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Painting Challenge #3: Line – A Tribute to a Sculpture

This is the 3rd post in a series. You can go to my home page to locate the previous two posts.

Painting Challenge #3
Topic: Line
Artist Inspiration: Ruth Asawa

I’m participating in a “7 Week Painting Challenge”, an online painting class with San Francisco artist Tesia Blackburn.
This week we were tasked with developing a 2-dimensional interpretation of a 3-D sculpture.

Using LINE as our primary tool, we were asked to create a painting, drawing, or monoprint in response to a specific body of work by the fascinating San Francisco artist Ruth Asawa. Our inspiration was one of three different crocheted wire sculpture installations by Ruth that hang as permanent installations at San Francisco’s de Young Museum.
We were advised to be sure to take into account these factors while creating our work:
• Positive/negative space
• The weight of the line
• Energy of the line
• Direction and flow of the line
This is the set of hanging wire sculptures that I chose to interpret:Screen Shot 2014-11-18 at 9.30.13 PM
After viewing a couple of videos about Ruth Asawa and looking at more of her work, I began to draw in my sketchbook, working out an abstracted composition with shapes and cast shadows:photo 3 photo 1photo 2
For the final piece I used a half-sheet of Arches watercolour paper (approx. 15″ x 22″) that had been partially used, so it had a bit of a watercolour underpainting. I covered over most of the old watercolour image with white acrylic paint allowing some of the soft background colour to show through, then began to build up the images using a limited palette of acrylic paint (mostly white, black, Titan Buff, and Stainless Steel coarse fluid acrylic by Golden).
There are several layers that include graphite and black ink lines. I sprayed the piece with a matte fixative following the addition of the graphite. The black ink was applied directly from the eyedropper-plunger lid. I scratched into the surface with a nail to create reversed-out curly wire shapes and other textures.
This was a lot harder than I thought… I began with a pretty clear direction, but the piece soon became very busy, so I kept going back over areas with acrylic paint to simplify shapes and lines. Anyway… here goes nothing! Keep in mind that we are studying ABSTRACT art.
My final piece: “Line” – A Tribute to a Sculpture
Here are a couple close-ups so you can see the textures and get an idea of the sheen that the Stainless Steel fluid acrylic gives it. I also drew on it using black ink and scratched into the surface with a nail to add to the variety of textures:Deb-Wk3-final-v2 4 Deb-Wk3-final-v2 2I may end up cutting this up into a series of 2 to 4 smaller paintings… not overly happy with the composition and balance of the full piece. For now I’ll set it aside to work on other projects and when I get back to it maybe it will speak to me.

© deb davies thorkelson

Mixed Media on Paper: approx. 15″ x 22.25″
(mostly acrylic & ink on watercolour paper)

To locate the entire series of Painting Challenges you can search this blog for “Painting Challenge” or go to the main menu by clicking on the name of this blog & look under the menu for:
Images > Art > Painting


6 replies »

  1. I love your paintings. I always find so many things that speak from the canvas. Of course, I never want to insult the artist by taking their work too far away from their intent but I am fascinated by the background harmony, symmetry and contrast woven into a gentle chaos of textures, lines and shades. It’s like seeing music on an oscilloscope. I can see a woman coming through a door an urn by her left side. The flow of shapes are like a string of pearls, the center one starts dark, goes bright then fades like phases or memories. I swear I haven’t been drinking. I just see those things. 🙂 Of course, I have a silly wee dragon for a friend so I guess that may explain things better 🙂 Very nice work Deb.

    Liked by 1 person

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