Art Gallery For the Day

My Picnic Was Hijacked by the Anthill Mob (2000)
Watercolors and Liquid Paper on Canvas, 18"x24"

Our weeklong study of my "watercolor on canvas" paintings concludes with another personal favorite from the year 2000, "My Picnic Was Hijacked by the Anthill Mob." Yes, another zany title. I was desperate to avoid the cold catalog titles most commonly associated with abstract paintings, and I so I reached out to everything I could find, including music, movies, pop culture, or any catchy phrase that came to mind. All of which is to say that this painting isn't really about Wacky Races or Hanna-Barbera cartoons; it's just a clever title.

I do think astronomy played a major influence on these paintings, but like abstract expressionism or Japanese line drawings, or even jazz music, the act of creation itself is the star. The performance, the improvisation itself, is the meaning. There's a trick to knowing how to add layers, how much paint to use, when to directly add paint to the canvas, and when to dilute with water. The water is the key ingredient. It's what causes the "oil slick" effect that slowly dries on the canvas.

Because of these techniques, these paintings are created with the canvas lying flat on the ground. Do not prop your canvas on an easel, or you'll cause streaking or melting. Unless, of course, that was your plan all along. In that case, carry on, carry on.


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