Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Horizontal Wispiness

Winter, Part I

16" x 40" x 1.5" acrylic on gallery wrapped canvas
(My goodness, the blues aren't this blue, though. More subdued.)

This is the first of a four part series of abstract paintings I'm doing for our new house/art show. This style of painting I learned while trying my hand at learning abstract "vertical wispiness". When I first started selling my art and taking commissions, I had a friend who trusted me to paint her a triptych with these instructions: "Vertical wispiness".

Um, what?

She found a painting, actually from the set of the movie "Twilight: New Moon", that she wanted me to try and duplicate using her color palette. I had never painted anything abstract. I had never painted anything that was supposed to be free and wispy, yet organized and "finished".

I have just used a whole lot of """" in this post. I don't know the real "artsy" terms for "wispiness", "finished", or any thing else so please forgive my """"'s.

Anyway. I tried a thousand different techniques and finally came up with one that blended the colors gradually yet retained the deep values of each tone. I tried to make them airy and light, though I think the final product was a tad too heavy and not cloud-like enough.

A few months ago, I painted a triptych for my mom using the same technique using greens, browns, and gold. This time, I used a modeling paste to lay down a scroll pattern on the canvas (using a stencil), that I painted over. When the wispy colors were dry, I touched up the raised scroll design with gold paint, varnished the whole thing, and BAM! awesomeness was achieved.

(I lost all of the pictures I took of those paintings or else I would share them.)

For our new house, I wanted a wall of "horizontal wispy" paintings that could be a focal point in our government beige appointed house. I have chosen to do four paintings of equal size, one for each season, and hang them one atop the other.

I also am doing the 3D effect in each painting. Winter has "snowflake" shapes (shh! Don't remind me that snowflakes are supposed to be different from each other. I couldn't find any snowflake patterns!) Spring will be pastels with a few flowers; summer will be bright colors and a sun; fall will be, well, fall colors and 3D leaves.

I'm hoping for a Wow! wow factor in our low-ceiling-ed base house.

Here are a few close-ups of the snowflake and the wispy color application.

Seeing it one the computer, I don't really like how the white and black looks like clouds. I meant for it to be more stripey.



  1. I like it! It IS abstract, yet one can imagine a bright blue sky like it gets after a snowstorm! The gray is certainly indicative of winter and the snowflakes are very pretty - a nice touch to the "horizontallness" of the background! All-in-all, unusual, yet intriquing!

  2. This looks like a really fun technique to try out. I've only been painting for a year, maybe less, but just love trying new things. I'm not really sure how you get the wispy look. Do you use a regular brush or a sponge? Looks great!