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Either on Gessoed wood panel or on Arches paper, I apply three to four layers of Cold Wax and Oil paint, each with varying color values and temperatures, as a base. These layers are done either using brayers or squeegees or a combination of such. I perform this process wet-on-wet or on semi-dry surface. I then apply each additional layer on the tacky surface without having to consciously render a composition, pattern, or design. At times, I selectively reduce parts of layers either by scratching the surface or using solvents to bring out the history of the surface and thereby associating a multitude of layers all at once creating a sense of depth and excitement. I also use mark-making tools to introduce designs or create aberrations on the surface.
Starting a painting …
So, when I start a painting, I do not have a final composition or a design in mind but the process itself will define the form, color palette, and the theme which will bring the painting to a more mature state and a completed one eventually.
Once the composition starts taking place, I further develop the painting by adding more paint, marks, or resolving the form until I am satisfied with the output. Of course, I will then edit the painting and institute finishing touches.
During the process, the painting gives a feedback on its form, color, strength, and mood, etcetera. While moving forward, I keep building and taking off layers to bring about a composition that is very inherent to me.
I like to develop multiple paintings (about 4 to 5) simultaneously, as I will be able to explore and learn to apply techniques to develop interesting features that arise from one painting to another.
The end result is more fluid and dynamic and effects beyond the limits of a single painting. Also, this eliminates the risk of boredom or over analyzing to meet expectations that may end up a disappointment.
Accidentals & Incidentals …
My tools include palette knives, squeegees, brayers, paper (oil, tissue, and kitchen towels), and mark-making tools such as watch repair tools, pottery tools, and other miscellaneous handy metallic and wooden apparatuses bought from yard sales are used for introducing accidentals to enrich the mature form of the painting. I also take care of incidental gaps using the editing process with tools, paint, pigment sticks, powder, and oil bars when necessary. This also adds variety to the mark-making process.
Cold wax helps shorten the drying time, creates textures that are unique, produces translucency among many other qualities. With Cold Wax and Oil, multiple layers are commonly used only to be scraped back to reveal previous layers in some areas of the surface to create textures to assist the form. The Cold Wax is used at room temperature.
Essence of it all …
In my opinion, creating a painting using Cold Wax and Oil is both iterative and interactive. Not having to commit to the final outcome but simply being part of the process brings an emotional high in me.
I feel emotionally enriched throughout this process in developing an abstraction of the form.
From the start, it makes me wonder what would happen next. I become more curious and drawn emotionally through the build-up of layers, color contrasts revealed through the history of underlayers.