided to get back into it and ended up working on it for another two weeks. I'm glad I did. There is a turbulence here that I think reflects argument I was having with the original composition.

I've been adding some new materials to my painters pallet. I've started using waterproof ink, the type you might use with a fountain pen or with a brush, and have found it has some very interesting properties when you let it interact with acrylic paints. You can get a very fine, very clean line when you apply it on top of dry paint, as you can see in the swirling black lines throughout this painting. You can use it to darken an entire pool of very wet paint, yielding areas of inky darkness like the two on either side of the crimson area in the center. Most excitingly, you an apply it to thicker wet paint and it pushes its way out forming rivulets and petal formations as in the detail picture of the lower right segment of the painting.

This painting also incorporates holographic glitter, which is like regular glitter except made of variable diffraction material, meaning it shimmers in different colors depending on the lighting and viewing angle. There is a bit of this glitter in the black pool on the left side of the painting. When applied to the pool while the paint is still wet the glitter clumps and tends to find its way to the edges.

The fake plastic gemstones were given to me by a friend who thought I might have some fun with them. I've been sticking them in wet paint and letting the paint itself glue them to the canvas. When applied to thick wet paint this has the effect of disturbing the matrix of pigment and medium, often forcing the material just below the surface to express itself around the edge of the gem. You can see this also in the detail of the low right, where the areas around the gems which are inserted into the black areas have a ring of white around them. The gems create nice points of pure color, and add a sense of dimensionality to the piece. About half the gems were added at the end, and so the bright colors of the gemstones shine though, but the other half were added about halfway through. Their colors have been muted but their shapes are still discernible. You might think of these as buried treasures. You might think of them as warts. I think they are a little of each.

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